For the first time in historiography the article analyzes the experience of universal access to elementary school education for children from 8 to 11 years old in the Turgay region of the Orenburg governorship on the basis of records of the Turgay regional school inspector, the trustee of the Orenburg school district, the Turgay regional government, found in the Russian State Historical Archive. The purpose of this article is to reconstruct this process, its results and regional characteristics. It was determined that the reform was carried out in line with all-Russian trends. At the same time, a number of peculiarities of the region were taken into account: its multi-ethnicity and multi-confessional character, high rates of peasant migration, and lack of local self-government bodies. Therefore, the construction and maintenance of primary schools in Turgay region was carried out at the expense of the state. The author concludes that the administration of the Orenburg school district failed to implement the idea of universal primary school education. The reason was insufficient funding for school construction, the dispersed settlement of peasant settlers in the region, the mismatch rate of peasant migration to the pace of school construction, etc. At the same time the reform had a positive value, as it provided the integration of the regional education system into the imperial educational space. The article is intended for specialists in the history of social policy of the Russian Empire.
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