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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bureaucrats Head Back to School

Bureaucrats in the Ulyanovsk region have been sent back to school to improve their spelling and grammar.

Two thousand officials in the region on the Volga River had to take a special test on spelling, punctuation and spoken Russian on Thursday after the local governor grew tired of seeing documents full of mistakes.

"Bureaucrats had to answer 40 questions in written form in a test which lasted 45 minutes," Dmitry Shikov, spokesman for governor Sergei Morozov, said Friday.

"Those who have bad results will have to take a special course to improve their knowledge."

The test was based on school examinations that 16- and 17-year-old students must take.

In an echo of the Soviet Union's mass education drives of the 1920s and 1930s, the parliament has declared 2007 the year of the Russian language and ordered an improvement in spelling standards.

The initiative comes at the same time that authorities across the country are forging ahead with President Vladimir Putin's national project to improve Russia's education system, which has suffered since the Soviet collapse.

Ulyanovsk -- which is the birthplace of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin -- is the first part of the country to take such radical action to tackle bad grammar.

Morozov said in a recent newspaper interview that the last straw came when a candidate for an important post submitted a resume full of mistakes.

"I've just had enough of bad grammar," he told Izvestia.

"I am fed up with mistakes in documents. ... If you do not know enough, you have to learn."