The Soviet State: A Study of Bolshevik Rule

By Bertram W. Maxwell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XX
THE ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL, CULTURAL, AND HEALTH INSTITUTIONS

Many able studies on the educational, cultural, and health institutions are available to the interested reader. This chapter will, therefore, confine itself largely to a consideration of the legal enactments.1

In recent years the Soviet government in its task of building cultural and educational institutions has departed somewhat from its general policy of centralization. Until 1927 the administration of all public institutions was highly centralized. Now localities are encouraged to establish cultural, educational, and social welfare institutions. The establishments found throughout the country are classified as all-union, republican, and local, depending upon the sources of support and administration. If a given institution serves mainly the inhabitants of a particular area, it must be supported by local funds and administered by local organs. This regulation applies to small rural communes as well as larger territorial divisions, and includes schools, hospitals, and other public establishments. The purpose of this ruling is to develop close ties between the local population and the institutions which serve it, and arouse local civil pride and desire to support and improve local schools, hospitals, and other public institutions. It was found that in small areas, when institutions are supported by the funds granted by higher units, the local population makes no effort to supplement the grants, and frequently neglects establishments entirely.

This tendency toward devolution was further strengthened by a decree issued in 1927, which directed that the entire network of those institutions of public education, health, and social welfare having no state significance was to be transferred to the supervision of those executive committees upon whose territories

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