More than 180,000 Russians have signed an online petition to President Vladimir Putin calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over his recent comments on teachers’ pay.
The petition first posted on the website Change.org on Thursday came after the premier advised a low-paid lecturer to go into business if he wanted to make money.
At a youth education forum on Tuesday, Medvedev was asked by a university lecturer from the impoverished Dagestan region why teachers receive only around 15,000 rubles ($230) per month, while police are significantly better paid.
“There’s no need to compare, the issue is what you choose in life, teaching is a vocation. If you want to make money, there are a bunch of great places where you can do that quicker and better in business. And you didn’t go into business” Medvedev said.
Medvedev’s comments were seen as out of touch and uncaring; unleashed a torrent of criticism in the press and on social media as times of India reports.
“The cabinet should be led by a person who is competent, educated and cares about the country,” wrote the petition’s author, Alexander Li.
The Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, is obliged to debate any petition that gets 100,000 signatures.
Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012; had been preceded and succeed by the incumbent Vladimir Putine. He had lectured at the law faculty of Saint Petersburg State University in the 1990s, also cited himself as an example of a teacher who succeeded in making a living.
Théogène U @Bwiza.com