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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2018 year, number 2


G.E. Kornilov, I.I. Chernysheva
Institute of History and Archaeology UB RAS, 16, Kovalevskaya str., Ekaterinburg, 620990, Russian Federation
Keywords: история образования взрослых, борьба с неграмотностью, формирование системы образования, грамотность населения, Урал, Свердловская область, history of adult education, fight against illiteracy, educational system formation, population literacy, Urals, Sverdlovsk Region


The article analyzes the experience of the illiteracy elimination in the postwar years (1946-1958). Its evaluation in the historical literature is ambiguous, different opinions exist about the time for ending the illiteracy elimination in the country. Authors study painstaking work carried out to overcome illiteracy in an industrialized area of the country - Sverdlovsk Region, based on archival documents. This regional approach has made it possible to identify the specific features of training the adult working population in difficult postwar years. The process of teaching adult illiterates in the postwar years was spasmodic, as its completion was planned for a short period: for the years of the Fourth Five-Year Plan, then by 1953, by 1955, and by 1959. The authors single out several stages in the process of the illiteracy liquidation: 1946-1953, 1953-1957, and 1958. They were distinguished by searching optimal forms to teach literacy. The task of eliminating adult illiteracy was “sluggish” during the first two phases, as the contradiction between high planned targets and insufficient funding for this program was not resolved. The main burden of financing the elimination of illiteracy was borne by the state; public organizations, primarily trade unions, did not have the opportunity to allocate sufficient funds for this work. Since 1953, the public education authorities expanded the education of adult illiterates by opening primary schools and grades in working and rural youth schools. However, these schools could not encompass the training of all working illiterates. In 1958, an attempt was made, with combined efforts of educational bodies, Communist party, Komsomol and trade union organizations, to teach the same number of illiterates in a year as they had trained for the whole post-war period. The results of the All-Union population census of 1959 showed that the illiteracy of persons aged 16 to 49 in the region was eliminated, and the male part of this population group achieved general literacy. The article analyzes the extensive statistical material, which made it possible to draw a conclusion on the successful work to eliminate the adult population illiteracy in the region.