The report of the world Bank about economy of Russia 2020 (see “Kommersant” on July 7) contains a special section evaluates the short-and long-term impact of the pandemic COVID-19 in the Russian education system. What reforms are needed to this system to “anticorrosiveness” actions were a stimulus for its development, in the article “Kommersant” says Renaud Seligmann, Director and permanent representative of world Bank in Russia.”Scientists — light and ignorance — darkness” is an old Russian proverb. Education has always been a cornerstone in the life of Russian society. A few centuries ago, when there was no formal education system in the country there was a system of informal family education, that is, the transfer of critical knowledge and skills from generation to generation, from parents to children. Today the Russian education system can rightfully be proud of the fact that it is among the countries with the highest levels of educational outcomes in the world. According to the results of various international studies of student achievement in mathematics, reading and science of the Russian Federation is consistently ranked in the top ten countries with the best results. For example, in 2018 in the framework of the OECD study “international program of assessment of educational achievements of students” (PISA 2018) 15-year-old Russian students scored 488 points in math, which corresponds to the average indicator for the OECD countries with high income (489 points).Education has made a huge contribution to human capital formation of Russia, and he, in turn, became one of the drivers of economic growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction in Russia. The proportion of the poor declined from about 30% in 2000 to less than 13% in 2018, the level of welfare of the average Russian citizen in 2017, compared with 2000 increased by 1.8 times.Pandemic coronavirus infection (COVID-19) caused an abrupt cessation of forward motion and created the risk of regression in some areas, which provided important advances of the last decades. Like many other countries, Russia is now experiencing a serious crisis in health care, social sphere and economy. It is not just about the termination of economic activities — closed schools and universities, which greatly disrupted the lives of students. In Russia, the students also use distance learning and courses in an online format, but they will not provide the full reduction of educational losses.Closing schools also threatens to exacerbate problems of social inequality in Russia students located in favorable socio-economic position tend to outperform children from less wealthy families. In the top quintile (the most advantaged 20%) sweat��dzielnie educational loss of students correspond to the deterioration of educational achievements of about 14 points on the scale of the PISA study, and in the bottom quintile — is 18 points, which is comparable with the omission of half of the school year.At the same time, in the current crisis it becomes obvious the need to address previously encountered system problems of education. In contrast to the results of the evaluation or traditional cognitive skills of the Russian students, the results of the evaluation of their skills for collaborative problem solving in the framework of the OECD PISA cannot be called satisfactory. Another serious problem is the large differences between Russian regions in economic return from education. The increase in salaries due to higher education varies from 10.1% in Karelia to 38.2% in the Altai, and the similar impact of education — from 10.4% to 20.6% depending on the region. Elimination of such discontinuities between regions should provide an increase in employment of young people in lagging regions.Fortunately, the Russian education system stands on solid ground thanks to its integrated curriculum, the national assessment system and the General system of control and reporting. Russia has a strong base to recover after a pandemic, as well as good prospects for further improvement and adaptation to the realities of the XXI century. But Russia must act quickly, concentrating the main effort at first on the children who are to suffer most from the effects of the pandemic.Simulation shows that, even if the remote learning for some students is a good mechanism, vulnerable students will suffer disproportionately great educational loss. The government may provide direct support to educationally disadvantaged children. Other promising measures include actions to audit knowledge in the class at the beginning of the school year that teachers were able to identify measures to fill the educational losses as well as subsidies for tuition for vulnerable students to prevent them from leaving the school. To eliminate inequalities between regions and socio-economic groups, educational programs should focus on the most effective use of digital technologies so that all students and teachers could successfully use new educational platforms. A clear state strategy of internationalization of the universities should raise the quality of higher education by increasing the flow of foreign students to Russian universities. The importance of implementing such a strategy will increase further after the pandemic, when the education system will adapt to the new conditions of normal life, and competition for foreign students, all likelihood, will intensify.Many Federal education programs are not the subject of strict examination and independent quality control. The introduction of a strong system of impact assessment and the implementation of mentoring programs for teachers, dissemination of best practices and interregional exchanges of knowledge and experience are potentially effective measures to increase the economic efficiency of the policy in the field of education. In the future, it is imperative to ensure that schools and universities young people acquire the skills and knowledge that they need in a dynamic labour market-oriented use of modern technology. This means the necessity of development in students of skills of communication, collaboration and problem solving.Whether the Russian education system is becoming better than before, after the pandemic? Yes, but that relevant authorities must promptly take measures to minimize the consequences of the crisis for students and to reduce educational wastage. The government must also take measures to address the systemic problems that young people had the opportunity to fully realize their potential regardless of their family income or area of residence. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And the light of the Russian system of education may become even brighter than before.
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