Parents complain about kids being made to sing Russian anthem

January 28th, 2009 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Jan 28 (RIA Novosti) Parents of schoolchildren from the town of Lobnya have complained about children being made to sing the national anthem in school, adding if the children hear the anthem anywhere else they suddenly jump up and start singing like zombies, Russian media has reported. According to a parent, whose name has not been disclosed, each Monday children at Lobnya’s school number 5 have to arrive some 15 minutes earlier and sing the national anthem along with teachers. Those who arrive late have to wait outside and face a reprimand.

Lobnya is some 27 km north of Moscow.

“The school’s administration went too far with its patriotic values,” the Ekho Moskvy radio station quoted a parent as saying, adding that if the children hear the anthem anywhere else they suddenly “jump up and start singing like zombies”.

The school’s headmaster, Vladimir Zinovyev, said the complaint was filed by a mother of a first-year pupil.

“This is only the opinion of a woman, who preferred to stay anonymous,” he said.

The education ministry of the Moscow region admitted sending recommendations to schools to teach patriotic values and state symbols in 2003, but said they should not be included in the educational programme.

Russian education legislation allows schools to develop their compulsory education programmes on their own.

“If it was authorised by a legitimate body and was agreed with the school’s administration, the matter would be settled. No one has the right to interfere in it. This does not contradict the Russian constitution and any existing laws,” the head of Russia’s education policy institute Alexander Adamsky said, adding that singing the national anthem in schools was “absolutely normal”.

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