Within the last years, metropolis education has been sincerely improving. Old methods of training consign to the past, more and more black boards and chalk are replaced with interactive systems; notebooks, and textbooks with tablets. Whether informatization on the level of knowledge benefits the Moscow schoolchildren to compete with graduates of schools of other Russian cities; and why in the future they might not have to take the examinations - the Head of the Moscow City Department of Education Isaak Kalina shared in an interview with correspondents of TASS.
-The central project in metropolis education Moscow Electronic School (MES) due to the request of the Russian President in 2017 gained national scale, and now the Ministry of Education and Science works on creation of the Russian Electronic School. Why did Moscow become the pioneer region in the field of informatization of a domestic education system?
-MES is not the only example of transitioning the metropolis experience on the federal level. Moscow was the first to carry out the literature composition among students of the 10th grades, and a year later tenth-graders in the whole country were writing such essays.
We launched the project on constructing pre-universities and University Saturdays in the metropolis, and today these occur in many cities of Russia. The pre-professional classes that provide deep acquaintance of the student with the future profession are also the idea which was born in Moscow. Others begin to think about starting similar classes in regions.
Besides, electronic school is one of the most vital projects, demanding substantial resources and financial support. The Government of Moscow allocates such resources. Interactive boards already have been established in many schools; laptops and tablets were purchased; the high-speed Internet is provided. There are still a lot of things to complete. We expect that by the end of the year the equipment will be supplied to all schools in Moscow.
-Can MES be the platform for taking the BSE and RSE online in the future (The Basic State Exam and Russian State Exam -TASS ref.)?
-Development of rules and tests for BSE and the RSE is under the authority of the Ministry of Education. Moscow, as well as other regions, fulfills the established requirements and cannot dictate the terms in this sense. But I want to note that in the metropolis the certification mechanism has already found new lines, and it is innovative. I do not talk about students, but the school headmasters, who before the employment also undergo the procedure of certification. One of the stages of applicant checkup is analyzing his "electronic reference". This is a portfolio or so-called electronic history of evolution that contains information on working years; results of his students; financial actions that were made by the administrator; whether there were violations; what are the remarks from Rospotrebnadzor. These "digital traces" can not be removed or forged; each section of this "reference" can become crucial at decision-making by certifying commission.
-How is the data security of "electronic biography" ensured? Could the blockchain technology become such guarantor in the future?
-Imagine that all modern technologies will unite and will be entirely regulated by the law, then the need for a one-time examination will disappear. I do not see any technological obstacles for the educational process at school coming to an end in such way in several years. The graduate wrote the final test and completed the process of prolonged continuous formation of the electronic biography.
-What is the advantage of such system?
-For all eleven years, both students and teachers will work not for a singular effort to get a high score, but systematic, progressive work on themselves, including the development of creative and behavioral qualities. After that, the graduate will tell the administration: "Send my data to Polytechnic University; I plan to enroll there…" This history of the development of the school student is the document which deserves no less respect than today's certificate of a Russian State Exam. So, trust me, gradually in the future we will come to it: new technologies will naturally replace one-time examination.
The only condition - since the exams are national - this system has to work equally well in all regions. It is impossible to make separate regulations of admission for Muscovites and residents of other cities. Conditions for enrollment of students to universities must be equal.
-Would it be possible to hold competitions and the Olympiads based on such a scheme?
-Perhaps, it will become the only exception. The Olympiads mean one-time contests of the best among each other. For this purpose, schoolchildren from all cities gather in one place, as in the World Cup and the Olympic Games. But results of the Olympiads will be included into data about the student and become a part of that electronic biography and, perhaps, will help the school student to enter the university and that major which is the most attractive to him.
-How difficult is it today for the metropolis schoolchildren to compete with graduates from other regions of Russia?
