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Window on Eurasia — New Series: More than a Third of Schools in Chechen Capital Forced to Operate with Three Shifts


Paul Goble
            Staunton, September 6 – The combination of a high birthrate and insufficient spending on education in Ramzan Kadyrov’s Chechnya means that a third of all the schools in his republic’s capital now must operate on a three-shift basis, with the first beginning early in the morning and the third ending only at night, and that 73 of the 488 schools in the republic do the same. 
            Officials say that the number of such schools has been reduced by ten over the last year and are repeating past promises to eliminate three-shift schools by 2024 by building more schools.  Few pedagogues or parents believe them, let alone hope that other problems, including far more numerous two-shift schools, will be solved (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/353865/).
            The number of the latter is so large in fact that officials prefer not to release data on them.
            But parents and educators are more than willing to share their anger about other problems. “The three-shift pattern is one problem, but there is another” that may be even more serious: Class size has risen to the point – 35 — that teachers cannot give the attention to the children especially in the earlier grades need.
            Schools are often located far from where Chechen children live, and transportation is not provided. If the parents don’t have cars, the children have to walk, sometimes many kilometers in both directions.  Parents say that schools should be located near where children live; and if that is not possible, then the government must provide buses for them.
            Educators are worried about yet another problem: shortages of teachers in key subject areas. Moscow has sent some specialists, like teachers of English, to two schools in Chechnya. But that may make for good propaganda, but it doesn’t solve the problems of education in the republic, teachers and school administrators say.
            Neighboring republics have similar problems, Kavkaz-Uzel reports. But two Chechen schools near the Daghestani border have made arrangements to bring teachers in particular subjects by taxi to teach and then send them home by taxi after the day’s school shifts are over.  Seven Daghestanis come to the one school; five to the other.

Window on Eurasia — New Series