The road to universities through technical schools and colleges may be closed

The shortened version of training specialists came up with a beautiful name – “professionalism”

About 1.2 million freshmen were enrolled in colleges in 2020. Photo by RIA Novosti

The Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation announced plans to introduce a new level of education in Russia – “professionalism”. According to the head of the Ministry of Education Sergei Kravtsov, students will be trained on the basis of secondary vocational education institutions for 2-3 years. Industry partners will be involved in the development of educational programs, and the colleges themselves will transform.

“We have developed a pilot project called Professionalism, which contains a number of key initiatives. The first is the involvement of industry partners in the training of personnel for the secondary vocational education system. The second is the introduction of a new level of education “professionalism”, optimization of the training period up to two years – for blue-collar occupations and specialties, up to three years – for more technologically advanced ones, “explained Sergey Kravtsov. On the basis of the transforming colleges, the Ministry of Education plans to create coworking spaces, as well as centers for startups and volunteering. Let’s remind that today the term of study in colleges is on average 4-5 years.

Before the new transformation, the list of the most demanded specialties in Russian colleges was updated. The Ministry of Education prepared a corresponding draft resolution, in which the top 50 of such specialties were published. The list included: signaling electrician, general construction foreman, electrician for the repair of line-cable facilities for telephone communication and wire broadcasting, operator of program-controlled machine tools, operator-operator in biotechnology, digital information processing foreman, welder, repair and maintenance foreman cars, graphic designer, etc.

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Also, the Ministry of Education decided to halve the number of specialties in colleges. Some of the programs are going to be merged or transformed, the other part – to be made more compact. Students will have the opportunity to master additional programs, expanding their competencies.

At first glance, it may seem that the decision on “professionalism” was made in connection with the situation in the economy after the pandemic, when young people have to quickly enter the labor market. This is not the case. The idea of ​​shortening the period of study in secondary vocational education (SVE) programs appeared long ago. For many years now, the education system has been rebuilt to meet the needs of a post-industrial society (albeit without explaining how this system will look like).

And the higher education system started making these changes a long time ago. But the open source software in this regard stalled. Why is clear. Secondary specialized educational institutions (colleges) have long been, in the figurative terminology of the Rector of the National Research University Higher School of Economics Yaroslav Kuzminov, “lockers”. Or, as they were also called, “sedimentation tanks” for poorly trained youth. But today the STR system has faltered.

With the advent of the Worldskills championships and the demonstration exam, another goal arose: it is banal to teach young people to do something with their hands. In parallel with this, a powerful advertising campaign was launched to promote the benefits of open source education in the minds of parents and their students.

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Taking all this into account, and with a reduction in the period of study by almost two times, the general level of education of students in SVE will fall sharply. However, judging by the words of Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, the Russian leadership prefers to view the topic from a different angle. Golikova said that the reorganization of the SVE system will allow 85% of students in technical schools to find a job immediately after completing their studies. The message is clear: the main thing is employment. That is, the general educational and cultural level of young people will inevitably be sacrificed to a tough economic and social policy.

Another aspect of the problem. If big business starts training specialists for itself, it will be an education oriented towards one specialty. Also, by the way, for the further spiritual development of man, the direction is dead-end. Medium, and even more so small business will not be engaged in the preparation of yesterday’s ninth graders. Why does he need an illiterate college graduate? Will find and hire ready-made drivers and accountants.

An important question: what to do with the shortening of the period of study with further admission to the university? In principle, it will not be possible to enter a university with a two-year “professionalism”. And in other countries, the path through two-year colleges to the university is a dead end. To enter a university, people must have a full-fledged high school course behind them. But maybe we will ignore such a rule? Then we will at least have “lower higher education”.

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By the way, about closing the “loophole” for entering a university through open source software. It really helped many young people … It is no coincidence that Deputy Minister of Education Dmitry Glushko notes: “In 2020, about 1.2 million freshmen entered colleges. Based on the current dynamics, I think that in 2021 the enrollment will grow by another 50 thousand. Approximately 60% of school graduates choose secondary vocational education. A growing number of adults are entering college for short programs and gaining new competencies. ”

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