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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 8. 1961.

The Scramble For Non-Manual Jobs

The Scramble For Non-Manual Jobs

It is obvious that there has been a scramble for higher education as a means of avoiding manual jobs in Russia, and that recently the trend has become embarrassing to the government. A class of privileged, highly qualified families has built up, determined to preserve its immunity from humdrum jobs. To deal with this Khruschev himself in 1958 formulated a new Education Law. School courses are reduced from 10 to eight years, with a further three years of "socially useful work" to be spent while the pupil is still enrolled. Hence no student may go straight from school to university. Although the law could give intellectuals better contacts with the "other half" of society, it could also degenerate into a handy source of cheap labour, as Khruschev made it clear that for many students (those not chosen for higher education), these three years would contain a minimum of academic work. Secondly, admission to a university (after the three year period) will only be granted on receipt of favourable testimonials from local Party, trade union and youth organisations. This erects a new political hurdle to be crossed before admission.


Cartoon of man and child making faces at each other