Ministry of Education, founded as the Ministry of Education of the Russian Provisional Government (Russian: Временное правительство России) on the basis of the Ministry of National Education (Russian Empire) in the Russian Empire (Russian: Министерство народного просвещения Российской империи). Later was founded People's Commissariat for Education (Russian: Народный комиссариат просвещения РСФСР) but commonly called Narkompros (Russian: Наркомпрос), was the Soviet agency founded by the State Commission on Education (Russian: Государственная комиссия по просвещению) and charged with the administration of public education and most of other issues related to culture. In 1946, it was renamed the Ministry of Education. Its first head was Anatoly Lunacharsky. However he described Nadezhda Krupskaya as the "soul of Narkompros".[1] Mikhail Pokrovsky and Evgraf Litkens also played important roles.

Lunacharsky protected most of the avant-garde artists such as Vladimir Mayakovsky, Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Tatlin and Vsevolod Meyerhold. Despite his efforts, the official policy after Joseph Stalin put him in disgrace.

Narkompros had a number of sections, in addition to the main ones related to general education, e.g.,

  • Likbez, a section for liquidation of illiteracy,
  • "Profobr", a section for professional education,
  • Glavlit a section for literature and publishing (also in charge of censorship in publishing),
  • "Glavrepertkom" (Главрепертком), a commission for approval of performers' repertoires.
  • Department of the Mobilsation of Scientific Forces, to which the Russian Academy of Sciences reported to after 1918.
  • A Theatre Department which published Vestnik Teatra
  • Vneshkol'nyi Otdel, the adult Education Department run by Krupskaya

Some of these evolved into separate entities, others discontinued.


The Izo-Narkompros (Изо-наркомпрос), or the section of visual arts (отдел изобразительных искусств) created in May 1918, consisted of two parts: the collegium (deliberative organ) and the section proper (executive organ). The first collegium was headed by Vladimir Tatlin and included Kasimir Malevich, I. Mashkov (И. Машков), N. Udaltsova (Н. Удальцова), O.Rozanova (О. Розанова), Alexander Rodchenko, Wassily Kandinsky. It was subdivided into a number of subsections.

Lunacharsky directed some of the great experiments in public arts after the Revolution such as the Agit-Trains and Agit-boats, that circulated over all Russia spreading Revolution and revolutionary arts.

He also gave support to Constructivism's theatrical experiments and the initiatives such as the ROSTA Windows, revolutionary posters designed and written by Mayakovsky, Rodchenko, and others.

List of Ministers of Education of the Provisional Government of Russia, People's Commissars of the RSFSR and Ministers of Education of the RSFSR

  • Manujlov Aleksandr (March 2, 1917 - July 24, 1917)
  • Ol'denburg Sergej (July 24, 1917 - August 31, 1917)
  • Salazkin Sergej (September 25, 1917 - October 25, 1917)
People's Commissars
  • Anatoly Lunacharsky (October 26, 1917 - September, 1929)
  • Andrei Bubnov (September, 1929 - October, 1937)
  • Pyotr Tyurkin (October 12, 1937 - March 1, 1940)
  • Vladimir Potyomkin (March, 1940 - February 23, 1946)
  • Aleksei Kalashnikov (April 9, 1946 - February 16, 1948)
  • Aleksandr Voznesensky (February 16, 1948 - July 12, 1949)
  • Ivan Kairov (July 12, 1949 - June 5, 1956)
  • Yevgeniy Afanasenko (June 5, 1956 - 1966)
  • Mikhail Prokofiev (1966)
  • Aleksandr Danilov (February, 1967 - 1980)
  • Georgiy Veselov (1980 - July 1990)

List of Ministers of Education of the USSR

There were only two ministers of enlightenment of the USSR Министерство просвещения СССР:

  • Mikhail Prokofiev (December 24, 1966 - December 20, 1984)
  • Sergei Shcherbakov (December 20, 1984 - March 5, 1988)

After that it was united into the State committee of the Soviet Union for Public Education headed by Gennadiy Yagodin until November 14, 1991.


The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Public Education of the Russian Empire, which was formed by combining:

    Ministry of National Education (Russian Empire);
    The Chief Directorate of Religious Affairs of the Orthodox Faith of the Most Holy Synod;
    The Chief Directorate of Religious Affairs of Foreign (i.e. non-Orthodox) Faiths,

and directed the spiritual affairs of all faiths in Russia and the institutions of public education and science, trying to restore rights in East Slavic culture of Russian Federation.

See also


  • The Governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1917-1964


  • Bird, Alan. A History of Russian Painting. G.K. Hall Painting, Russian, 2007.
  • Graham, Loren R. Science in Russia and the Soviet Union. Science—Soviet Union, 1993.
  • Constantin, Nathan. A Study of Bolshevism. Free Press, 1953.
  • Smele, Jon. The Russian Revolution and Civil War. Continuum International, 2003.
  • Fitzpatrick, Sheila. The Commissariat of Enlightenment. Cambridge University, 1970.

External links

  • Education in Russia for foreign citizens. The history of the formation of education.Образование в России для иностранных граждан. История становления образования.
  • Education in Russia for the foreign citizens: Russian Educational System Today
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