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Teachers criticized the officials’ recommendations for distance learning: “You can’t teach this way”

The Ministry of Education has published recommendations for schools on organizing a distance student. In particular, the department invites educational institutions to use various models of hybrid education, including in the case when some of the students are at home, and some are in the classroom. In addition, officials advise to conduct online lessons only in the most difficult disciplines. The rest of the subjects are recommended to be studied in an asynchronous order, when the teacher sends the assignment, and the student completes it. MK asked the teachers themselves what they thought about the new recommendations.

During the pandemic, the ministry suggested that educational institutions use a hybrid teaching format for students in grades 5-8 and 10 according to one of four models. For the rest of the students, it is proposed to use full-time education or alternation of full-time and distance learning.

In the hybrid learning model, the teacher is at school and the children are at home, for example, if one of the classes is quarantined. The second model assumes that the teacher teaches from home, and the children study at school under the supervision of a volunteer; this option is implemented in cases where the teacher is at risk. The third situation is that the teacher and some of the children are in the classroom, while the other part of the students works from home. This can happen if the children are quarantined after a trip, or the illness of a family member, or when someone’s parents wrote an application for transfer to telecommuting. And, finally, in the fourth model, a part of the students are at school together with the tutor, and the teacher and the second half of the class go to the lessons from the computer.

“The biggest questions are raised by the third model proposed by officials,” says geography teacher Alexander Popov. – The problem is that the teacher is not able to fully work with children in person and remotely at the same time. When such a model is implemented, neither one nor the other gets normal knowledge. It is clear that officials want to simultaneously please parents on opposite sides of the barricades, those who are in favor of a point and those who are in favor of distancing during the pandemic. But in practice, nothing good will come of this idea, the teacher cannot burst.

In its recommendations, the Ministry of Education gives a transcript of distance and e-learning. Distance assumes a lesson in real time. In e-learning, the teacher directs students to assignments for independent work, and then controls its implementation. Schools are encouraged to schedule their timetables so that half of the lessons are in one form and half in another. Officials advise remotely to conduct classes in subjects with a high grade of difficulty. For secondary school, this includes mathematics (algebra and geometry), chemistry, physics, biology, foreign and Russian languages.

“If you follow the recommendations of officials, it turns out that remotely studying such important subjects as literature, history and geography can be left to chance,” says Natalya Smirnova, a teacher of Russian and literature. – If online training lasts a couple of weeks, you can still survive, but in some regions children are already studying remotely for the second month, and there is no end in sight. In our school, part of the lessons in each discipline is transferred to electronic format. For example, I teach 2 literature lessons online in real time, and instead of the third, I give independent work that needs to be sent by e-mail. But even with this approach, the quality of education decreases, we lag behind the program, children perceive information worse. If we follow the orders of the Ministry, we will simply lose knowledge of the subjects. In addition, there will be an inequality between teachers – why some should fully teach lessons, while others only send and check assignments?

When determining the duration of the lessons that take place online, the Ministry recommends following the SanPiN norms. In accordance with them, the maximum duration of one lesson for students in grades 5-6 is 30 minutes, and for students in 7-11 grades – 35 minutes.

– It is impossible to fully complete the program even with a reduced time of lessons at a distance, – Andrey Nikolaevich, a mathematics teacher, is sure. – I teach in specialized mathematics classes, their program is complex. In the lesson, especially for 6th graders, it takes about five minutes only for all the children to enter the conference and turn on the cameras. At the same time, in the recommendations, teachers are also encouraged to interrupt so that the children do warm-up and visual gymnastics. If you follow all the rules, at best 20 minutes remain from the lesson. It is important to understand that it takes a lot of time for children to independently analyze a misunderstood topic. Most of them are looking for information on the Internet, and as a result, they sit behind the screen for longer than in the case of a full analysis of the material in an online lesson. And the participation of parents in teaching children with reduced classes is also increasing, I do not think that many will like it.

Students will be denied recalculation of tuition fees due to distance learning

After the decision of the Ministry of Education and Science to extend distance learning in universities until February 6 of next year, the number of students ready to sue over the reduction of tuition fees, which has finally turned from full-time to distance learning, began to grow by leaps and bounds. The movement took on a distinctly mass character. However, apparently, students will not achieve their goal, and universities will not return their money.

Students’ dissatisfaction with the quality of distance education imposed on them at the whim of the coronavirus has led to massive individual and class-action lawsuits by students against higher education institutions refusing to lower tuition fees in connection with the transition to distance learning.

There is no official data on the number of claims filed. But it is already known that following the students of the capital’s universities led by the RANEPA or, say, the Moscow State Pedagogical University, the regions led by the students of NovSU moved into the battle to reduce tuition fees. This movement, which quickly became widespread, has already received the support of the Ombudsman for Human Rights in Russia, Tatyana Moskalkova, who announced the need to recalculate the previous cost of full-time education in universities to the current one, for a distance learning format. However, there seems to be no other support for students.

The fact that the students’ demands were not supported by the Association “Global Universities” is quite expected. “The costs of universities for online are three times higher than the savings from switching to distance”, – said representatives of the elite of domestic higher education, expressing at the same time “concern about the discussion in the media of the quality of implementation of educational programs at a distance.”

