On December 24, 1958 the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted the law “On strengthening the relations between school and life and on popular schooling system further development in the USSR” that made a start for the school reform that lasted up to the middle of the sixties.
The reform main objective was the training of technically competent personnel for industry and national economy. The universal compulsory 8 years education replaced the 7 years one. It was introduced in 1963. The term of complete secondary education was increased from 10 to 11 years. The study at day-time or night schools or at technical secondary school was to be combined with work: two days a week the high school students of the day-time schools had to work at enterprises or on the collective farms. The secondary school graduates obtained not only the school leaving certificate but also a professional certificate.
The night education and postal tuition network extended. Those having a 3 year factory work experience had advantages for entering the higher education institution. Persons sent to receive education by enterprises, collective farms or state farms were accepted hors concours.
In practice the slogan about the relationships between school and life was not quite implemented. The general schools transfer for the industrial education did not realize due to the shortage of work places for schoolchildren. Only a small part of graduates chose their future work according to the profession obtained at school. At the same time the level of general education of students decreased significantly.
Thus in 1964-1966 the school returned to the 10 year education term but the 8 year compulsory education remained. The professional training was provided only in those schools that had the required material resources.
Lit.: Народное образование в СССР. Сб. документов, 1917-1973 гг. М., 1974; Образование взрослых на рубеже веков: вопросы методологии, теории и практики. Т. 1. Социально-экономические и правовые предпосылки развития образования взрослых. Кн. 1. История развития образования взрослых в России. СПб., 2000; Политехническое образование // Российская педагогическая энциклопедия. Т. 2. М., 1999.
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