-It is not a secret that the share of the Muscovites enrolling to the metropolis universities decreased with the transition to the RSE in 2009. In the past, it was much easier for the Moscow school student, than, for instance, Voronezh: he went to higher education institution training courses, he lived on the same floor as the dean. As you understand, these "topographical advantages" facilitated a more effortless process. Russian State Exam balanced these opportunities, and graduates from all over Russia came to the metropolis to take places in prestigious higher education institutions.
There was a need for the most compelling motivation of the Moscow schools — and primarily of all their administrative structures — for high results that our students not only achieved but exceeded competitiveness indicators. Seven years ago, approximately 1.5 thousand schoolchildren from Moscow received the treasured 250 points, which is a good result on three RSE subjects; presently this number has increased five times and reached 7.6 thousand. Slightly less — 220 points 7 thousand students had, and seven years ago today — over 17 thousand. In 2011 at Sechenov University (I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University — TASS ref.) there were less than 10% of our first-year students; now, it is about 30%. We are talking about state-funded spots.
We did not find trends of outflow of the Moscow graduates, who had no chance to enroll in metropolis higher education institutions, to regional educational institutions.
-Earlier, the Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin wrote in the blog that the quality of knowledge of graduates became in all aspects twice better than in 2010. What has been done and still necessary to continue to do so Moscow could maintain the achieved results?
-The Moscow schoolchildren not only remain competitive in Russia but also gain the lead at the international Olympiads. Such results were achieved, in particular, due to the termination of the competition among schools for resources and establishing equal access to equal opportunities for all schools. We began to finance those educational institutions more intensively, which in comparison with gymnasiums and lyceums were earlier considered to be offended. The payments were made on a formula where the only parameter is the student. Then it became clear to administrators that there is no need to bloat the staff team artificially, but it is necessary to concentrate all means on the best teachers and their advancement.
Schools began to consolidate in significant educational institutions with first-class experts. Then many headmasters quickly realized that it is necessary to start investing in the child not in the first grade but earlier, and began to attach closely located preschool institutions to schools, having created large educational complexes. As a result of improved financing, the institutions started to rise in quality of work, and the indicators of our schoolchildren began to grow promptly. Achievements at the Olympiad stopped being "monopoly" of 20-30 schools in the city and became the mass phenomenon at most schools of Moscow.
-In the manifestation to the Federal Assembly on March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin reminded of the need to support children's talents and the importance of a right choice of future profession in the fate of each student…
-I entirely agree with it, and I am delighted that finally, the pragmatism of children began to win against egoism of parents who earlier tried to force children to accomplish parent's unfulfilled hopes. Graduates' approach to choosing higher educational institutions has changed. For example, children began to listen to themselves and, more often today, choose colleges which on quality of education do not concede many prestigious higher education institutions of the country. I am convinced that the good college is much better than bad higher education institution.
-Would public schools be able to compete in the future with the "schools of the future", such as "Letovo" and "Skolkovo"?
-The concentration of private schools in Moscow is higher than across Russia. If they exist, then they are demanded. They solve the same problems, as us; therefore, I would not consider them competitors. We treat them just like our own.
-In your opinion, will the number of private schools increase?
-May I answer not as the Head of the Moscow City Department but as a teacher with a long experience? In Moscow, state education is too good for the share of private institutions to grow sharply.
-Earlier, we touched upon a subject of information security, but a question of providing a safe educational environment is also relevant. How is it possible to minimize cases of aggressive behavior of schoolchildren?
-The most liable and challenging is to react to the framework, to reveal dangerous moods, to be able to foresee the behavior of schoolchildren. It requires full-time systematic work. For many years, we have been collaborating with the Moscow City Department of Regional Security and the metropolis Ministry of Internal Affairs on safety issues.
-Who, in your opinion, has to bear responsibility for the behavior of the child at school?
-For many years, I was the head of boarding school for orphans and children of parents deprived of guardianship. Under the law, I bore responsibility for the education of these children. Do you know what I realized as the parent? As soon as I try to shift the responsibility for the behavior of my child even for a second, I immediately begin to remind myself of those who was deprived of parental rights.