Russia's new education minister wants to reinstate Soviet-era 'agricultural brigades' for students

Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilieva called for a return to mandatory farm labour for school children, according to Russian state-operated news agency RIA Novosti via The Moscow Times.

Vasilieva said that students should be placed in “agricultural brigades” and forced to clean schools “like we always used to do.”

It is one of the first signals from Vasilieva, who was appointed by Russian president Vladimir Putin on August 9, on how she aims to govern her post.

Her move to revert back to some soviet-era schooling policies is, perhaps, unsurprising. Vasilieva reportedly praised Joseph Stalin in a lecture given to Kremlin leaders in 2013, The Moscow Times reported. Her praise of the former Soviet Union leader continues to worry her critics who do not wish to see a return to his ideals permeate the country.

Education under Soviet rule was highly centralised and placed emphasised collectivism and labour for school students.

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