Sunday, October 2, 2016

Russia Ed Blues

By Stephen Wilson

MOSCOW - Almost half (46% ) of Russians believe the quality of the Russian education in schools has worsened . The findings are the result of a survey undertaken by the Fund for Social Opinion (Фом) . This represents a strikingly signficant rise in 10% of dissatisfied respondents compared with a previous poll taken last year. The survey also found that only a mere 18% thought the new reforms had improved primary education!
As many as 56% of Russians estimate that the quality of their own education was higher than the current education of their own children. As many as 16% claim the present program represents a worse form of education and 11% claim
children have begun to know less. An estimated 9% of respondents state the Unitary state Exam program works badly and 6% complain they constantly come across teachers attempting to get more money from them (payments
for this or that).
Many of the polled also expressed doubts about the qualifications of teachers and complained they were spending more time doing office work than devoting time to their students.The last grievance comes as no surprise . This is not news for trade union activist and geography teacher Leonid Perlov who in an interview last year with Second city teachers, readily acknowledged that teachers as well as doctors were up to their eye balls in heaps of paperwork. Soaring form filling means teachers have less time for pupils, and doctors have less time for patients.
The results of the survey reaffirm the fact that Russians remain polarised on their evaluation of the effectiveness of the Russian reforms in education with some very scathing, while others are more acquiescent.
I encountered a Communist canvassing in the recent 18th September elections to the Duma when he handed me a leaflet calling for the return of the free Soviet education system. When I asked 'Whether this demand could ever be
implemented? ', he admitted a return to a free education system was : 'extremely problematic '.
The survey indicates yet again an anxious generation of Russians who dread the rise of a less literate and critically minded generation of Russian school children. Children might be raised in a non-philosophical culture which stunts
rather than inspires bold curiousity. And only old men will be explorers.

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