Abstract and keywords
Abstract (English):
Based on the materials of the Mordovian ASSR, the article analyzes the problem of the development of school education in rural areas in the post-war period. Attention is focused on the involvement in the education of children in rural areas, the training of teaching staff, the material and technical condition of schools, the provision of educational and methodological literature.

Mordovian ASSR, post-war period, education system, rural school
Publication text (PDF): Read Download

Despite numerous human losses in the war with Nazi Germany and its allies, the destroyed cities and villages, the leadership of the Soviet Union understood that it was necessary to solve the problem of restoring the country's socio-economic system, which had been undermined during the war years, as soon as possible. An important role in this was assigned to the development of intellectual potential, which was based on universal school education, which was actively promoted in the 1920s and 1930s and was seriously affected during the four war years. The network of school institutions itself was preserved, continued to work under conditions of great restrictions, but there was not enough teaching staff, the material and technical support and supply of schools with educational and methodological literature were extremely deplorable. Therefore, immediately after the end of the war, the government set clear tasks in overcoming all existing difficulties and further developing the education system, which was really supposed to become universal.

All the difficulties of the post-war education system are clearly visible on the example of certain regions of the country. In particular, the entire spectrum of existing problems and actions to overcome them can be seen in the example of the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (MASSR), which during the war years was the rear area of the country, but experienced all the difficulties of wartime.

So, for the 1945/46 academic year, it was planned to fully cover school-age children with primary education, to eliminate the shortage of educational and educational-methodical literature. Basically, the tasks were completed. So, in the 1945/46 academic year, 1305 schools operated in the MASSR, of which 917 were primary, 291 were seven-year, and 97 were secondary. The total contingent was 132,926 people, where 101,996 people studied in grades 1–4, 25637 in grades 5–7 and 3,234 people in grades 8–10 [5, p. 145].

However, a large percentage of those not covered by primary education remained, for the 1946/47 academic year there were 5133 people, where 3612 people were supposed to study in general education schools and 1512 people in overgrown groups [5, p. 145]. So, in the school of the village of Novaya Aleksandrovka, Meltsansky District, for the 1946/47 academic year, out of 194 children aged 8 to 11 years old, 6 did not study, and at the age of 12 to 15 years, 17 people did not attend classes [16, l. 2].

In the 1948/49 academic year, the autonomy moved to the implementation of a plan for universal seven-year education in rural areas. So, most of the schoolchildren who graduated from the 4th grade (22344 people) in 1948 were transferred to the 5th grade (22316 people) [13, l. 14-15]. One of the measures to attract public attention to the life of the school, education was to be the establishment of the annual holiday "School Day", the celebration of which was planned on September 1 or the first Sunday in September, starting in 1949 [10, p. 41-43].

By 1950, 43 primary schools were reorganized into seven-year schools, and boarding schools were opened at 20 seven-year schools. And that for the 1949-50 academic year in the republic there were 337 seven-year schools, of which 329 were in rural areas [14, l. 19]. 

However, there are also shortcomings in the implementation of the seven-year rural education. In particular, for the 1948/49 academic year, about 403 people. at the age of 7 to 15 years were not involved in training [5, p. 148].

Just as in the war years, the percentage of students who do not succeed remains high. So, in the village of Novotroitskoye, Staroshaigovsky district, at the beginning of the 1945/46 academic year, there were 236 students in the school, of which there were 106 underachieving students, who had from 1 to 12 twos - 51 students [2, p. 90]. For 1948/49 ac. year in the republic 561 schoolchildren were expelled, for absences without good reason and academic failure. In particular, this indicator was significant in the schools of the Saransk district - 46 people, Atyashevsky - 37 people, Elnikovsky - 36 people, Atyurievsky - 27 people, Bolshebereznekovsky - 27 people, Kozlovsky - 25 people and Temnikovsky district - 20 people. The dropouts were mainly caused by low school attendance due to the remoteness of settlements from school buildings. At the same time, the District Department of Public Education (DDPE) was unable to properly organize the delivery of children or organize accommodation in apartments, which to a greater extent was reflected in the total dropout rate of students [5, p. 148].

In 1951, a significant attempt was made to enumerate all children between the ages of 6 and 15 who were to be admitted to the 1st grade. On August 1, 1951, a colossal work was carried out by school teachers to sample data on the age of children from household books and by means of house-to-house rounds, as a result of the work carried out, 171303 people were counted. However, universal coverage was again not achieved due to the poor performance of local executive committees, which often did not participate at all in the registration of children. So, in the Kadoshkinsky district, 4429 people aged from 7 to 15 years old were counted, and in fact, 4601 people came to the classes, in the Lyambirsky district, 4291 people were counted, and 4402 people came to the classes [5, p. 148].

