Despite his reputation as a brutal dictator, Stalin introduced many social policies that would help the Russian people, The two main categories that Stalin focused on were Education and Women’s Rights however to see the extent of the change we need to decide if they were for the good of the people or to cater for Stalin’s own agenda.
The state of Education in 20th Century Russia was awfully low, with people living in rural areas having little or no education, to combat this Stalin wanted to make Education more accessible and more widespread, so that everyone could access it. To do this he made education free, however it was also compulsory. The change was immediate with literacy rates in rural areas rising to up to 86%. However we can infer that this would benefit Stalin’s agenda as it would make more people aware of any propaganda that he would have issued this would enable him to promote himself as leader of Russia and cement himself in their history, this policy alone had a great impact on the Children of Russia and certain changed their lives.
Consequently though the Russian School syllabus represented Stalin’s agenda and ideas of creating the best citizens for the USSR, This would have started a process known as indoctrination that Stalin could use to benefit his governments future, as a result we see that Bolshevik ideas were taught to students and any deviation could be picked up by the secret police. Consequently the Soviets would censor any material that was not relevant to the Soviet cause. National Pride was encouraged through the teaching of Russian past as well as Stalin’s life this would benefit Stalin as it would cause him to be seen as a national hero, no doubt the material would be edited in some form. On the down side the discipline methods in schools were changed by a law passed in 1935, enabling teachers to resort to harsher methods, this could have been introduced to prepare students for military life in the lead up to 1945. The students were even targeted outside of school by organisations wanting to help them become good communists in aid of creating a stable population for the future of Russia.
The syllabus was changed to focus on maths and science the previous syllabus of Lenin’s was abandoned to make way for more of Stalin’s educational reforms. These reforms include changing the exam focus in giving the soviets a way of placing students in their future soviet roles, It is also worth mentioning these quotes from Stalin as it helps give us understanding of the reasons behind his educational reforms.
"Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." - Stalin
"Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas." - Stalin
These quotes show us that he sees education as a way of defeating his opponents and by indoctrinating the students to Bolshevik ideas then he is less likely to have enemies within his own...