This work explores the system of public education and cultural life in the pre-reform uyezd town of Ostashkov, Tver Governorate. The principal sources used for this study were materials from the Memorandum Books for Tver Governorate and pre-revolutionary periodical press materials from the newspaper Tverskiye Yeparkhialnyye Vedomosti. Methodologically, the work relied on the following fundamental historical principles: historicism, systematicity, and objectivity. This helped examine the system of public education system in the town of Ostashkov, Tver Governorate, in the period up to the abolition of serfdom in 1861 in a historical sequence, as well as systematize the available material into several groups — educational institutions, student body composition, institutions of culture, and cultural life. The study’s findings revealed that on the eve of the abolition of serfdom in 1861 out of the town’s 10,876 residents 4,508 attended a civil primary school. A fairly large portion of the town’s population went to an ecclesiastical educational institution (although not all of those students were native residents of the town — some came from the uyezd). Some of its residents received education prior to 1852, including privately. Overall, around 6,000 residents of the town had a primary education on the eve of the abolition of serfdom, or more than 50 % of its total population. The high literacy rate was conducive to a corresponding level of culture (boulevards, gardens, public libraries, and a theater). These factors set the town of Ostashkov apart from most conventional uyezd towns in the Russian Empire.
Source: Goran Rajović, Sergei N. Bratanovskii (2023). The Public Education System and Culture of a Typical Uyezd Town in the Pre-Reform Russian Empire: The Case of Ostashkov, Tver Governorate. European Journal of Contemporary Education. 12(1): 253-258
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