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Who is Educating Young People for the Future Economy?
8 September 2022
12:30—14:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The new world needs new approaches to education and upbringing

We are faced with the task of ensuring the technological and ideological sovereignty of our country. We must have strong personnel, strong specialists in order to do that. Strong specialists will be provided by universities and, of course, by schools, which will supply applicants for these universities and make it possible for universities to train their students well in the future. And in order for us to have strong graduates, we need strong teachers. I am a mathematician; it can be a theorem, or it can be an axiom: if you want to develop the economy, invest in teachers — Pavel Kuzmin, Rector, Academy of the Ministry of Education of Russia.

For Vladivostok, it is critical to have not a general education, but an education that contributes to the development of a talented child. General education is a term left over from the Soviet era, when everyone had to be able to read and write... We are talking about a different approach, we need graduates who are able to study on their own. Our world is changing very quickly, but at the same time, we actually do not tell children at school how to change along with this world. We teach them standard mathematics, physics, chemistry, a foreign language... Honestly, which parents or children are satisfied with the education system? — Sergey Dmitrienko, First Deputy Head of the City of Vladivostok.

I will repeat that everything is aimed at making the child interested. Not these flower pots over there – they are all wonderful, the same in all schools, they collect dust very well – but our task is to make it interesting for children to spend time there. To see some formulas on the walls, memorize the faces of prominent scientists, and say, ‘I want to be like them.’ This is we want to achieve, and I will repeat, I am talking about 5–6 years, probably even more, but nevertheless, we definitely need to invest in that — Sergey Dmitrienko, First Deputy Head of the City of Vladivostok.

The Ministry of Education has set a very serious task for the entire country – developing a gold standard. What is the gold standard in schools today? Each school will have a single standard for teaching children. This will be as close as possible to a single textbook, to a single programme. This means, of course, that it will be easier to create teaching materials, create various resources, various platforms. The so-called GIS “My School” is a federal state platform, which will become the base of that, and it will actually happen — Elvira Shamonova, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Primorsky Territory - Minister of Education of the Primorsky Territory.

If we want the children entering universities to be well developed and interesting in their subjects, if we don’t want them to change their field of study after they received their qualifications, it is necessary to start from schools. Children today are fast, the speed is very high, we need to start from 7th or 8th grades — Elvira Shamonova, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Primorsky Territory - Minister of Education of the Primorsky Territory.

Teacher are changing and they must change very quickly and seriously. Today, the average age of teachers of the subjects we are talking about, is 50 years. But I want to say that we have made calculations for the next five years, and the average will drop to 48. That means that young teachers are coming to schools of course — Elvira Shamonova, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Primorsky Territory - Minister of Education of the Primorsky Territory.

Comprehensive changes in management approach and system

I started asking the question whether we even have a school for headmasters. There are schools for architects, governors. But what about a school for headmasters? There is none. There is already a school for head physicians. Probably, we are ready for a school for headmasters — Marat Shamyunov, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

In the past, we always used to train schoolmasters separately, we used to train the deputy for educational work. And we got a team of different people who managed the same school, but they had different value orientations and tasks. Right now, it is very important for us to train the management team as a whole — Pavel Kuzmin, Rector, Academy of the Ministry of Education of Russia.

How can you help the school? If we don’t go to schools, if the university does not go to schools, how can we attract talented students to the university? There should be joint work here, when we go and work together, select the best, create specialized classes and move forward together... We must prepare our own future applicants — Sergey Ivanchenko, Rector, Pacific National University.

We literally need to bring in economists and lawyers who will help schools put themselves in order from the inside. We need teams of methodologists who will literally sit down with the teachers and adapt together with them, develop their lessons, educational programmes, and so on — Yaroslav Artyukhin, Regional Director of the Teacher for Russia Program, New Teacher Foundation.

