We Have to Overcome the Crisis of Trust in Education
On December 20, 2013, Yaroslav Kuzminov, HSE Rector and Head of the Russian Federation Public Chamber Commission on Education Development, participated in the discussion surrounding the draft annual report on the state of civil society in Russia. He spoke about some current problems of education.
According to recent surveys, Russian citizens believe education to be a priority area of public spending. At the same time, society is growing more and more dissatisfied with education: according to the Levada Centre, 72% of the population are not satisfied with how the education system currently works, and 38% believe that it is getting worse, despite increased funding.
According to the HSE Rector, today we should raise the question of responsibility, whether it be among the state, the region, or the teams of professional education workers.. It’s necessary to make sure the teacher fulfils his contract and moral commitments, he shouldn’t merely work for the stated number of hours in his contract, but work with all his heart, to help the low achievers, to go with children on excursions to museums, etc.
Citizens and government officials have a different understanding of the problems in education and the tasks needed to develop it. Society is still not involved enough in discussing and setting priorities; There aren’t enough feedback mechanisms, and there is often a lack of trust between parents, school directors, teachers, and officials.
How to overcome the crisis of trust?
We need to improve information transparency in the educational system.
The new law ‘On Education in the Russian Federation’ obliges educational institutions to publish a lot of data in open access, but the quality of their websites is still low. Professional communities in education should develop. If they are active and bring together professionals, then both citizens and the government will have more trust in the education system and discussions will can begin. This association must be based on a hierarchy of achievements, not positions.
We need to lessen the administrative pressure on educational institutions, which currently nullifies the autonomy announced in the new law.
It’s necessary to support innovations and independence in education, Yaroslav Kuzminov believes
HSE News Service
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