The first quarter of the school year showed that the educational results of schoolchildren after the spring retirement, to put it mildly, leave much to be desired. Now teachers and experts in the field of education suggest that a decision be made as soon as possible to abolish the OGE and spring CDE, and leave the USE only for those entering universities.
Back in September, it became clear that the spring remoteness hurt education. However, instead of allowing teachers to restore the gaps in students’ knowledge in September, the officials let the VPR (All-Russian Testing Works) on schools, which could not be carried out in the spring.
In addition, since the beginning of the school year, classes have been quarantined one by one, which further worsened the situation. In this regard, the trade union “Teacher” has sent to the Ministry of Education its proposals on urgent measures necessary to bring the education system into a working state. We talked with the co-chairman of the trade union Vsevolod Lukhovitsky about how to preserve full-fledged education for children in the context of a pandemic.
– For the second month, teachers and parents have been living in a situation of extreme tension, while the Ministry of Education and regional ministries pretend that everything is in order, and training during an epidemic is the same as regular training. In the meantime, due to the new increase in the number of cases, a significant part of educational institutions, individual classes and students switched to distance learning. With remote teaching, the load on teachers, schoolchildren and their parents increases significantly. It is clear that we are in an emergency, but we need to sacrifice something in order to get out of it with minimal losses, both in terms of health and the quality of education.
– What measures need to be taken right now?
– First of all, right now it is necessary to announce the abolition of the OGE, VLF and the final essay for the current year, and leave the Unified State Exam only for those entering universities. These decisions need to be made in advance in order to reduce the burden on teachers and schoolchildren during online learning, to enable them to study the current program, and not to train children for exams.
In addition, it is necessary to allow schools to independently change and shorten curricula, this will, if necessary, reduce the number of online lessons and the volume of educational material. The fact is that education in a pandemic will not allow the majority of schoolchildren to master the educational program in the required volume. Even in those regions where distance learning has not been introduced, classes are occasionally quarantined, teachers spend a lot of time on sick leave, and a growing shortage of personnel due to the dismissal of those teachers who are not ready to work in difficult conditions of epidemiological restrictions.
– Will you fail to complete the program in any case?
– It is better to grasp at least part of the material well than to get a spring situation, when many have nothing left in their heads. The problem is also that Russian education is still not ready to move to distance education on a massive scale. The point is the lack of technical means, and the shortage of teaching methods, and the fact that in a situation of severe stress and high morbidity, teachers cannot master these methods in a matter of days.
All this is aggravated by the shortage of teaching staff and the high workload on working teachers. At the same time, it is also necessary to think about the health of students and teachers, the increased workload during online learning turns into various diseases.
– Is it possible to somehow improve the quality of remote training?
– In addition to the ability to change the curriculum, the Ministry of Education should officially allow teachers to independently choose the forms and methods of teaching. They should not be forced to work on a particular electronic platform that they are not used to, or to use the mandatory ezine option.
For the duration of the pandemic, all activities that are not related to the educational process should be abandoned, including taking advanced training courses, participating in competitions, etc. It is necessary to oblige the regional authorities to provide teachers with the necessary technical means and programs, as well as the Internet for distance learning. All these measures will allow teachers to devote the maximum amount of time directly to teaching children, and will make this process better.
– What about the free circles and sections that are now closed?
– In most institutions of additional education, classes are held in small groups of 10-15 people, in music schools most of the lessons are generally individual. The same theaters are allowed to work on the condition of a chess seating; similar measures could be envisaged in the same palaces of creativity, music and art schools. Not all institutions may agree to operate in such an environment, but they should at least be empowered to do so. This will preserve jobs for teachers, and give children back the opportunity to do what they love.