Russian Military Veterans to Teach Defense and Security Course to Schoolchildren
In a move that highlights the growing militarism within Russian society, the country’s Education Minister, Sergey Kravtsov, announced that military veterans who fought in Ukraine will now be sent to teach schoolchildren a new practical course on defense and security issues. This decision comes as Russia continues to reform its school curriculum in the aftermath of its war against Ukraine.
According to a report by the TASS news agency, a new center was established this year to retrain veterans who participated in special military operations as teachers. The term “special military operation” is exactly how Russia officially refers to its war in Ukraine. Minister Kravtsov stated that those who participated in the relevant battles will be involved in the practice of building a new disciplinary field, with a focus on the foundations of national security and defense in practical training.
The Ministry of Defense also announced that a new curriculum has been added for the current school year, which includes military skills, Russia’s perspective on Ukraine’s history, and significant events such as the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Last year, Russia’s parliament approved curriculum reforms that included a military training module for senior students, teaching them the use of weapons, piloting drones, and battlefield first aid measures.
President Vladimir Putin has expressed his desire for military veterans to play an active role in public life, and this move to involve them in the education system aims to further promote the nation’s military values. In fact, Putin recently held an open class for 30 primary school students on the first day of school.
Starting from September 1 next year, the new “Basics of Security and Defense of the Fatherland” course taught by military veterans will be introduced in classrooms across the country. The aim of this curriculum is to instill in students the fundamentals of the Kremlin’s “special military operations,” promote military thinking, and reduce the training time required for future maneuvers and deployments.
Official figures reveal that at least 133,000 Russians have been officially discharged from the conflict in Ukraine, entitling them and their families to significant financial and other benefits. Critics argue that the introduction of this militaristic approach to education raises concerns about the glorification of conflict and raises questions about the true purpose of these reforms. As Russia continues to integrate military values into its education system, the impact on its society remains to be seen.