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The National Project in the Education Sphere (NPES) has been designed for three years (20062008) and incorporated seven main directions.

In accordance with Direction 1 (state support to those higher educational establishments (HEE) and schools that are actively implementing innovation education programs), within two years financial support will be provided to the projects and programs of no less than 6,000 schools and 30 HEEs; the amount of support rendered to a secondary school will be 1 million roubles, that to a HEE between 500 million roubles and 1 billion roubles. The funds thus received can be spent on the education and attraction of cadres, upgrading of the material and technical base, including software, renovation of premises and development of educational and methodological materials. As regards the criteria for selecting appropriate HEEs, the following are suggested: the presence of a strategic program, public administrative bodies (trusteeship and supervisory boards), the availability level of off-budget resources, the quality of the specialists qualification in accordance with an independent employers rating, the introduction of new financing mechanisms and new organizational legal forms, the participation in international projects.

In accordance with Direction 2 (Annual awards to the countrys best teachers): on the basis of competition procedures developed in cooperation with the regions, grants are envisaged, to be paid directly to the 10,000 best teachers in the amount of 100,000 roubles.

In accordance with Direction 3 (Support of active users of information technologies in education): it is envisaged to organize the development of a federal portal for remote education programs, to equip secondary schools and HEEs with computer hardware and software, and to make the access to the Internet available to 20,000 secondary schools.

In accordance with Direction 4 (Foundation of new universities and business schools for educating administrative staff): it is planned to establish, on the basis of the existing HEEs and research centers, two new national universities (for no less than 25,000 30,000 persons, including 20% of foreign students) in the Soutern and Siberian Federal Okrugs, as well as to open two business schools for the purpose of educating the administrative staff for large-scale investment projects, developing the entrepreneurial activity and modern management technologies. It is planned to allocate 3 billion roubles to the foundation of one university, and 1.5 billion roubles to the construction and equipment of one business school.

In accordance with Direction 5 (Support of talented young people): in order to provide support to young inventors and scientists, to the talented and initiative young people who have made extraordinary achievements in their studies, or in entrepreneurial or other socially important activity, it is planned to allocate 5,000 individual grants 60,000 roubles each, as well as to hold competitions, to organize summer on-site schools, to pay stipends and grants, and to develop and keep databases on talented young persons aged between 12 and 20 years.

In accordance with Direction 6 (The development of the system for vocational education in the Army): it is planned to create appropriate conditions for conscripts to attend specially established training centers and receive diplomas on primary vocational training (PVT), and for contract servicemen (no less than 5000 persons) the conditions for preparing to the enrollment to HEEs. It is planned to allocate about 5 million roubles to the creation of one such training center in the Army.

According to the RF Ministry of Education and Science, these measures are designed to make the military service more attractive and to convert the Army into an instrument for education and vocational training, as well as to increase the availability of education to certain strata of the population.

In accordance with Direction 7 (Support to teachers as a reward for classroom supervision, including the teachers of primary schools): with due regard to the special importance of the secondary school in childrearing, it is envisaged that additional monetary reimbursement is to be introduced for 900,teachers performing classroom supervision in secondary schools, as for the teachers of primary schools.

In the opinion of the Projects developers, a systemic approach to introducing changes in the education sphere in the course of implementing the NPES is to be determined by the realization of the best education practices (envisaged in the Project), the organization of special training sites, an active involvement of civil society organizations and the potential initiators of the changes (who are not government officials) in the selection procedures, as well as enhancing feedbacks through implementing analysis and monitoring systems in the education sphere.

At first sight it seems that the NPES successfully augments the abovesaid strategic documents, because it gives less prominence to organizational transformations than to the direct growth in the financing to be provided to the education sphere. It should be borne in mind that the main obstacle in the way of improving the quality of the latter is the low salaries of the teaching staff, which is the reason why this occupation, obviously, is not attractive for talented young people. However, there still remains the question as to whether the suggested additional reimbursement to teachers is going to remain outside the Projects schedule, as well as the ways these are going to be taken into account when developing a new system of salaries in the budgetary sphere. It is not clear if these measures are going to become elements naturally incorporated in the new sector-based system of reimbursement for the employees of budget-funded institutions, where a teachers salary will depend not on the number of hours spent in class, but on the quality of educational activity, including extracurricular activities, and the skills of communicating with children.

Also, the selective character of support to individual teachers, as well as to secondary schools and HEEs, is clearly in conflict with the declared goal of equalizing the availability of quality education. If for individual teachers the competition-based principle of granting the supplementary reimbursement creates an incentive for further professional growth, in the case of educational institutions the lumpsum character of financial support is the factor that consolidates their inequality.

Among the actual measures incorporated in the NPES, the following two seem to be the most dubious ones: 1) the creation of new universities and business schools (considering the shortage of qualified teaching cadres in the system, resulting from the policies previously pursued), and 2) the introduction of PVT in the Army, particularly in view of the declared intention, in the nearest future, to switch over to one-year compulsory military service: a standard PVT program, as well known, requires a minimum of three years of studies.