According to the members of the Association, “the use of distance educational technologies by universities is fully consistent with the current law“ On Education ”and does not indicate that they have unilaterally changed the agreement on the provision of educational services. At the same time, practice shows that in some cases the intensity of the educational process increases, and the number of hours that teachers and students spend in contact is increasing. ” Universities, on the other hand, “bear an additional financial burden, solving the issues of providing students and teachers with technical communications and software. On average in Russia, the growth in university costs in the spring semester was about three times higher than their forced savings on premises and reduced academic mobility. ” In short, there will be no recalculation, do not hope – this is the bottom line.

As it turned out, the head of the Education Commission of the Scientific Council under the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Ombudsman for Education, Amet Volodarsky, also thinks:

– Requirements for recalculation are a wrong move, caused by the fact that the children do not imagine the mechanism of work of universities. It would be correct to talk not about recalculating prices, but about improving the quality of distance learning! The main part of the expenses of the universities falls on the salaries of teachers and maintenance of premises. And these items of expenditure with the transition to telecommuting have not gone anywhere.

Even the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science, Oleg Smolin, did not support the idea of ​​a net reduction in the cost of training. True, unlike other opponents, with some nuances:

– As King Solomon would say, both are right. Nowadays, as a rule, distance lectures are ordinary lectures given in Zuma, and therefore are worse perceived. Preparing real distance lectures is an extremely time-consuming thing: one hour of a lecture of this kind requires 25 hours of preparation. And no one pays extra for this. In such a situation, it would be right for the state to provide financial support to both students and teachers. As President Putin recently announced, about 14 trillion rubles have now accumulated in the Russian stabilization fund. As you know, these funds are kept there in case of a crisis. But this is exactly the situation now! So it’s time to use these funds, – the deputy believes.

The idea, of course, is a good one. But it’s hard to believe in its implementation.

The Russian school is thinking about the advisability of learning foreign languages

According to recent polls, every second Russian (54%) believes that in today’s world one cannot do without foreign languages. In fact, in terms of knowledge of foreign languages, Russia ranks 34th out of 71 countries of the world and 23rd out of 26 European countries, and this indicator is unlikely to improve in the near future: our school refused the compulsory USE in this subject and suspended the introduction of the second foreign language.

The compulsory exam in the subject has already been abandoned

If abroad the linguistic knowledge of Russians is assessed as unequivocally low, then the internal picture, as shown by a recent all-Russian survey of school teachers of foreign languages, is contradictory. About half of the teachers believe that the level of knowledge of our students is growing, said the head of special projects of the Educational Union Yevgeny Antonov. However, they still do not see the same amount of progress, and every third complains about the lack of language practice.

If we focus in assessing the knowledge of schoolchildren on such a seemingly objective indicator as the results of the exam, everything looks good. The share of high-scorers, depending on the language, is 39-45% annually. The average score for the most popular, English, language is also quite high: in 2018 it was 69.2; in 2019 – 73.8; and in 2020 – 70.9 points. At the same time, children now, for the first time in the history of our country, have begun to better understand speech by ear: one must think, wide access to films and videos in the languages ​​of our partners, as they say, played a role in this. Still, there is no reason to be optimistic about learning foreign languages ​​in a Russian school.

Well, what optimism can we talk about if only about 10% of the most motivated school graduates traditionally pass the USE in foreign languages, while the quality of knowledge of the remaining 90% has remained at the antediluvian level of “I read and translate with a dictionary”? (Or, calling things by their proper names, “I know the letters, I can put them into words, and then find these words in the dictionary”).

However, this is not even the main point. “The popularity of foreign languages ​​in Russia is really growing, – stated Alexey Konobeev, a member of the jury of the regional stage of the All-Russian Olympiad for schoolchildren (Moscow), editor-in-chief of the English language at school magazine.

The conclusion is obvious: the demand of Russians for knowledge of foreign languages ​​is not satisfied by the school, where this subject is taught at the expense of the state, but by a private owner who must be paid from family funds. So to speak, “any whim for your money!” At the same time, the already mentioned survey of teachers outlined the main areas in which the school loses to the private trader. There is a poor material and technical base, and a shortage in school curricula of teaching hours devoted to the study of foreign languages. Every fourth school teacher explains the outflow of students to private traders and the increase in the ranks of the latter by the extremely limited volume of learning foreign languages ​​at school, and about the same number – by the fact that “tutors have good methods and individual training.” 45% believe that the school lacks language practice, and 28% – that there are too large groups of students with different levels of language proficiency in the same class and there are no individual lessons.

It is obvious that the official teaching of children loses to the unofficial in all directions, literally pushing the families of schoolchildren into the selfless embrace of tutors. However, the main problem is the lack of motivation of schoolchildren to study this subject, as stated by 45% of the respondents. And with the recent decision to abandon the compulsory USE in foreign languages ​​and the introduction of a second foreign language into the program, it only worsened.

Of course, the school curriculum is not dimensionless, and the limit for the study load of children has been exhausted for a long time. But there is a way out, says Oleg Radchenko, a professor at the Moscow State Linguistic University: “There is the experience of European countries. For example, in Germany from the 5th grade, early vocational guidance of schoolchildren is carried out with the distribution of children to schools, where the remaining 7-8 years of study they will study mainly the subjects they need in their professional activities. “

Why shouldn’t we also follow the same path?