Private higher education for orphans
Parentless children will be able to study
in private colleges and institutions of higher education
former residents of children’s homes will be able to look forward to receiving
the same grants when attending private educational institutions as they do when
studying at a state college, technical college or institute of higher
education. In particular, when they graduate they will receive a one-off
payment. Furthermore, the young people will be supplied with clothing and
footwear. The funds needed will be supplied from the public purse. Private
secondary, special and higher educational establishments will be subject to the
same social obligations as state ones. This is the effect of an amendment to
the Additional Provision of Social Support to Parentless Children and Orphans
Law. The new provisions come into force on 1 February 2012.
director of the charity Partnership in Hope, Inga Okryzhnaya, thinks that from
the point of view of implementing parentless children’s rights, this is the
correct approach. ‘They will have more possibilities open to them when they are
choosing where to study. If a young person is minded to study at a private
college, s/he will need state help’, she told the ASI correspondent.
the other hand, this innovation will not only support parentless children but
also equalise the rights of the private and state sectors, Irina Ryazanova,
director of the charity Great Change, that aids the education of parentless
children, told the ASI correspondent. ‘I know of cases where private
establishments have acted charitably, and paid a young person’s educational
expenses in whole or in part. Why should the colleges not receive state
support?’ she asked.
Ms Okruzhnaya told the ASI correspondent, former residents of children’s homes
aged 18-23 usually study at state establishments. ‘What attracts them is the
availability of hostel accommodation. I doubt that commercial educational
establishments have hostels that they could use’, she said.
for the majority of former residents of children’s homes the grant that they
receive after graduating from a state establishment constitutes an important
means of support. Ms Ryazanova thought this was why state educational
establishments are seen as the preferred option.
experts doubt whether the majority of former children’s home residents will be
able to take advantage of the new arrangement. ‘It is difficult to imagine that
parentless young people would be able to finance their own education in a
private establishment. Where will they get the money from to study in a fee
paying institution?’ asked Ms Okruzhnaya. Ms Ryazanova agrees that they will
not be able to do so in every case. However, she insists that the proposed
amendment is a suitable one.