The National Education Doctrine of the Russian Federation (2000) lists the following tasks:
- harmonisation of inter-ethnic relations;
- preservation and support of ethnic and national identity of Russia’s peoples;
- preservation of languages and cultures of all the nationalities;
- development of education and cultures of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East; and
- preservation and development of the Russian language role in uniting the multicultural state.
Recent developments in education were influenced by increased migration and by a growing ethnic self-awareness. On the one hand, according to the Law on National Cultural Autonomies, many schools based on ethnic principles were established, which actually lead to isolation of children and lower training standards. On the other hand, in Moscow, an integrative approach was piloted: a dedicated curriculum for migrants’ children has been introduced, by which, for one year, they study the Russian language and receive basic cultural knowledge on how to socialise in new milieus; following this training, they are admitted to mainstream schools. Similar programmes were developed in other regions.
Some initiatives of cultural workers were also realised, e.g. the project of museum teachers on cultural diversity of the world’s peoples for primary schools, which was an extension of an international project. However, these initiatives, though numerous enough, are mainly based on the personal input of cultural workers and lack a systematic approach. More often, the emphasis in arts / cultural education for children is put on the study of their own traditional and folklore culture as it is believed important for building up personal value systems and identity, for social and cultural rehabilitation, participation and activities.
In 2009, discussions on introducing a course on religious culture in the general education system resulted in a Presidential commission to pilot six pertinent courses (on the basics of Orthodox, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Judaist and world religious cultures and secular ethics) in schools of 19 regions.