The total contingent of students for the 1951/52 academic year, together with overgrown classes, amounted to more than 186 thousand people, but about 2822 people remained not covered by education, where 338 people did not attend school due to illness, 514 people did not attend school, 514 people did not work on a collective farm, 533 people did not go to work on a collective farm, housework for hire - 67 people, work at an enterprise - 104 people, remoteness from schools - 190 people, overgrown people - 165 people, and lack of clothes and shoes - 33 people [5, p. 149].

 Mishina V.N. recalls: "I really wanted to go to school, but my mother became very ill, I had to take care of my mother and aunt. My girlfriends of the same age had already gone to school, and when they called me for next year, I didn't want to, because my friends were already in the 2nd grade, and I didn't go, and there was no time. Later my mother bought me an ABC book, I learned letters from it, and that's how I learned to write in block letters"[9].

In the 1952/53 academic year, the total number of schools decreased by 15 units due to their temporary closure in sparsely populated areas. Thus, the total number of schools was 1313, including 370 seven-year schools. However, the seven-year general education program, which was supposed to cover 183 thousand people with education, was not fully implemented, in total there were almost 173.5 thousand students at the end of the school year, since at the end of 1951/52 academic year 5595 people left the republic. [5, p. 149].

In 1953, the total number of schools is also decreasing and is already 1285 educational institutions, and the total number of students is also reduced to 164.7 thousand people. Despite the general increase in the number of schools to 1294 in 1954 and 1293 in 1955, the number of students dropped significantly to 157.5 thousand in 1954 and 147.2 thousand in 1955 [12, p. 118], which was largely due to the degree of reduced post-war birth rate.

In the post-war period, financial receipts for the material and technical support of schools have improved. On average in the country, the cost of improving and equipping schools increased 16 times compared to 1940. In general, in Mordovia in 1950 compared to 1940 funding increased more than 2 times [5, p. 154].

The main part of the expenses was directed to capital and current repairs of buildings. As a rule, the parent community and the patronage of collective farms play an important role in the renovation of buildings. However, it should be noted that due to a shortage of building materials, repairs were often not carried out in full. So it is noted that for the 1945/46 academic year in some schools of the republic, namely in the Insar, Saransk and Romodanovsk regions, instead of major repairs, only the current one was carried out. For example, the iron roofs remained unrepaired and unpainted, some of the windows were filled with plywood, in the winter season in many schools there were not enough double frames [5, p. 154].

In Bolshebereznikovsky district, in preparation for the new 1946/47 school year, it was planned to carry out major repairs in 11 schools of the district, but in the end, only 3 secondary schools were financed, which were on the regional budget, the rest of the schools were on the budget of village councils, as a result of which these schools were able to conduct only routine repairs [18, l. 27].

However, during the period from 1946 to 1951, about the autonomy was repaired about

4820 schools. At the beginning of the 1948/49 academic year, 1220 schools out of 1236 schools covered by repairs were repaired in the republic, where of them 304 out of 320 schools were overhauled and 916 schools were repaired. Also, at the beginning of 1948, it was planned to put into operation 7 new schools, but only one was fully completed. The rest of the schools under construction were 50-85% ready, where the reason for the cooling in the pace of construction was the lack of building materials and the lack of fuel for the transportation of building materials [11, l. 43].   In the 1949-50 academic year, 41 more new schools were built. In the 1951/52 academic year, 1,093 schools were renovated and 7 new schools were built. In the 1954/55 academic year, 298 schools were repaired, 966 schools underwent current repairs. So, in the Kuldym seven-year school of the Meltsan district in the 1946/47 academic year, 3.7 thousand rubles were spent on major and current repairs, in the 1947/48 academic year, 7 thousand rubles were spent, in the 1948/49 and 1949/50 academic years and - 6.5 thousand rubles [16, l. 22].

However, the pace of construction of new schools was insufficient, as in many schools classes were held in several shifts. So, in 647 schools, training sessions were conducted in 2 shifts, and in one in 3 shifts [5, p. 155]. So, in the Kuldymskaya seven-year school from 1946 to 1949, the school was trained in two shifts, where 6 classes were engaged in the first shift, and 3 classes in the second shift. For the 1949/50 academic year, 7 classes or 206 people were engaged in the first shift, and 106 people in the second shift of the 3rd class [16, l. 21].

There was a gradual improvement of the material and technical base of schools in Mordovia. During the years of the Great Patriotic War, new furniture practically did not enter the republic's schools, many of which became dilapidated, there was a lack of high-quality blackboards, and there were often no tables and chairs for teachers in the classrooms.

