SAMARA, Russia -- About a dozen activists rallied on June 16 in central Russia to protest the "commercialization of education" in the country, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
The demonstrators in Samara demanded that a new law "On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts to Develop the Legality of State Enterprises" be annulled. The law allows schools and other educational institutions to engage in some business activities.
Amnesty International member Nikolai Yelizarov said at the gathering that the law would lead to the total commercialization of schools in Russia.
"This protest is needed to stop extortion in schools," he said. "Teachers in schools make parents pay [money] on a regular basis. That has become the norm and, in some cases, parents have to pay schools on a monthly basis."
The demonstrators collected more than 2,000 signatures under a petition protesting the commercialization of the education system.
The protest was organized by the International Student Movement as a part of the international Day of Joint Symbolic Actions.