Russian Schoolteachers Face Difficult Challenges

[The] Kremlin is convinced that professionals who are paid more than $1,500 a month are a potential threat…

Moscow Times

To economize on teachers’ salaries is to condemn the country to serious problems in the future. That is obvious. It will inevitably result in a low-quality system of education. __ Source

Teacher’s Pay Not Enough for Food, Clothing

Russian Schoolteacher's Dilemma Source

Russian Teachers’ Dilemma

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev … told teachers who are upset by their extremely low salaries that they have only themselves to blame and should become businessmen and businesswomen if they want more money ( Not surprisingly, many teachers are outraged, and one outlet has come up with examples of the second jobs that teachers have to take in order to make ends meet. Among these jobs, the survey finds, are work as prostitutes and striptease dancers. __ More

Teachers, doctors, and workers of all kinds in Russia are struggling to find enough money to pay for food to eat and clothes to wear. Some mothers are so desperate they are offering to sell their organs so that children can be fed: ” A woman in Rostov oblast has been driven to despair over her inability to feed her children and has offered to sell her heart to anyone who needs it so that there will be money enough after her death to feed her children.” Source via WOE2 Things are not getting better.

41% of Russians Say There is No Money for Food or Clothing

These numbers are up from the same research conducted in May, which concluded that 40% of the population could not afford basic goods such as food and clothing, and 21.1% considered themselves to be in a poor personal financial situation.

The Higher School of Economics’ findings were based on polls conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center and information provided by the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat).

According to the surveys, 31% of retirees consider their financial situation to be poor, compared to 20-22% in the spring.

The HSE’s study noted that the majority of Russians have a negative outlook in regard to the economic situation in the country. Only 19-21% of respondents believed that the most difficult times were behind them.


These numbers from the Moscow Higher School of Economics tell a story that is diametrically opposite to what Kremlin trolls and propagandists are attempting to sell. Instead of rebounding, Russia’s economy only sinks lower and lower, and the people’s suffering increases.

Russian leaders, however, are quite understanding. Wealthy themselves, they go out of their way to relate to unfortunate workers who have been blindsided by the consequences of Kremlin decisions over the past 2 1/2 years. Certainly Putin ignores their plight, but Medvedev goes out of his way to provide helpful advice:


Medvedev suggested that teachers can “make ends meet” by “lecturing” on the side and taking on second jobs, and anyway, this is all your own fault, teachers:

“Every person chooses what’s important to him in life… If you just want to make money, then there are many wonderful places where you can do that. But you didn’t go into business, did you? Well, there you go.”

There you go. You went into education. Now you can’t survive on your salary alone, there you go.

The prime minister, who briefly kept Putin’s presidential throne warm from 2008 to 2012, is currently working out three annual budgets while exalting the Napoleonic code. With Russia ass-deep in a recession, he’s used to questions about money, and this is not the first time he’s given an answer that strains the people’s capacity for relentless government cynicism.

When visiting Crimea in May, the prime minister was confronted on the street by an angry elderly woman who asked him if the abysmal pensions are going to be raised any time soon.

“There’s just no money right now,” Medvedev said, shuffling quickly away. “You hang in there. Best wishes! Cheers! Take care!” __

After recent pay cuts, Russian schoolteachers may earn under $160 per month — less than teachers make in Mexico, Turkey, or Greece — making it difficult to feed and clothe themselves, much less a family. Russian winters are very cold, making warm clothes and ample calorie intake mandatory to sustain life and strong immunity against disease.

Under Putin’s brave new reign of neo-imperialism, infectious disease rates and other causes of premature mortality have shot upward. Spending on health care is being slashed, and Russians are retreating to cheap spirits in an attempt to escape a tragic reality.

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In 10-15 years, Russia will face a shortage of teachers aged 35-40 – the most productive age. At the same time, most teachers who began their careers during the Soviet period will reach retirement age, and it will be impossible to replace them. __ Moscow Times

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