Dialogue with High Commissioner. Boarding school

02 May 2017

One of the fundamental goals of the modern society is upbringing and education of the younger generation. It is twice as tough to provide education for children with disabilities, and I try to pay particular attention to such appeals.

Chief Editor of the Echo Moskvy website Vitaly R. applied to me for protection of the right to affordable education of the pupils of Samara Boarding school № 17 for students with health limitations.

According to the applicant, with the shift to five-day operating mode it was forbidden for the children to stay at the educational institution on weekends. Their parents were obliged to pick up the pupils before 5 p.m. on Friday and bring them back by 8 a.m. on Monday. Previously, graduates of the boarding school had applied to the regional authorities and directly to the school administration in order to abolish five-day operating mode. There had been no response from the officials.

The main problem was that some children came from rural areas of the Samara Region. The way home is a time-consuming and expensive challenge for them.

Having studied the complaint, I sent an inquiry to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Samara Region.

According to the reply which was received in the middle of March, the Ministry provided the children with the opportunity to stay at school on weekends and also considered the parent’s applications in regard to convenient schedule of comings and goings of children.

The actions of the school authorities were not contrary to law and the norms adopted by the Russian Ministry of Health. Furthermore, there was no such category as orphaned children among the pupils, hence, their parents or legal representatives were responsible for them. The parents had been informed of the forthcoming operating mode change a few months before. Moreover, the authorities arranged teacher’s duty in case a child was brought before Monday.

Currently, one of 200 pupils stays at school on weekends. Girl K. comes home rarely and doesn’t spend much time with her mother. More often she is picked up by her elder brothers. The mother is indifferent to her parental duties; she has never worked and lives off the disability pension of her disabled children.

Since there is no prohibition to stay at the boarding school on weekends fixed in health standards for provision of education and upbringing of disabled children and taking the girl’s difficult life situation into account, the matter was decided in her favor.

It is a pity to understand that a child has been deprived of her mother’s warmth, and nobody can help her with it. However, I did my best to provide affordable environment for K.

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