The situation began to improve in the 1946/47 school year, when about 15485 school desks, 2692 tables, 3869 chairs, 5229 benches, 1978 blackboards and 404 cupboards were repaired and purchased in schools. However, the following year, the supply plan was disrupted, which led to the preservation of the existing position until 1950. In 1951, industrial plants and martels produced 3551 school desks, and active restoration of old furniture was also carried out. Compared to 1940, the number of manufactured furniture increased by 3.5 times and amounted to 2,023 desks in the 1954/55 academic year [5, p. 156]. So, in the Temyashevskaya incomplete secondary school of the Meltsan district for the 1946/47 academic year, there were not enough 109 double desks, 2 blackboards, 5 laboratory tables, 6 teachers' tables, 18 chairs, 158 hangers, etc. in the next 1947/48 academic year, the shortage of double desks increased to 123, there was also a lack of 16 chairs, 2 blackboards, and in the 1948/49 academic year the supply of double desks was already beginning and their shortage was only 90 units, there was a shortage of chairs and teacher tables [16, l. 49].

 The situation with office supplies also remained difficult. In the 1946/47 academic year, the Mordovian ASSR received more than 5162.6 thousand notebooks, 1027 thousand pencils, 351.1 thousand colored pencils, 2888 thousand pens, 34 thousand student pens, 105 thousand bags of black powder, 20 thousand student rubber bands, 30 thousand student ink, 1020 watercolors, 70 thousand ready-made, 20 thousand cans of ink, 1 thousand compasses. But in 1951 more than 10265.1 thousand notebooks were received in the republic, so each student received on average 50 pieces, as well as a large number of other necessary products [5, p. 157].

The circumstances were more difficult in relation to the supply of school textbooks. As in the war years, an attempt was made to restore old textbooks. In the summer of 1946, schools were collecting and resale of supported textbooks, the number of which amounted to more than 236.6 thousand copies, some of which were practically worn out. In the 1946/47 academic year, the autonomy received 216.6 thousand copies of new textbooks [5, p. 157].

In subsequent years, the situation with the supply of educational literature has improved slightly. Thus, in the 1947/48 academic year, about 463.8 thousand copies of textbooks were received, and in the second half of the year, another 53.5 thousand copies of textbooks were delivered. The situation is also improving with the release of literature in the Mordovian language, about 24 types of textbooks with a total circulation of 238 thousand copies [5, p. 152].

By the beginning of 1948, more than 477.5 thousand copies of textbooks had been received by the schools of the republic (including 151.1 thousand copies for grades 1-4 and 331.3 thousand copies for grades 5-10) and by the end of the year this indicator increased to 760.2 thousand copies of textbooks, in 1949 - 16600 copies from the plan of 1948. From 1950 to 1955 the number of new books amounted to 27334 copies. And from 1950 to 1952, 535 thousand used textbooks were bought and resold [5, p. 158].

So, in Vertelimskaya secondary school for the 1946/47 academic year, with a total student population of 285 people in the school library, the total stock of textbooks was 591 copies, fiction - 15 copies, popular science literature - 10 copies, other literature - 170 units, methodological literature for teachers was completely absent, visual aids were also practically absent [15, l. 4].

In the Bolshebereznekovsky district for the 1946/47 academic year, the fact is noted that by the beginning of the academic year there were practically no ABC books in the first grades. So, there were only 125 primers for 38 schools in the district. And only in the second half of the year, schools received a sufficient number of copies. For 3 grades of Russian schools there were no textbooks "Native speech" at all, and 3 grades of Mordovian schools studied not with their own textbooks, but with other books. For example, in the Simka seven-year school, the 3rd grade teacher Lebedeva taught classes using the 4th grade textbook [18, l. 28].

In the first post-war years, the problem of supplying schools with fuel was also acute. So, because of the untimely delivery of fuel, classes were disrupted. So, in the 1945/46 academic year, the Maresevskaya seven-year school of the Chamzin district could not work for 45 days due to lack of fuel. In total, disruptions of classes from 1 to 156 days were recorded in 68 schools of the republic [5, p. 156]. In the Bolshebereznekovsky district in the 1946/47 academic year, 4 schools were left completely without firewood for 2-3 days, as a result of which classes had to be canceled [18, p. 27].

Relative stabilization began in 1949, when most of the republic's schools were provided with a proper supply of fuel. And in the 1954/55 academic year, 708 schools were provided with fuel for the entire heating season, more than 50% - 490, less than 50% - 71 schools [5, p. 156].

