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19.10.2007
source: www.grani.ru

A positive approach to history

   

Russia’s President Putin sees “certain positive moves” in the presentation of the country’s history in modern textbooks. “Still quite recently we read things in textbooks which made ones hair stand on end, especially in the treatment , say, of the results of the Great Patriotic War and all connected with it”, Putin stated.

In his view, “we can rectify this situation without imposing a State point of view, but giving the chance, most of all to young people and all citizens of the country to get to know the whole spectrum of opinions on this or that issue, while at the same time giving an objective view of history, of what was done by our people, of our achievements”.

Putin stressed that “the role and significance of the Ministry of Education and Science are increased in order to prevent an obvious lack in this sphere”. The point is that “the Ministry will be in a position to give the appropriate expert assessments when preparing study material.”  “I hope this will have a positive effect”, the President added.

As reported here, in September the Academic Educational Association for Humanitarian Knowledge approved the creation of textbooks on history and social studies based on the methodological handbooks by Alexander Fillipov “The Newest History of Russia. 1945-2006” and Leonid Polyakov “Social Studies: the Global World in the XXI Century”.

In Fillipov’s handbook for teachers, Stalin is called “one of the most successful leaders of the USSR”, and the Terror of 1937 is treated as a way to raising the country after crisis, although there is mention of “extreme exploitation of the population” under Stalin

The section of the book devoted to the last eight years has as its title the term coined by the Deputy Head of the President’s Administration Vladislav Surkov “Sovereign Democracy”.

Author of the handbook on social sciences Leonid Polyakov actually stated at a roundtable discussion that his handbook teaches how “to develop in young people a civic and patriotic position”.

The textbook based on the handbook will be used from 1 September 2008.

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