Russian Arctic Regions Organise Nomadic Kindergartens, Schools


The kindergartens will provide access to preschool education without separating children from their parents who lead a traditional nomadic way of life. Nomadic kindergartens will work according to the reindeer herders' calendar

Photo:Nikolai Gernet / GeoPhoto

New pre-school groups will appear in the Far North, Siberia and the Far East in September 2024.

Nomadic kindergartens will be organised according to rules that differ from "regular" kindergartens. First of all, groups will include children of different ages, and the working hours will be set based on the real needs of nomadic life. For example, if a reindeer herder needs to drive his herd to a new pasture, the kindergarten may open earlier or later, or switch to a 24-hour operation.

Another peculiarity is that it will be up to the parents - reindeer herders, fishermen and hunters - to decide when to take their children to and pick them up from the kindergarten, depending on their current work requirements, the Parliament Newspaper [Parlamentskaya gazeta] reports.

It was necessary to define the rules for new kindergartens for nomadic peoples after the adoption of the law on nomadic educational institutions in Russia this summer. According to the law, it is now the responsibility of state authorities to create favorable conditions for indigenous peoples, so that their members can study at preschool and primary education institutions. For this purpose, the concerned authorities should establish nomadic institutions in areas where these indigenous ethnic groups live and where they conduct economic activities.

In total, 4676 families in Russia now lead a nomadic way of life. There are 6569 children in the families, of whom 2203 are of preschool age and 4366 are of school age.

Since "civilisation" reached indigenous peoples, most nomadic children have been taken away to boarding schools, leaving them separated from their parents and traditional ways of life for many months. But now nomads will be able to choose whether to send their child to boarding school or use the facilities of nomadic schools and kindergartens.

Nomadic kindergartens and schools are established to provide access to preschool education, basic general and additional education without separating children from their parents who lead a traditional nomadic way of life, to restore and preserve the traditional economic activities of the indigenous peoples of the North, to familiarise children with their national culture, mother tongue, traditions and customs.