It should be noted that the successful implementation of the NPES idea to improve the financing of the education sphere will largely be determined by the ability to attract employers, representative of big and small-size business, to the task of its implementation. President of the Russian Union of Entrepreneurs and Industrialists (RUEI), A. Shokhin, when speaking to a greater collegium of the RF Ministry of Education and Science, declared that the business community is ready to take an active part in the process; however, in order for this to be achieved, the Government must create appropriate conditions for business attraction, e.g. in the form of tax exemptions. In other words, an active participation of the business community in implementing the NPES and modernizing the education sphere will become generally beneficial only if we succeed in switching over from the sponsorship of to the partnership with the education system, for example, within the framework of introducing new organizational legal forms of educational institutions, or education credits granted by banks at privileged rates, with the privileges in question being compensated by the State. Nevertheless, these issues are remaining beyond the actual framework of the NPES.

I. A. Rozhdestvenskaya Proposals concerning changes in the procedure of investing the pension savings of those insured persons who have not made use of their right to select an investment portfolio In the current year, the main financial departments responsible for regulation and supervision in the sphere of pension savings investment, have come to the conclusion as to a necessity of expanding the set of instruments for investing the pension savings of those insured persons who have not made use of their right to select an investment portfolio (the so-called silent ones). At the same time, different approaches are possible to the actual implementation of this task. By way of discussion, the authors are suggesting their own ideas concerning the most important, in their opinion, issues in this area.

There can be no doubts as to the feasibility of expanding the set of asset types authorized for the investment of the silent ones pension savings. At the same time, this transition must be initiated simultaneously with changing the procedure for investing these funds, thus switching over from the model that envisages the concentration of funds in the possession of a single state-owned asset manager to a competition-based model. This transition is quite possible, and, from our point of view, it can be reasonably carried out on the basis of the already existing model of pension savings investment, because the mandatory funded component of the pension system involves several dozens of millions of persons, and this fact in itself makes it necessary to undertake any transformations with great caution.

Thus, the transformation of the model for investing the pension savings of the silent ones must include two directions, that of diversifying the assets into which the pension savings of those insured persons who have failed to make use of their right to select an investment portfolio, and that of involving in the investment process certain asset managers that have been selected in accordance with additional criteria among those asset managers that have already been effectuating the entrusted management of pension savings.

The list of authorized investment instruments may include subfederal and corporate bonds. The feasibility of placing shares on the list of authorized assets may also be considered, because shares issued by enterprises, with their higher yields in a long-term perspective, represent an important source of growth in any long-term portfolio, and presently the portfolio of the silent ones in long-term, because the mass-scale payments of the funded component of labor pension will be started only from the year 2020 onward.

Besides, it seems feasible that a part of assets be placed in foreign securities, especially if one takes into account the limited capacity of the Russian stock market. The correlation between the changes in the indices of the Russian stock and those of the global stock remains low (see Fig. 1), and after the normative and legal base of investing in the stock (or shares) of foreign indexed investment funds has been developed, these investments will be able to serve as a means for additionally diversifying the aggregate pension savings investment portfolio of the silent ones.

MSCI PTS (USD) Figure 1. The RTS and MSCI indices in the years 1998 It would be feasible to augment the portfolios highly liquid component by short-term bank deposits, while maintaining the general restriction imposed on the percentage of such assets, with regard to private asset managers in their investment of pension savings (20%). Mandatory for the new model must be the condition that the established requirements concerning the securities included in the investment portfolios formed by the choice of insured persons are to be extended also to the portfolios of the silent ones. As for quantitative restrictions, these may become less conservative than those established for the investment portfolios to be chosen by insured persons.

In this connection it would be feasible also to develop the portfolios formed by asset managers as based on diversification, and not on narrow specialization. The possibilities for the State to influence the asset managers current decision-making process must also be restricted by the law. The approach to the formulation of the investment goals and restrictions can be described in more detail that in presently existing legislation; however this task cannot be fully delegated to the supervisory and regulating bodies. In is necessary to preserve the principle of entrusted management of assets.

The right to invest in federal debt obligations may be left, as before, to the state asset managing company. Such an approach will make in possible to minimize the costs of the switchover to a mew investment model.

31.03.31.05.31.07.30.09.30.11.31.01.31.03.31.05.31.07.30.09.30.11.31.01.31.03.31.05.31.07.30.09.30.11.31.01.31.03.31.05.31.07.30.09.30.11.31.01.31.03.31.05.31.07.30.09.30.11.31.01.31.03.31.05.31.07.30.09.30.11.31.01.31.03.31.05.31.07.30.09.30.11.31.01.31.03.31.05.31.07.30.09.The transition toward the mew model of investing pension savings must be gradual. The pension savings already invested by the State Asset Managing Company in the government securities of the Russian Federation are to remain under the management of the Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs;

new pension contributions, transferred by the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation to entrusted management, are to be distributed among private asset managers selected on the basis of a tender, and the State Asset Managing Company.

For insured persons, and primarily for those who have failed to execute their right to select an asset manager or a non-government pension fund, it will be necessary to preserve the right to choose the most conservative investment strategy (that is, the choice of a portfolio composed exclusively of government bonds and moneys on bank accounts). For this to be implemented, an insured persons, during the transition period, will have to submit an application to this effect to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation. This investment portfolio will be managed by the State Asset Managing Company.

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