Student questionnaires withdrawn

<< No 7 (240), 20 February 2017 >>

♦  Officials confiscate history questionnaires  ♦

Officials of the Rybinsk education department in the Yaroslavl Region (Central Russia) have seized questionnaires completed by students at the request of the literary scholar Marietta CHUDAKOVA prior to her visit to the town. The children were answering questions about their attitude to politicians: Vladimir LENIN; Josef STALIN; and Boris YELTSIN.

The Internet journal “7х7” reported the incident and Chudakova herself has described the meeting with readers in Yaroslavl on 7th February.

chudakova-mariettaAccording to Chudakova, the collection of students’ opinions is a tradition, and the literary specialist is seeking to expand on the feedback she gathers to these questions in each city she visits. From the start, Chudakova specified, the municipal education department supported her initiative. However, afterwards as the meetings with her were cancelled in some municipal institutions, the employees of the department took away the questionnaires directly from the librarians who were typing up the students’ answers from their papers.
Chudakova comments:
“In all my trips across the country I have never asked for help from officials, and I was certain that this time it would not turn out well. The librarians who were typing out my questionnaires told me that they were left with ‘a very strong impression’. They managed to type out about half of the questionnaires until they were ordered to hand over the paper copies of the answers. They thought this is some sort of fetishism, as in a primitive society, they think that if they take away the manuscripts of the questionnaires, then something is resolved.”

The cancellation of all Chudakova’s planned events in Rybinsk was reported on 2nd February. The online newspaper “Cheremukha” published the response from the town hall’s press office:

“They sent the applications to some organisations too late, there were already other events that were planned there, because these plans were made earlier. As for School No.2, the situation there was a bit different. Because we are now carrying out routine measures for flu prevention in educational establishments, events with large numbers of people are restricted at the moment.”
 Andrei Chekanov, board chairman of the NGO “Open Rybinsk”,said that all the forms had been submitted in good time.

Translated by Frances Robson
9 February 2017


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