Secondary Educational Institutions, Specialized

Secondary Educational Institutions, Specialized


in the USSR, educational institutions that train personnel for industry, construction, transportation, communications, agriculture, various branches of culture, and public health. Such personnel supervises workers in industry, assists highly skilled specialists, and performs work demanding both specialized skills and theoretical knowledge. The specialized secondary educational institutions also offer advanced training for such personnel.

The first military and civilian technical, medical, agricultural, and pedagogical specialized secondary schools were founded in Europe in the 18th century. In Russia these included metallurgical schools in the Urals; an artillery school (founded in 1712), a military feldshers’ school (1754), a theatrical school (1783), a teacher-training school (1786), and a midwives’ school (1797) in St. Petersburg; and a military feldshers’ school (1764), a commercial school (1773), and a midwives’ school (1797) in Moscow.

As industry, the economy, and culture developed in the 19th century, industrial, technical, and agricultural schools were founded, including the Moscow Farming School (1822), the Kras-noufimsk (1875), Moscow (1883), and Irkutsk (1889) industrial technical schools, the Komissarovskoe (1886, in Moscow) and Briansk (1890) technical schools, and the Kharkov Agricultural School (1855). Graduates received the title of mechanical, construction, chemical, or metallurgical technician or of junior or assistant agronomist. Schools for navigation and shipbuilding, including the Arkhangel’sk School of Long-distance Navigation (1841), the Rostov School of Navigation (1876), and the Odessa School of Merchant Navigation (1898), trained specialists for the merchant fleet. Commercial schools trained office personnel for banks and commercial firms and merchants for the management of independent commercial transactions. Primary-school teachers were trained in teacher-training schools, and feldshers in civilian feldshers’ schools. By the end of the 19th century, there were 143 specialized secondary educational institutions, including 14 secondary technical schools, 12 agricultural schools, 11 navigation,

Table 2. Number of specialists with specialized secondary education employed in the national economy
All specialists ...............1,492,0007,175,0009,988,00011,977,000
Technicians ...............324,0002,887,0004,333,0005,373,000
Agronomists, zootechnicians, andveterinary feldshers ...............89,000465,000597,000698,000
Planners and statisticians ...............31,000571,000950,0001,248,000
Commodities specialists ...............5,000219,000396,000520,000
Lawyers ...............6,00016,00021,00026,000
Medical personnel, including dentists ...............393,0001,454,0001,862,0002,125,000
Teachers and library and cultural-educational personnel ...............536,0001,282,0001,459,0001,559,000

shipbuilding, and ship’s mechanics’ schools, 64 teacher-training schools, and 34 feldshers’ schools.

In the early 20th century, the tsarist government was compelled to extend the network of specialized secondary educational institutions. In 1914–15 there were 450 such schools with 54,000 students, including 50 industrial, construction, and transportation schools, more than 20 agricultural and surveying schools, and 65 schools for feldshers and midwives. There were no specialized secondary educational institutions in Kirghizia, Tadzhikistan, or Turkmenia, and Uzbekistan and Armenia had one each.

During the early years of Soviet power, about 450 new specialized secondary educational institutions, called technicums, were founded. In 1921–22, 936 technicums, with 123,300 students, were training personnel for specialized work in mining, metallurgy, mechanics, electromechanics, chemistry, construction, textiles, the food industry, industrial farming, photography, motion-picture technology, transportation, agriculture, medicine, and pedagogy. During the 1930’s the number of specializations greatly increased, and evening and correspondence divisions were established in technicums; in 1930 such divisions were in operation at 584 technicums. New technicums were founded in the Urals, the Far East, Siberia, Kazakhstan, and the republics of Middle Asia, mainly near large industrial construction sites. In 1940 there were 3,773 specialized secondary educational institutions, with 974,800 students, including 787,300 in daytime divisions.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), more than 600 specialized secondary educational institutions were destroyed. In 1945–4–6, there were 3,169 technicums and schools with 1,007,700 students. In the 1950’s, specialized evening and correspondence technicums were founded, and the network of evening and correspondence divisions at daytime educational institutions was expanded to train full-time workers in industry in various specializations.

In 1975 there were approximately 4,300 specialized secondary educational institutions, including 41 correspondence and 223 evening schools. The total of 4.5 million students, of whom 53 percent were women, included 2.8 million in the daytime system. As Table 1 shows, specialized secondary educational institutions have been established in all the Union republics.

