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September 04 | Education

No Changes in Schools Scheduled

How will be the school life organized this year? Will there be changes in the order of passing important examinations or in the work of schools themselves? Dmitry Livanov, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, answered these and many other questions in the frameworks of All-Russian meeting of the parents, took place in Moscow lyceum № 1501. The Minister was asked by the participants of the meeting in Moscow, as well as by representatives from various regions of Russia – from Khabarovsk Territory to Republic of Crimea.

Valeria (Perfilova), a singer and member of the National Parents Association (NRA), was the moderator of the meeting. "I think it's great that there is such a form of interaction between parents and the Ministry of Education and Science", – she said.

Dmitry_Livanov

No radical changes

The reforms of the education system took place one after another during the last years. From the consolidation of schools and the introduction of new educational standards to tightening of the procedure of Unified state examination. "A lot is being done, but we do not always keep up with the speed of changes", – Alexei Gusev, executive secretary of the Coordinating Council of the NRA, said calling to minimize the reforms in the coming year.

Dmitry Livanov assured the audience that "no fundamental changes in how the school operates, how the children learn, how our teachers work will be made" in nearest future.

The task of schools now is to adapt those innovations that have already been made. For example, all textbooks should be supported by an electronic version since this year. "And it is not just a paper copy of the textbook, it is an interactive learning system, in which you can not just read the text, but also watch video or pictures, or perform training tasks", – the Minister said. Of course, new textbooks will not immediately get to all the schools, but gradually they will become an integral part of the learning process. And pupils will be provided with electronic versions free of charge, as well as with paper textbooks.

In addition, the system of final examinations will be gradually improved. So, the introduction of third compulsory exam – in a foreign language – is planned by 2022. Serious work is required to achieve the necessary level of preparation of pupils to this time, first of all, to raise the professional level of teachers.

Parents also were concerned with the educational standards and the so-called unified textbooks on Russian language and history. According to the Minister, the teacher should always have a choice which material or teaching method to use, so an entire textbook for the whole country is not discussed. However, due to the adoption of more stringent standards the number of recommended textbooks has actually declined, but just because some of them could not overcome predetermined threshold.

Provide with all necessary things

1.6 million first-graders are in the schools this year, this is 145 thousand more than in the last. In general, the number of pupils in our country is increasing. This is a great figure, the minister said, but at the same time it is necessary to think in advance how to provide this "army" with everything they need, from the comfortable classrooms to the opportunity to attend additional circles and sections. But the schools are fully prepared for this school year.

"We can say with full confidence today that the education system is completely ready for the new academic year", - Dmitry Livanov said, adding that to the 26th of August 98% of the schools were ready to accept students, and the remaining 2 per cent should address deficiencies before the school year .

On the issue of consolidation of schools and validity of this process, Dmitry Livanov said that consolidation makes sense only if it is good for pupils. At the same time the parents not only can, but should actively take part in addressing these important issues. In this regard, the Minister called on the governing boards of schools to establish a link between the administration and the teachers on the one hand and the parents on the other.

More and more attention is paid to the system of supplementary education. Our country finally reached the level of the mid-late 1980s in involving children in additional education programs in the last year, but this is not enough. Today, when the attention of society and employers is focused on the engineering professions, it is especially important to develop the clubs of technical focus.

"It is extremely important that children who have a penchant for technical creativity, for engineering, loving tinkering something, will have opportunity to do it, – Dmitry Livanov said. – Especially as there are many new areas now, such as robotics, which are able to captivate today's children and "pull" them from games in gadgets and social networks".

In general, the schools will be more seriously engaged in a vocational guidance of the younger generation. Federal educational standard of high school, from 5th to 9th grade, introduced from the first of September, provides special hours for training in career counseling. It can be both classroom instruction and direct acquaintance with production facilities or classes in universities, as well as extracurricular activities or hobby groups. In doing so peculiarities of different regions should not be overlooked, Dmitry Livanov stressed.

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