Education: Restructuring the 3 R's

Though socialism still rules the curriculum, students are encouraged to think for themselves. But did anyone tell the teachers?

Galina Boyko, principal of School No. 32 in Moscow, was teaching Russian literature to a class of 13-year-olds when a boy shot his hand into the air and asked about man's need for religion. Boyko, a 32-year veteran of the classroom, was understandably startled: religion has long been taboo in Soviet schools. But instead of avoiding the issue, she led her students through a 30- minute debate on the universal search for faith. "Before school reform, parents would have come to me, frightened that religion had even come up," Boyko said. "Now no one is surprised."

In School No. 79 across...

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