Higher Quality Secondary Education
Socio-economic development of the Far East depends on people and the quality of their education
I do think that education should be among the key topics at an economic forum, as people drive economies. Projects success and socio-economic development of whole territories depend on their competencies and knowledge — Hasan Hasanbalayev, Director of the Human Resources Department of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
Competitive and achievement-oriented teenagers choose secondary vocational education
We all know that vocational education has been trending over the last five years. According to RANEPA’s Centre of Continuous Education, 52% of school children go for vocational education after 9th grade. <…> Before, there was a popular legend that it is only the children who want to avoid the Unified State Exam and still go to university choose secondary vocational education. It is not true anymore. Yet again, according to RANEPA only 7–10% of them go to university afterwards. <…> This number is also interesting. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education has stated that this year’s enrolment campaign has been successful. Yet, the mean grade of all those enrolled in the country’s top universities is 70, which translates to a little over four under the five-mark grading system. It means that high-quality students choose vocational education — Alexander Milkus, Observer for Education and Science, Komsomolskaya Pravda Publishing House; Director, Laboratory of Media Communications in Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
Russia’s vocational education programmes are too long
Of course, we keep constantly analyzing what needs to be updated in the vocational education system. It is driven by the new standards set by employers, industry development and economy development trends in general. First of all, <…> training takes too much time. It is evident as exemplified by our foreign partners. We see the solid performance demonstrated at the WorldSkills, though training did not take this long. <…> This approach has its own risks, of course. First of all, it is the risk of poor-quality basic education. We value the social, cultural, and pastoral aspect in our vocational education. This is why we want to keep <…> the best, but we are considering an experiment, to reduce training to 2.5 years — Igor Gribanov, First Deputy Director, Vocational Education Development Institute; Head of the Abilympics National Center of the Russian Federation.
State exams are dated and do not meet employers’ standards
Yet another problem is our state exams. It is a complicated procedure that takes multiple protocols, approvals and steps. <…> There is a gap between the state exams and industry-specific standards and requirements. This is why we want to cancel state exams as an experiment and go for a digital competency kit. A human resources customer will be able to build a programme they need that will include the competency required for their future specialist — Igor Gribanov, First Deputy Director, Vocational Education Development Institute; Head of the Abilympics National Center of the Russian Federation.
Teacher training programme for vocational education needs to be upgraded
Another painful aspect for us is training teachers. We have two different dilemmas today, two different problems. These are the teachers themselves, who are disconnected from production and from the real economy. That is, they teach the way they were taught, by the book. It is clear that theory is not enough here. But craftsmen are another problem. Yes, they have good production experience, but they have no pedagogical skills. So, here is another gap, and we need to rethink teacher training for the vocational education system — Igor Gribanov, First Deputy Director, Vocational Education Development Institute; Head of the Abilympics National Center of the Russian Federation.
Regions create new ministries that connect vocation training alumni and employers
The Ministry itself [of Vocational Education and Employment of Primorye Territory, – Ed.] <...> will be two months old tomorrow. <...> Indeed, what has happened? We are left with the Ministry of Education in charge of all pre-school and school education. <...> And the idea or my ministry is the following. For many years it has not been possible to reduce the imbalance in the labour market. <...> We continue preparing traditional professions somewhere, while the labour market requires other specialists. Plus, the large investments that have entered and continue to enter the Far East and Primorye Territory launch new industries. These industries are simply hungry for specialists of a certain level. And this situation is only getting worse — Sergey Dubovitsky, Minister of vocational education and employment, Primorsky Krai.
Pastoral aspect should be introduced in primary school, while vocational education facilities need to focus on applicable skills
It is possible to give such a general civic component in vocational facilities, but, frankly, it is already too late. Because a large part [of this component, – Ed.] <...> must be introduced, excuse me, not even at the secondary, but at the elementary school level. <...> Unfortunately, when the pastoral component was removed from school education, and it was removed deliberately, then a very big problem arose. Even though in Soviet times it was strongly ideologized. Yes, we are all well aware of this, but when it was removed completely, Morgenstern [a Russian rapper, – Ed.] became an idol for today’s youngsters with all that it entails — Artem Sychev, First Deputy Director, Information Security Department, Bank of Russia.