On December 26, 1919, the Council of People's Commissars adopted the famous decree “On the Elimination of Illiteracy in the RSFSR”, obliging all citizens of the country aged from 8 to 50 who could not read and write, learn to read and write. In Russian or native language - by choice (due to tribute to internationalism).
Training was to be conducted in the public school system. The trouble was that such a system simply did not exist in those years: there were neither schools nor a sufficient number of teachers who could teach lessons. This system was to be created, as they say, from scrap materials. On June 19, 1920, Sovnarkom formed the All-Russian Emergency Commission on the Elimination of Illiteracy (Likbez). Likbez obeyed the People's Commissariat of Education, led by Anatoly Lunacharsky.
Illiterate people were prosecuted for avoiding school, as were their relatives or employers who decided to prevent them. However, the decree provided for those who want to learn not only the stick, but also the carrot: they cut the working day for two hours while maintaining wages.The People's Commissariat of Education was vested with the right to involve all non-governmental organizations in the training of illiterate people, as well as all literate people - professors and writers were obliged to train the workers and peasants by way of labor service.