The census of 1920 revealed 54 million of illiterates, thus liquidation of illiteracy was one of the main tasks of the state educational policy. In 1923 the All-Russian Voluntary Society ' Away with Illiteracy' with M.I.Kalinin at the head was organized. Thousands of schools and centers of liquidation of illiteracy (likbezi) were supported by the funds of the society.
Together with liquidation of illiteracy propagandistic the tasks of assigning of communist ideology in the masses were accomplished. The Main Politically Enlightening Committee was in charge of this work. Since 1923 the system of working clubs, village reading rooms and libraries was growing. Special series of popular brochures on anti-religious, political, economic, life, historical and revolution topics were published, stating the official point of view. Since 1924 propaganda of 'the foundation of Leninism' was spread.
An acute shortage of financial resources forced the state to reduce in the beginning of 20s budgetary provisions to schools and render them to local budgets financing. In 1921-1922 were periodically carried out subbotniks and the "weeks" of help to school, the population voluntarily collected funds for educational needs. In 1921 the tuition fee was introduced as a provisional measure.
By the middle of 20s the school education was represented by the following system: primary 4-year school (the 1st level), 7-year school in the city, the school for peasant youth (SKM), the school of apprenticeship (FZU) on the basis of primary school, the school of the 2nd level (5th-9th grades) with professional 8th-9th grades at a number of schools. In some regions and republics separate schools for boys and girls (in Dagestan, Middle Asia), religious schools (maktabe, madrasah) continued existing, terms of training also differed, boarding schools were founded. Vocational education was under authority of the Glavprofobr (the Central Administrative Board of Professional Education).
The mass form of professional training in 1921-1925 was the school of FZU. No less than 3/4 of students of which were children of workers. Staff of the lowest and average technical and administrative personnel (masters, foremen, mechanics) was trained in technical schools, special professional schools, on short-term courses. The principal types of professional educational institution were technical-industrial, pedagogical, agrarian, medical, economic, juridical, art schools with a three-year training.
In 20s the special form of higher education appeared - work faculties (rabfac). The government pursued the class policy in the field of higher education, creating favorable conditions for entering the institutes of higher education of workers and peasants. In the beginning of 20s the subjects of historical materialism, the history of the proletarian revolution, the history of the Soviet state and law, the economical policy of dictatorship of proletariat were introduced.
The contradictions of economics and politics, the complexity of the social processes of the period of NEPNEP found the vivid reflection in the works of literature, art, architecture and theatre.One of the influential literary groups ' Serapionovy Brothers ' (1921) united mainly prose writers (K.Fedin, Vs.Ivanov, M.Zoshenko, V.Kaverin and others). The literary group ' Pereval ' (passing) (1923) was created, attached to the magazine ' Krasnaya Nov ' (the red virgin soil). The writers M.Prishvin, A.Vesely, P.Pavlenko and others belonged to it. Its members came out in favor of preservation of succession with the traditions of the Russian and the world literature against rationalism and constructivism.
In the beginning of 20s a group of writers (N.Poletaev, F.Gladkov and others), which came out of the Proletarian culture society, created the association ' Forge '. In 1923 the Moscow association of proletarian writers, and since 1924 the Russian association of proletarian writers (RAPP) were founded. The representatives of the ' Literary center of constructivists ' (I.Sevilsky, V.Inber, N.Aduyev) propagated ' the soviet westernizm '. Another literary group ' the Left front of arts ' (LEF, 1922) included poets V.Mayakovsky, N.Aseyev, S.Kirsanov and others, negating artistic invention, psychological aspect. Some prominent writers and poets didn't belong to any groups or associations.
In the beginning of 20s poetry was in the lead of literature (literary soirees, concerts, disputes). In 1921-1923 came out new tales and novels by outstanding masters of pre-revolutionary realistic prose. Against the background of revolutionary epoch works of symbolist and formalistic trends (by A.Bely, E.Zamyatin, A.Remizov) took the prevalence.
By the middle of 20s the genre of novel again took the lead in the literature: there were written ' The Artamonovs' Affair ' (1925) by M.Gorky, ' Iron Flow ' (1924) by A.Serafimovich, ' Chapaev' (1923) by D.Furmanov, ' Defeat ' (1926) by A.Fadeev, etc.Satiric novels built on adventurous and social-utopian topics were wide spread.
In the field of art there also existed a great number of counteracting groups and tendencies: 'the Association of artists of the revolution' (AHR, 1922), 'the Society of easel painters' (OST, 1925), the society of artists of 'the 4th art' (1924), 'the Society of Moscow painters' (1927), 'the Masters of the analytical art' (1927), etc. Similar processes took place in the field of architecture, sculpture, and theatre.
Thus, in 20s there existed relatively favorable conditions for development of modernist tendencies in literature and art. Way more tragic was the fate of the artists focused on the values of traditional Russian culture. The outstanding painter V.M.Vasnetsov died in poverty. The great Russian poet S.A.Yesenin died under obscure circumstances. The greatly talented playwright and writer M.A.Bulgakov and others suffered keen persecution.