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Putin Says Russian Teachers' Wages To Increase 2-Fold in 2003
By Veronika Voskoboinikova

UFA, January 4 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the wages of teachers and scientists in the country will increase two-fold in 2003, as compared with the previous year.

"One of the main problems regarding remuneration for the employees on the state payroll is the uniform pay scale," Putin said at a meeting with teachers of the Ufa State Oil Technological University.

The president called for the introduction of separate pay scales in branches of economy.

Putin said he believed one of the main tasks in educating young people in Russia is to develop their independence and freedom. Moses needed 40 years to do it, but it's too long for us, he said.

"One should remove all the negativity linked with the one-party monopoly and voluntarism of the Soviet era," he noted.

It is very important to teach a person to learn. Self-education is the most important thing in the rapidly changing world, he said.

The head of state also stressed the necessity of education in the spirit of universal human values, honesty and decency.

One of the pressing tasks of the state is to reduce the flow of capital and personnel out of the country, Putin said. However, he acknowledged that one cannot boast any special achievements in this field.

One cannot ensure positive results in this sphere promptly, by administrative decisions, it requires gradual efforts, according to the president.

In his view, in order to reduce the outflow of skilled personnel, the state should foremost take measures to protect intellectual property. He called this problem "complex" and linked with the outflow of capital. Personnel and capital concentrate where they can function most effectively, he said.

Putin noted that the outflow of capital from Russia had been decreasing.

In the president's view, the structure of the Russian economy should gradually change - from the currently prevailing fuel and energy sector to high technologies, foremost information technologies.

At the same time, the fuel and energy sector was needed and will continue to be needed. "Hopefully, the decision to restructure it will take into account the interests of the state and business, as well as national interests," Putin said when speaking about the use of natural resources.

He believes that given the active industrial development in foreign countries, for example, in China, there is no great abundance of energy sources. The Russian fuel and energy sector therefore has good prospects, the more so because the situation in Russia is more stable than in the Middle East.

Commenting about prospects for the sphere of natural resources, Putin noted that Russia will scale up geological surveying and the production and overhaul the tax system in this sphere.

The Ufa State Oil Technological University was set up on the basis of the Moscow Gubkin Oil and Gas Institute evacuated from the Russian capital in 1941.

At present, it is one of the country's largest colleges training more than 10,000 students and employing 800 teachers, including 120 Doctors of Science and 500 Candidates of Science.

The 55 departments of the university provide training for 25 professions.

Some 50 percent of the students and 160 foreigners pay for the tuition. The university has good recreation and sports facilities. Almost all non-resident students have been accommodated in hostels and have an opportunity to use sports facilities.

The university runs its own health center on the bank of the Pavlovsky water reservoir.

Many university graduates later became top executives. Among the graduates are dozens of ministers, deputy ministers, and executives at such major companies as Transneft, LUKOIL, Rosneft and Transnefteprodukt.

In Putin's view, the foreigners who arrived in Russia for higher education, should foremost learn the Russian language.

"Let foreigners study Russian," the president noted. He reminded in this connection that foreign astronauts working on the International Space Station speak fluent Russian. If students come here, let them learn Russian, the president said.

In his opinion, Russian students at Russian colleges must know at least one foreign language well enough to talk with and understand their interlocutor.

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