The first IT-Lyceum in Russia, located in Kazan, announced an additional entry requirement between 12th and 20th September. Now, the selection committee allows only boys. This has led to a shortage of students in mathematics, logic and physics classes.
This news continues from the scandal which began at the beginning of the school year. After enrollment it was discovered that only boys had been selected , even though in the third and final stage of the selection process, more than half of the candidates had been girls.
Based on the fact that both girls and boys were allowed as candidates for the selection process, it can be concluded that the high school received a government license on this basis, with no specifications prohibiting a single sex policy. I wouldn’t have thought that such a license could be granted to a public school. The Russian Constitution, the Education Act, as well as international agreements ratified by Russia, in particular the Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960), specifically prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex.
The project to create a Lyceum of Kazan (Volga) Federal University (CFU) was announced by the government of Tartarstan in the spring of 2012. The purpose of the project was prepare students for the IT sphere, leading to the construction of the "Innopolis” centre for innovation in the Republic of Tatarstan. The project recieved generous funding from the federal budget. Students will live in full board accommodation, have the benefit of free personal computers and digital tuition materials. Classes will be conducted by highly-qualified teachers, professors and specialists from international IT-corporations.
The Lyceum representative assures us that the school "aims to provide equal opportunities for admission to all students regardless of whether they live in the city or in the countryside." But at the last moment it was revealed that these equal opportunities only applied to the boys.
The girls have been expelled from the educational garden of paradise.
This is highlighted by the remarks of an education official from Tartarstan, who gave the following statement to the media: "Historically, the world has had a gender-sensitive approach to teaching for many centuries, and the IT Lyceum has decided to support that." Let me explain what is wrong with this argument: a ‘gender-sensitive’ approach implies equal rights and opportunities, as well as non-discrimination, for both sexes.
The parents of the candidates were unable to challenge the results of the final enrollment, as is surely their right. This situation in the Kazan IT-Lyceum is a glaring example of the horizontal occupational segregation of women, who are being forced out of the best paid and most advanced sectors of the economy while they are still at school.
I will make this point once again: Russia needs a law on gender equality, because now the parents in this case will have to prove the existence of sexual discrimination to the courts and the prosecutors. If a gender equality law existed, it would be the officials and the leadership of the Lyceum who would have to prove their assertion that there was no discrimination based on sex.