V. I.   Lenin



Dictated: Dictated by phone on September 8, 1921
Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXIII. Printed from the text in Lydia Fotieva’s hand.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 291c-292a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Zinoviev:

I have received the eight drafts of the People’s Commissariat for Education which you have sent me.[1] I cannot agree with you that this should not be a matter of urgency or that there is anything wrong in the drafts. I am afraid that you have not taken enough care to read them. There is nothing in the drafts about applying the commercial principle to the schools. There is only a point about attracting the local population, especially peasants,   to participation in the maintenance of schools. I believe this to be absolutely correct, and certainly an urgent necessity. Of course, amendments may be required on some particulars, and these could be made during the discussion of the draft, but I repeat that they are essentially quite correct. Signs of anything like the commercial principle can be found in the eighth draft only, namely, the right to organise and lease enterprises to supply institutions of the People’s Commissariat for Education. But even this draft, and it is the one which you have failed to underline, I consider to be absolutely correct, because without such measures it is impossible to improve the maintenance of schools, or to alleviate the starving of teachers. I absolutely fail to see where you have spotted any relaxation of the principle of retaining the schools in our hands. I have found nothing to that effect in the points you have underscored, nor in the eighth project, in particular. More and more should be taken from the peasants for the maintenance of local schools.



[1] A reference to the drafts prepared by the People’s Commissariat for Education which served as a basis for working out the decision “On Measures to Improve the Supply of Schools and Other Educational Establishments”. It was passed by the C.P.C. on September 15, and was published in Izvestia VTsIK No. 212 on September 23, 1921. See Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Edition, Vol. 53, Document 304.

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