The post-war school undoubtedly acquired greater importance for the entire population of the country, many began to associate hopes for a better future with the school, the opportunity to escape from the countryside. Confirmation of this fact can be seen in the memoirs of eyewitnesses.  Zaitseva A.E.: "After the war, more children began to go to school and there were more teachers. Some people were forced to go to school, many did not want to, there was a lot of work at home"[6]. Katyshov N.E.: "I loved going to school, I did a good job, I was given study. We went to school in whatever we have to, in rags, in bast shoes. Textbooks and other supplies were given to us at school. They even fed us there, they cook cabbage soup and let a small piece of meat go. Here you sit and eat from a common dish and no one could eat that piece of meat, just try to scoop it up, it will crack on the back of your head with a spoon, but it hurts, and here you sit, you gulp the broth, and then the meat remains, they will divide it up for everyone"[7]  Mayorova A.V.: "Father always told us – "learn, you will become people". The nanny (older sister Nadezhda Vasilievna Kladova - the author) first finished our 4-year-old school, then finished 7 and then entered. There she had to pay money for the 8th and 9th grades, but they found the money so that she could study further. My father always loved the nanny, he wanted her to learn to be a teacher. And after school she studied at a pedagogical school and worked as a teacher of elementary grades all her life"[8].

It was the shortage of teaching staff that was the main problem for the post-war school system. So, 7590 teachers worked in MASSR, of which 439 people did not have a pedagogical education [5, p. 150]. In this connection, an active work on the training of pedagogical personnel was launched, through the expansion of student admission to the Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute named after V.I. AI Polezhaev and Temnikovsky Teachers' Institute, as well as in pedagogical schools [5, p. 150]. So for the 1944/45 academic year in the pedagogical and teaching institutes, the total contingent was 528 people, including 21 men and 507 women. According to the ethnic composition, 456 Russians, 63 Mordvins, 2 Tatars and 7 other nationalities studied [17, l. 4]. In 1945, 10 people were released in the specialty of history, 10 people. language and literature specialists, 14 people - natural science, 9 people - physics and mathematics. All teachers were sent to the schools of the Mordovian ASSR [17, p. 5].

Thus, the post-war school education system showed an incredible pace of development in the face of a general shortage of both labor and financial resources. The example of the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic shows that, in spite of the difficulties, most of the children and adolescents were involved in education and this subsequently gave obvious positive results. Rural schools of Mordovia laid the foundations of education for many famous people in the autonomy and beyond, among them:


1. Belova, N. A. Everyday life of teachers / N. A. Belova. Moscow: IEF RAS, 2015. 228 P.

2. Gadaev, V. A. The land of noisy fairs, bazaars... Life and novelties of village Novotroitskoe / V. A. Gadaev, V. V. Ruzhenkov, V. I. Rogochev. Saransk: Printing house "Red October", 2009. 399 P.

3. Goryachev, N.E. Daily life in the rear during the Great Patriotic War (On the example of the village of Podlesnaya Tavla, Mordovian ASSR) / N.E. Goryachev // Bulletin of the SRI of Humanities under the Government of the Republic of Mordovia. – № 2 (54). – 2020. – P. 70 – 76.

4. Culture of Mordovia. XX century: monograph: in 2 v. / [T.M. Guseva et. al.; ed. advice: G.A.Kursheva (forew.), etc.] Saransk: SRIH, 2018. V. 1. 484 P.

5. Mordovia in the post-war period. 1945 – 1953: monograph: in 2 v. / [V. A. Yurchenkov and others]; SRI of Humanities. Sciences under the Government of the Republic of Mordovia. Saransk, V. 2. 2015. 388 P.

6. Field material of the author (hereinafter FMA). Zaitseva Alexandra Efimovna Born in 1935, the village of Govorovo, Staroshaigovsky District, Republic of Mordovia, recorded in 2019.

7. FMA. Nikolay Efimovich Katyshov, born in 1939, the village of Podvernikha of the Staroshaigovsky district of the Republic of Mordovia, recorded in 2017

8. FMA. Antonina Vasilievna Mayorova, born in 1930, the village of Govorovo, Staroshaigovsky district, Republic of Mordovia, recorded in 2020.

9. FMA. Vera Nikolaevna Mishina, born in 1934, the village of Meltsany, Staroshaigovsky district, Republic of Mordovia, recorded in 2020.

10. Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (hereinafter RSASPH). F. 17. Op. 132. D. 50.

11. RSASPH. F. 17. Op. 132. D. 53.

12. Taldin, N. V. Essays on the history of the Mordovian school / N. V. Taldin; edited by F. F. Sovetkin. Saransk: Mord. pub. house, 1956. – 134 P.

13. Central State Archives of the Republic of Mordovia (hereinafter CSA RM) F. R-356. Op. 1. D. 52.

14. CSA RM. F. R-356. Op. 1. D. 116.

15. CSA RM. F. R-464. Op. 2. D. 221.

16. CSA RM. F. R-464. Op. 2. D. 222.

17. CSA RM. F. R-546. Op. 1. D. 217.

18. CSA RM. F. R-1978. Op. 1. D. 41.

Login or Create
* Forgot password?