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Soviet general education has benefited greatly from the modernization of the content of education and the transition to new curricula and syllabuses.

Over the past decade the content of education was updated, new textbooks and teaching aids introduced, and the level of school education raised.

The more significant changes have taken place in the primary school.

The tasks of primary education in the modern school are conditioned by the general objectives of universal secondary education and by the specific age characteristics of junior schoolchildren.

Today the primary school is part and parcel - in fact, the initial stage - of general secondary education. Therefore, its tasks are as follows: to impart to pupils the knowledge and the initial scientific-materialistic notions of nature and society; to use the study material -and the entire process of instruction to enrich the pupils' consciousness, to stimulate their interest in learning, to cultivate skills and abilities; to prepare pupils for study in the next stage of the secondary school.

The programme of primary school education, besides giving the pupils a certain amount of knowledge, skills and habits, introduces them to elementary scientific notions of nature and society, inculcates in them the skills and abilities essential to the further cognition of the world, imparts to them correct views on, and attitudes to, the world around them.

Instruction in every subject aims at the development of elements of scientific-theoretical thinking in junior schoolchildren.

Much emphasis is laid in the primary school on the moral, aesthetic and physical education of children, on protecting their health.

Over the past fifteen years efforts to improve primary education resulted in a considerable shift of emphasis toward scientific education. This found its reflection in new syllabuses in mathematics, labour education and natural sciences.

The new syllabuses are based on a higher level of difficulty (but fully consistent with the abilities of junior schoolchildren), a faster rate of covering the study material and a greater proportion of theoretical knowledge. Observations have shown that following the introduction of the new syllabuses the pupils of the primary grades acquired a more thorough knowledge, and their intellectual level rose considerably.


1) The more significant changes have taken place in the primary school, haven't they?

2) What are the tasks of the primary school?

3) Does instruction in every subject aim at the development of elements of scientific-theoretical thinking in junior schoolchildren?

4) What is much emphasis in the primary school laid on?

5) What are the new syllabuses based on?

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