Book panic grips parents again

Miranda Ingrams

With the new school year starting, a bizarre controversy surrounds Russia's annual textbook panic.

While the Minister of Education Yevgeny Tkachov says that the bulk of next year's textbooks have been distributed by his ministry, the director of Goskompechat, the state publishing house, claims that since the allocated funds have not yet been released, textbooks are very unlikely to be printed in time.

Russia has 450 million books in use, covering 200 titles. However, a new system of subsidising book costs either by sponsors, such as Inkombank or the Soros Foundation, or by parents, has caused a national outcry because of the continuing high prices.

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