ISSUES
Low level of education in the Far East in general

Nine out of eleven regions of the Far East, unfortunately, occupy places in the lower third of the Rosobrnadzor rating. It is very important for us to take this information as an additional goal, an additional task for our action. We need to work out a system, a roadmap of the measures we should take in order to change this situation — Marat Shamyunov, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

The trend is quite deplorable: the number of school graduates taking the Unified State Exam is increasing and has reached 12–14 thousand. And the number of those who take exams in these key subjects, on which the country's economy will be based, is falling. WE used to have about a thousand students taking their exams in chemistry, but this year the number was only 690. I am only talking about those who passed the chemistry test. And we have even fewer of those who did well. And those who got excellent marks, entered universities in Moscow, etc., they have ambitions. And there are only about 900 students who take physics exams. What kind of training of engineering personnel can you talk about, if the number of those taking the exam in general is falling in such key subjects? Of course, this is not only the schools’ problem. It is a problem for the university, because it means that we are doing something wrong, it means that we are not very good at preparing the teaching staff — Anatoly Nikolaev, Rector, Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University.

The number of those taking the Unified State Exam is going down. Mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry have already been mentioned, but the number of state-funded spots is growing. This means, on the one hand, indeed, that the Ministry for the Development of the Far East supports the increase in the number of state-funded spots in higher education, but at the same time, we see that the number of applicants who are able to pass the exams is decreasing. This, of course, is a common challenge for us, which should be addressed — Marat Shamyunov, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

Schools, because they have various kinds of KPIs they need to achieve and show to educational authorities at different levels, literally purposefully kick out children who will not be able to pass chemistry and biology exams. They do it at the 8th grade level, not 10th and 11th grade. If we understand that an 8th grade pupil will probably fail chemistry exams, then it’s better to send such pupil to a vocational educational institution, so that he doesn’t spoil the statistics in the 10th or 11th grade. We do this because of the indicators by which the school will be evaluated — Yaroslav Artyukhin, Regional Director of the Teacher for Russia Program, New Teacher Foundation.

Young professionals do not want to stay close to home

We expect, of course, the change of the infrastructure itself. Because it is clear that it is impossible to invest new approaches, new knowledge, and new technologies into something that is using old infrastructure, old classrooms. There are a lot of related problems here, but it is important to consider that the ice is not exactly broken, but is gaining tremendous strength. Infrastructural modernization of schools is a very important impetus that must be taken into account — Marat Shamyunov, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

It is not important that the teacher came to the school. The outflow begins after the first year, after the third year. It is a hard work indeed. Sometimes you don’t know who to turn to for help... We must revive – and we are now engaged in this at the federal level, at the regional level, thanks to colleagues from the Far East who support this – serious methodological bodies that would accompany teachers at the entire path of their development and further professional career — Pavel Kuzmin, Rector, Academy of the Ministry of Education of Russia.

It is important to work, first of all, with those children who find it most difficult. Most of all kinds of educational programmes, most of the support programmes are aimed at the children “from the top cohort”, from the top quarter of educational results. I am talking about the Big Break competitions and various Olympics, these are children from the top quarter. I don’t think it is a big secret if I say that, with a high probability, these children will leave the regions of the Far East and, in general, almost any region of Russia. They will leave for one of the metropolitan regions of Moscow, St. Petersburg, or, at most, for large cities such as Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg. Therefore, in fact, if we say that it is important for us to think about the territory where we work – a specific village, city, region, then the task is to work with the lower quarter, the lower half of children with the worst educational results, the task is to think about those children whom we most often call hooligans, losers, these are normotypical children, with various kinds of ADHD and other features in mental development — Yaroslav Artyukhin, Regional Director of the Teacher for Russia Program, New Teacher Foundation.