There are two basic types of specialized secondary educational institutions: technicums and schools (uchilishcha). The former provide training for work in industry, construction, transportation, communications, agriculture, economics, and cooperatives. The latter train students for careers in education, medicine, music, art, and the theater. The other term denoting a school (shkola) is traditionally applied to certain educational institutions such as cultural-education schools and militia schools. Some other schools, such as technical schools, naval schools, and schools for river navigation, have retained their traditional name of uchilishche. The secondary military educational institutions are a distinct group. In the 1960’s a new type of specialized secondary educational institution was established, the sovkhoz-tech-nicum, in which study is integrated with agricultural production. In 1975, there were more than 200 sovkhoz-technicums.

The specialized secondary educational institutions generally train specialists in several closely related fields; polytechnic schools are occasionally established for the same purpose.

The organization and curricula of the specialized secondary educational institutions were defined by the Statute on Specialized Secondary Educational Institutions in the USSR, ratified by a decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of Jan. 22, 1969. Specialized secondary educational institutions are generally under the authority of the ministries for which the institutions train specialists; some are under the authority of the ministries of higher and specialized secondary education or of the ministries of education (or public education) of the Union republics. The Ministry of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education of the USSR exercises overall authority.

Specialized secondary educational institutions offer daytime, evening, and correspondence study. They give instruction in groups of related disciplines, such as technology, electrical engineering, and mechanics. Many technicums and schools have branches and educational consultation centers at enterprises, construction sites, organizations, and institutions.

Instruction is organized according to curricula and syllabi approved by the Ministry of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education of the USSR. The syllabi for some specialized subjects are developed and approved by various ministries or departments on the authorization of the Ministry of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education of the USSR.

Specialized secondary educational institutions have standard rules for admission. All citizens may enroll regardless of sex, race, nationality, religion, social origin, or property status. Daytime divisions admit persons up to 30 years of age who have completed at least eight grades of school; evening and correspondence divisions have no age limitation. There are shortened courses of study for graduates of secondary general-education schools. Applicants for admission take two or three competitive examinations. Graduates of eight-year schools take a dictation in the Russian language and written and oral examinations in mathematics. Graduates of secondary schools take an examination in the Russian language and write a composition dealing with Russian literature. They also take an examination related to a given field of specialization, for example, an examination in chemistry for a specialization in technology and in mathematics for a specialization in mechanics and construction. Some specialized secondary educational institutions give entrance examinations to determine the applicant’s aptitude for a vocation, for example, an examination in drawing for art school and in musical ability for music school. Persons who have graduated from secondary school with a gold medal or from an eight-year school with a certificate of merit are admitted without examination.

Table 1
 1914–15 (within present boundaries)1974–75
Number of educational institutionsNumber of studentsNumber of educational institutionsNumber of students
RSFSR ...............29735,44002,4772,673,000
Ukrainian SSR ...............8812,500731779,000
Byelorussian SSR ...............151,400131152,700
Uzbek SSR ...............1100183176,800
Kazakh SSR ...............7300207226,200
Georgian SSR ...............55009550,300
Azerbaijan SSR ...............35007771,500
Lithuanian SSR ...............131,5007867,700
Moldavian SSR ...............55004753,000
Latvian SSR ...............111,3005440,900
Kirghiz SSR ...............3742,700
TadzhikSSR ...............3838,200
Armenian SSR ...............11006451,700
Turkmen SSR ...............3028,600
Estonian SSR ...............42003724,600
Total for USSR ...............45054,3004,2864,477,800

The course of study in daytime divisions for graduates of eight-year schools is three or four years, and for graduates of secondary general-education schools, one and a half to three years—generally two and a half years. Graduates of specialized secondary educational institutions receive a standard diploma and badge.

Textbooks and learning aids in general technical and specialized disciplines are published for students in specialized secondary educational institutions. More than 70 percent of the students receive stipends, and many of the educational institutions provide dormitory accommodations.

Specialized secondary educational institutions are of great significance in the implementation of universal secondary education in the USSR; between 1971 and 1975 they provided secondary education for more than 3 million persons. Specialized secondary educational institutions exist in most other countries as well.


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