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  2. Residents of the Karelian town of Suoyarvi held a picket against closing a kindergarten

Residents of the Karelian town of Suoyarvi held a picket against closing a kindergarten

Alexander Gnetnev
Picket against closing a kindergarten in Suoyarvi
Источник: vk.com/alarssuoyarvi
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Residents of the Karelian town of Suoyarvi have opposed the plans of the local authorities to close the Yolochka (‘little Christmas tree’) Kindergarten. Officials intend to accommodate preschoolers in other buildings of the institution, since the kindergarten's maintenance has become not cost-effective. On April 10 and 11, parents held pickets, photos from which were published on vk.com.

Residents of Suoyarvi have opposed the closure of the local Yolochka Kindergarten’s building. The district authorities want to open a department for temporary residence of disabled and elderly people in it. Officials said that they intended to accommodate Yolochka’s pupils in other buildings of the children's institution. However, the parents did not agree with this. In their opinion, they will have longer journeys to bring their kins to the kindergarten in this case.

On April 11, they held a protest action with posters saying, "Karelia, stop saving on children", "Authorities! Do not offend the kids", "United Russia, forgive us for having children".

Picket against closing a kindergarten in SuoyarviPicket against closing a kindergarten in Suoyarvi
Picket against closing a kindergarten in SuoyarviPicket against closing a kindergarten in Suoyarvi

A day earlier, on April 10, residents of Suoyarvi held a flash mob outside the town hall’s building.

Tatyana Skvortsova, a participant of the action, told the local Respublika Newspaper that she opposed the closure of the kindergarten because parents and educators were facing losing their jobs, as well as additional transport costs.

"Many parents cannot afford such expenses. Closing the kindergarten will greatly increase unemployment in the town, which has already been growing. People will leave, look for a better place," Skvortsova said.

Representatives of the Suoyarvi District Administration reported the decrease in the number of preschool children due to the population decrease and migration in response to the request of Emilia Slabunova, a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Karelia. According to the officials, the number of pupils in kindergartens in the town of Suoyarvi is reduced by 9% annually. The authorities believe that, despite the closure of Yolochka’s building, the demand of parents for their children’s education in the district is satisfied.

Emilia Slabunova told 7x7 that the situation had been caused by the district’s financial problems. According to the parliamentarian, the streamlining may lead to the situation when there are not enough places for children in the remaining buildings of the preschool institution where the pupils of the closing kindergarten will be sent.

“The situation is very serious. And unfortunately, it is typical. We can see this in almost all districts of the republic. This is primarily due to the absolute poverty of local budgets. The thing is that their condition does not allow maintaining preschool institutions, further education establishments and thus makes the so-called streamlining, which actually means the education system's destruction, inevitable,” said Slabunova. “In Suoyarvi, everything is compounded by the fact that those buildings that remain operating according to the plans of the administration require quite serious repairs. And there will simply be nowhere to transfer the children in case of repairs. In addition, the number of places in the two buildings remains minimal. And in case there is an increase in the birth rate, this will create queues and serious problems. All this in general will be a deterrent to the birth rate and motivation for young people to leave the district.”


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