The Zemsky Teacher programme is in operation, it is quite effective, but at the same time we also understand that there are reserves there. Here we are open to any suggestions for its improvement. We often hear that teachers stay and work for only 3–4 years, for the duration of this programme, and then they leave. We should think of how to change this trend — Marat Shamyunov, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

In Primorye we are lacking s pedagogical university now. Of course, now we all remember that we had a great university that provided personnel. Today we are negotiating to open a branch of a pedagogical university here, because this, of course, is extremely important for us — Elvira Shamonova, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Primorsky Territory - Minister of Education of the Primorsky Territory.

SOLUTIONS
Participation of business in the educational process and training

I address business representatives quite seriously: when you start working with young children, you get future personnel that is absolutely convinced that their profession is the best, and they will come to you to work. Today, Rusagro understands this very well, they work with us, and other large corporations too. I am talking about Zvezda, Progress, they understand. We open classes and then children become adherents of this or that profession — Elvira Shamonova, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Primorsky Territory - Minister of Education of the Primorsky Territory.

We are now launching a project: the practice of native teacher training. Many school headmasters are ready to take our students to work part-time, and we will pay these methodologists who teach them extra per hour, so that they do not lose out. I think this will somehow make a difference a little — Anatoly Nikolaev, Rector, Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University.

Those teachers who have a basic education, for example, in engineering and plus pedagogy, they manage to interest children better. They also build models, they do creative work and do computer modelling. This is not purely pedagogy, which is trained along the pedagogical line... Sixty percent of budget spots are occupied by non-major qualifications. They graduate, become good teachers, most of them go to teach at school — Sergey Ivanchenko, Rector, Pacific National University.

Working with families

Of course, we must work not only and not so much with schoolchildren as with their parents, because if you talk to the ten strongest students, you will find out that they were greatly influenced either by their parents or their teachers, who not just teachers for them, they taught them some subjects, and they became such inspirations for them, in a broad sense, they became mentors who could captivate them — Marat Shamyunov, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

The third pillar of preparing a child is preparation on the part of the parent, is psychological preparation, so that he supports school initiatives, and so on — Anatoly Nikolaev, Rector, Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University.

Development of interest in the mathematical and natural sciences

Over the past decades, we have greatly humanized our education. To some extent, mathematical education and natural sciences became secondary in comparison with the humanities. The trend that we must now develop is to improve the quality and role of mathematical and natural science education — Pavel Kuzmin, Rector, Academy of the Ministry of Education of Russia.

Opportunities for additional education

We have a huge untapped potential for additional education. We understand that the Far East has a large number of rural schools, a large number of underfilled schools. But there are very good examples in Russia when network platforms are created, and a strong teacher from a city school, for example, works there through such a network with five, seven, or eight schools, with the children of these schools, in certain areas as part of additional education... An example from South Korea, which is not far from here: they included computer modelling in their curriculum, and they train children almost from the fifth grade to be creative, create, model, engage in productive activities, this can also be done in the Far East — Pavel Kuzmin, Rector, Academy of the Ministry of Education of Russia.

We offer these [esports] lessons as optional. As part of these lessons, children will receive vocational guidance beside the fact that they will simply be motivated to study well, to interact with the teacher and each other, they will develop useful skills in our digital world. Recent events have clearly shown how important drones are, but we have been talking about drones for a long time and, moreover, drones are actively used in agriculture, in the film industry, and so on. And we have a well-established programme that allows us to develop the mechanical skills of controlling a drone in a year of training. When a person controls a drone on a simulator in a computer and when he controls it in the real world, he holds the same device. You develop mechanical skills, which means that a person does not just receive an idea of a profession, but actually acquires a certain skill — Dmitry Smith, President, Russian eSports Federation (ReSF Russia).

Right now, we will probably not be able to make all teachers masters of their craft, but I think that many teachers play some games themselves in the same way, and this could at least become a link with the audience, stretch out a certain thread of trust at least, if not respect. In my understanding, computer games can be a very interesting tool here, but again, there are many very dangerous moments here as well — Dmitry Smith, President, Russian eSports Federation (ReSF Russia).