Today, 29th May, most Russian school leavers are taking the mandatory State Unified Examination in the Russian Language. It is followed by Geography and Literature (1st June), Mathematics (4th June), foreign languages: English, german, French and Spanish (8th June), Social Science and Chemistry (11th June), History and Physics (15th June). According to the new law that took effect this year schol leaving examination results are also valid for university entrance exams. To get a school leaving certificate only two mandatory exams - Russian and Math - are needed, the other 12 exams including four exams in foreign languages are chosen according to the university or specialty the students are to pursue.
Activists of the Young Russia movement advocating amendments to the Education Law have displayed a live ostrich in downtown Moscow. A Young Russia spokesperson said the ostrich symbolized the official attitude toward education issues. "Officials merely stick their heads in the sand, while student self-government bodies at Russian colleges and universities lack any legal status," the spokesperson stressed. Young Russia leader and State Duma deputy Maxim Mishchenko co-authored amendments to the educaiton law. Under the amendments, student unions must have the right to provide students with jobs and residences and organize their leisure. Student unions would also be expected to monitor students' academic records and represent their interests at meetings of college-anduniversity academic councils. The State Duma is to examine such amendments in the first reading early this March. Young people believe that student councils can deal with student-rights violations, substandard education, job-placement problems, corruption at universities, the conservative and bureaucratic education system, rundown student residences and illegal accommodation of migrant workers there.
The eighth Moscow festival of children's books was held on March 22-30 under the motto "Growing Together With Books" at the Moscow House of Books store chain. The festival was open in an impressive setting in front of the Moscow House of Books on Novy Arbat Avenue and was involve members of a procession in support of books and reading that will march from the nearby City Hall.
Russian President Putin signed a new federal law on a two-tier higher education system ("On amending certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation (in identifying the levels of higher professional education)). The law sets two levels of higher professional education - a bachelor and a masters degree.