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January 14, 2022

The Future of the National Education System: Reasonable Conservatism, Teacher Unburdening and Student Happiness

To what extent should the traditional model of education be preserved in the digital society? How to teach schoolchildren and students to think and analyze independently? The main topic of the discussion “Education that will make us successful and happy”, which took place as part of the first day of the Gaidar Forum 2022, was the adjustment of the education system in 2022 and its development in the future.

The participants in the discussion were the Head of the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science Anzor Muzaev, Vice-Rector, Director of the Institute of Business and Business Administration of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA) Sergey Myasoedov, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation Andrey Fursenko, Chairman of the Council of the Federal Territory “Sirius” Elena Shmeleva.

The discussion in society about ways to improve the national education system does not subside. Some believe that it is necessary to return to the Soviet model, others – that it is better to abandon the past and look for new ways and approaches that correspond to changes in the economy, technology and the rhythm of life. Someone proposes to focus on fundamental education, and someone, on the contrary, to increasingly replace it with applied knowledge and skills.

According to Andrey Fursenko, Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation, the system of education and science is one of the most important tools for responding to new challenges. In this regard, it is necessary to consolidate the efforts of the state and society, the ability to recognize and correct mistakes and a balanced attitude towards any innovations in the educational sphere.

“Our parents and grandparents were far more educated than we are in a number of areas. And in some areas, our children and grandchildren are able to do what we do not know how. All this must be treated with respect and sometimes not strive to get ahead of ourselves. Education, no matter how innovative it should be, should be quite conservative in some sense. Reasonable conservatism, which the President spoke about, it just allows you to save the cultural code and pass it on to the next generations. It seems to me that this is very important,” Andrey Fursenko noted.

The head of the Rosobrnadzor, Anzor Muzaev, suggested dealing with the workload of teaching staff in the near future. “Sometimes what we do is not always clear to teachers, because the workload is growing. As one of the goals of 2022, by September 1, at least in some percentage, get rid of the paperwork that we now have. The second is to qualitatively complete the work related to new approaches to accreditation of universities,” Muzaev added.

As Elena Shmeleva stated, in 2022 we really want to focus on equality of opportunity for every child in terms of access to quality education and the discovery of talents. “Happiness for a child and family is an opportunity to open up and find yourself for the future. And the fact that we are all creating these opportunities and conditions together speaks of the new quality of our planning and life.” At the same time, she noted that Sirius is developing a promising technological program called Big Challenges, when not teachers work with schoolchildren, but engineers and developers from leading technology companies. This form of education promises great prospects.

Sergey Myasoedov, Vice-Rector of the RANEPA, shared his expert opinion. “Ultimately, we all want education to enable our youth to successfully enter this life, to get the opportunity to climb the social elevator, to fulfill themselves, to become an important person for their country, and maybe for the whole world. But it is also important to become a happy member of society at the same time, because such problems as burnout or late infantilism, which manifests itself in many students, are also problems that we should discuss,” Sergey Myasoedov concluded.

The Gaidar Forum takes place on January 13-14 at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA). The forum is organized by the RANEPA, the Yegor Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia. The forum is supported by the governments of the Russian Federation.

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak / TASS photo host agency

A video recording of the session is available here.

Source: official site РАНХиГС

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