Orphans should have preferential access to vocational education in Russia.
The Presidential Ombudsman for Children’s Rights has sent a proposal to the State Duma to reintroduce benefits for orphans when they enter secondary vocational education institutions.
As stated on the ombudsman’s website, until 2012 Russia had a law according to which orphans and children left without parental care were guaranteed a place at institutions of secondary vocational education if they passed the entrance examination. Now she wants to return to this system.
Anna Kuznetsova wrote in a letter that ‘considering that the previously existing state guarantee is still relevant and in demand, and professional opportunity is a key factor in the successful employment and socialisation of orphans, the ombudsman for children’s rights proposes making appropriate changes that would provide orphans with an additional guarantee of preferential admission to training programmes of secondary vocational education’.
Kuznetsova also suggested allowing orphans with disabilities, who have a certificate of training, to receive further education through vocational training programmes. They have access to adapted educational programmes and receive only this certificate, which does not currently allow them to further receive secondary vocational education.
According to the current legislation, when enrolling in cadet and Suvorov military schools orphans have the right to preferential admission, but the children’s ombudsman was outraged by the fact that in practice they are only being admitted when they are competitive with other candidates.
‘Parents often give their children additional training for entrance tests, and orphans do not always have such an opportunity,’ Kuznetsova says. She therefore proposes to provide additional benefits to orphans in preparation for military or other public service.
She also touched upon the topic of post-adoption and adult support of orphans in her address. She proposed that they be classified as citizens in need of social services, and at the same time empowered with services that would contribute to socialisation, improvement of living conditions, and expansion of opportunities for self-sustaining living needs.