Putin wants school children to learn patriotic values hailing him as a hero
Vladimir Putin wants chidlren as young as seven-years-old to "learn patriotic values at school" to “strengthen the spiritual and moral foundations of Russian society”, while casting himself as a romantic hero that oversaw Russia's rebirth.
Sergei Novikov, who heads up the Kremlin's social projects division, said the curriculum would be focused on societal values in line with Russia's national security strategy.
Some schools will roll out the discussions as early as this month, while others will target September 5 as a start date.
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The courses will focus on denying claims of Russian brutality against countries like Ukraine and Belarus.
The history course books will also be updated to include the Kremlin's narrative on its "special military operation".
Pupils will soon be asked to attend daily ceremonies in which the Russian flag is raised – an initiative set to cost the Kremlin £2.8 million in supplying the flags.
Another change soon to be implemented is that Russian schools will play the national anthem at the start of the new school year.
Novikov is working to realise the leader's goals to “strengthen the spiritual and moral foundations of Russian society”.
This includes improving “young people’s patriotic education”, according to the Kremlin's website.
Non state-run media outlets in Russia have reported on cases of teachers claiming to have been intimidated into supporting the war.
Educators have further reported being punished, fined and dismissed for making comments against the Kremlin's official narrative.
Earlier in July, the New York Times reported that sweeping changes to the curriculum "will soon cast the Russian president as a pivotal historical figure and mark an end of openness to the West."
The title reported that children would be forced to sit through war movies and virtual tours through Crimea, the Russian-annexed peninsula south of mainland Ukraine.
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They would also be given lessons celebrating Russia’s “rebirth” under Putin.
Last month, Putin set up a modern youth organisation similar to the The Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization, known commonly as the Young Pioneers, a mass youth club in the Soviet Union for kids and teens between the ages of nine and 14.
The Kremlin has denied its new club is an attempt to revive the organisation – which ran from 1922 to 1991 and was largely responsible for indoctrinating the state into communist ideology.
All children will be encouraged to join the new group.
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