Today in Russia there are several hundred schools with separate education for boys and girls. This approach has always generated a lot of controversy. Proponents argue that gender separation enhances academic achievement, has a positive effect on the physical and psychological development of students, and helps establish “traditional values”. Opponents of separate education argue that it can adversely affect the development of the individual and is far from the realities of life in society.
The village of Borogontsy is located in Yakutia — the coldest and largest region of Russia. The nineties, as in all of the country, passed here severely. The nation was experiencing economic and social upheaval, a new world appeared in front of people, overwhelmed with uncertainty about tomorrow. Young people did not understand very well how to manage absolute freedom, which suddenly came to replace comprehensive control and guardianship by the state.
The decision that only boys will study at the gymnasium, which opened here in 1994, was also made in order to combat this phenomenon. A bias in technical disciplines, a lot of additional classes and a special attention to sports — gymnasium students were to become an example for everyone else.
All images and text © Lesha Pavlov
By Lesha Pavlov
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