The problem of the quality of education in small settlements was highlighted with a litmus test by the Unified State Exam about 10 years ago. It would seem that most of the children of secondary schools study according to the same curriculum and with the help of the same textbooks, but at the end of the day, sometimes the gap between the quality of education in some villages and cities reached incredible proportions. How to help children from remote urban settlements – this question has occupied dozens of minds in the Ministry of Education for many years. In 2020, the Zemsky Teacher project was launched in Russia, which should cover the shortage of personnel in the villages. Leading experts spoke about how it is going and what is happening in the regions at the All-Russian Forum “New Educational Environment”.
The Zemsky Teacher program should solve the problems of school education in settlements with a population of less than 50 thousand people. As usual, in such modest villages and hamlets, children are mainly busy with helping their parents with the housework, rather than studying. This already traditionally established situation deprives children of the opportunity to receive high-quality secondary education in the future, not to mention higher education. Alas, not every child born in Russia is young Mikhail Lomonosov, who was able to walk to the capital, just to gain knowledge, thanks to which all his natural data can be realized. Nevertheless, in our country, it is necessary to develop programs that could equalize the chances of each student, regardless of his place of residence.
The second important goal of the “Zemsky Teacher” is to solve personnel problems in villages and to provide young specialists with vacancies for work. According to statistics, out of 42,000 schools operating on the territory of the Russian Federation, more than 26,000 are located in small settlements. At the same time, graduates of pedagogical universities seek to find places in educational institutions of large cities or prefer work outside the profile of the opportunity to go to the “outback”. The reasons for this are quite predictable: the habit of living in a big city, fear of moving, unclear prospects for such an act, and low income for teachers in remote parts of Russia. So only the most honored teachers of retirement age remain for the children from the villages. On the one hand, they have already proven themselves over decades of work, but on the other hand, it is very difficult for such teachers to switch to new work systems, for example, to remotely teach their schoolchildren.
Now, young professionals who are ready to change their place of residence can claim substantial compensation. Those who go to the Far East are entitled to 2 million rubles. The rest – 1 million. For regional prices, this is significant money, especially when you consider that they are also entitled to other support from the state under the program.
A large-scale school renovation program is also underway. Tuyana Damdinova decided to evaluate the new equipment of the classrooms. A young English teacher got into her small school in the Zakamensk District of the Republic of Buryatia three years ago and believes that going to work in small educational institutions in the villages is not scary, but even pleasant, and most importantly, necessary.
“I myself studied at this school and decided to continue my career here, helping local children,” said Tuyana during her report at the All-Russian Forum “New Educational Environment”. – I will say right away that the Zemsky Teacher program is in great demand here. Almost 500 candidates, not only from Buryatia, but also from other regions, applied for the seat. In total, the republic lacks about 200 teachers, but most are in remote areas. A rural school is not a place of exile, but a place for realizing one’s professional and personal capabilities. I believe that the “Zemsky Teacher” program solves acute problems: personnel, which heads of most rural schools face; providing young professionals with the opportunity to get the desired job; improving the social life of teachers.
A one-time payment is charged in the year of employment, subject to a tripartite contract with the school for a 5-year term with a load of 18 hours per week or more. Where exactly the teacher can spend the money received from the state, the law does not regulate. Any teacher under 55 years old (with or without experience) with higher or secondary vocational education can get a job.
Another important milestone in the development of the regional educational system was the beginning of the creation and implementation of the digital educational environment (DSP). The Ministry of Education has identified 14 regions in which the process began on September 1 of last year. The experiment is aimed at creating conditions for the use of DSP throughout Russia. Among the lucky ones, where the pilot will be tested, included: Altai Territory, Astrakhan, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk regions, Perm Territory, Sakhalin, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk regions, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The regions will also receive funds from the federal budget for the implementation of the experiment within the framework of the state program “Development of Education”.
They are in the process of creating a DSP platform, equipping educational institutions with the necessary infrastructure and developing content. The implementation of the target model is carried out by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, the highest executive bodies of state power of the subjects. Note that in the future, DSP will be integrated with the portal of public services.
It turns out that soon, whatever one may say, but even the most remote schools in the regions will have to switch to digital. But some of the leaders are introducing communication via messengers right now. For example, Konstantin Gureev, director of the MBOU of the Petropavlovsk school of secondary school No. 39 of the Kuraginsky district of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, told how he and his colleagues were implementing the transition from the classical form of education to the progressive one.
“Our main task is to involve children in the learning process, and not make them learn,” says Gureev. – We have a newly introduced school, equipped with modern classrooms, equipment, technologies, and we began to create a development program for the school in the first months of its existence. This program is a joint project of the school’s educational process participants and stakeholders. We decided to involve children in team activities to teach them that partnership is more important than competition. Several startups have already been implemented in our school: developmental education according to the Elkonin-Davydov system in primary school, a personified model of education in primary school and a school of social design in secondary school. In the near future, we want to launch a progressive course in Futurology – a look into the future in which we live. ” We must speak with children in the same modern language. Give them the freedom to create and communicate in the digital space, while not falling out of their lives due to conservative views. The path from student to teacher should be just one step, from teacher to student – 1 second.
Another important point in the development of the regional educational environment was shared by the Minister of Education of the Tver Region, Yulia Kovalenko. According to the official, the quality of education is strongly influenced by the exchange of experience between teachers, their communication within the professional community. Therefore, a lot of work is being done in the subject to create trade union municipal and regional organizations. This is a regional association of parents, and a branch of the All-Russian organization of parents of children with disabilities, and the Meeting of associations of teachers and teachers of the Tver region, and an association of preschool education teachers, teachers of rural schools, primary classes, librarians, teachers of additional education for children, young teachers, young leaders, and pedagogical associations of subject teachers (mathematicians, chemists, biologists, philologists, writers, historians, technologists, geographers, foreign languages, physical culture), and the association of teachers “Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture”, and the Board of Directors of vocational education institutions in the Tver region. A huge list, and this is not counting online communities for teachers. All this helps the teacher to feel the colossal support of colleagues. Indeed, for a good quality of education, it is not enough to own the latest “tricks” of teaching and psychology, you yourself must be a balanced, calm, happy person, because children read any feelings or complexes of a teacher in seconds. It is also important to develop mentoring for teachers who have just embarked on their professional path.
In general, as the All-Russian Forum has shown, in our country there are specialists who sincerely root for their work and invest as much as possible into the development of children. Now all their efforts are supported by the state through the implementation of the tasks of the national project “Education”. All this together should bear fruit in the coming years. It is also gratifying to hear that the pandemic, which disrupted our usual way of life, did not turn out to be a disaster for Russian education. Perhaps, in some districts remote from the center of the regions, it even became a kind of catalyst for development.