Sep 5, 2021
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“Non-specialists with higher education”

Every education system is not created for itself. It is created for the production of specialists who are able to solve the problems that currently face the given country.

At one time in the West, among certain oriented political groups, the thesis was widespread that in order to teach something, you did not need to know something yourself.

In a sense, the Russian authors and organizers of the so-called educational reform of the last two decades can be considered the heirs of this political rather than professional fashion.

The people who started and carried out it, as a rule, cannot answer the question of why it is needed and what exactly it will give. By and large, they cannot clearly explain even what it is.

If we take even the most important question of why it is necessary to switch from the system of training “specialists” with five years of study to the system of training bachelors and masters with four and six years of study, they will not clearly answer it. An intelligible answer would be approximately the following structure: in four years, preparing specialists, we give them a volume of skills and knowledge, relatively speaking, “A”.

This type of preparation was necessary under the dominance of this type of production. Today, the type of production has changed in such and such a way, and to ensure its functioning, we need a certain number of bachelors, that is, workers with a volume of training and skills, say, “A-X” and a certain number of workers with training of the “A +” type NS”.

That is, for example, we used to create a post-industrial production in the country and we needed workers with the qualifications to ensure its creation, that is, who are versed in both what they create and how to create it. Now it has been built, and we need both mainly workers who can only ensure the functioning of this production – and they need relatively less training – bachelors, and – in a minority – workers who are able to develop frontier areas with higher training in elite areas – masters.

One could agree with this or disagree, but it would be clear what the speech is about.

But in reality there is neither such a state of affairs, nor is there any reasoning of this type.

Industrial production in the country is largely “deindustrialized”, postindustrial – just requires its creation. This means that the country needs both a certain number of people with qualifications capable of preventing the collapse and destruction of the remaining industrial production, and a large number of those who must create science-intensive post-industrial production.

The functioning of the old production was supported by those who today we call “specialists”, that is, people with five years of training. This means that today we need both people with no less training, and people with higher training, that is, conditionally, say, masters. What does it have to do with bachelors, that is, people with obviously lower training (students less than specialists for a year)?

One can, of course, say that the point is not how many years to teach, but how to teach and what – and this is the essence of the reform. But, firstly, in the description of the reform there is really nothing about this, what it offers in terms of teaching technology has not been proven by anything that is better than what was before. And secondly, let’s assume that this is so: but why, then, was the topic of “bachelors” and “masters” inserted into this reform?

By the way, on the one hand, because their preparation was supposed to be done by the legislation of the 90s. – then there were three options for training: four-year – bachelor’s degree, five-year – specialist, six-year – master. In practice, it turned out that it was precisely the qualification “specialist” that was in demand – and the bachelors had to return to the university again and complete their studies with them for another year.

Officially, it was believed that a “bachelor” is just a specialist with a higher education. That is, no, not that a specialist, but “not with the highest.” That is, “a non-specialist with a higher education.”

Incidentally, this is a very accurate definition – “a non-specialist with a higher education.” Because it is assumed that this … “bachelor” – he does not specialize in anything, but receives, as it were, general training in the direction he has chosen.

In the normative and legislative documents as the main requirement for the “master” it is written that he must be ready for … admission to graduate school. That is, after six years of study, he received training in order to be ready to do what a “simple specialist” could do.

Bachelors and masters simply turned out to be unnecessary for anyone – and therefore it was the laws of demand that then determined the lion’s share of those who went to study as “specialists”. Then they decided to cancel what was in demand, and to immortalize what was not in demand.

Moreover, the only, at least somewhat intelligibly voiced argument for which this is needed, is that this is required by the Bologna process.

But if this process, which has long become the subject of ridicule in the professional environment, requires that neither the country, nor its production, nor the education system is necessary and harmful, then maybe this process is unnecessary and harmful? The answer is: “Well, we signed it …” Here the “Bologna lobbyist” begins to fall into a stupor and repeat that the “Bologna process” is the “Bologna process”, and how could it be without it. And why without him in any way – does not say.

Let’s say that the Western system is good and justified itself, although ours also justified itself. But every education system is not created for itself. It is created, as mentioned above, for the production of specialists capable of solving the tasks that are currently facing a given country.

Apart from the numerous details, the Western countries that signed the Bologna Agreement are at a different stage of industrial development than Russia. In these countries, one way or another, at least partially post-industrial production has been created, in Russia, as they said, it has not been created and industrial production is being destroyed.

That is, the tasks of economic development in Russia and Western countries are different. The West needs, first of all, to maintain the functioning of the existing post-industrial production, Russia needs, first of all, the creation, and the accelerated creation of post-industrial production – by the way, for a number of reasons which can be discussed separately – of a type other than what exists in the West.

Hence, the West basically needs workers who are able to service such production, that is, to a greater extent educated, but first of all with the skills of instructive action, and already plus to them – it needs specially trained workers of heuristic labor working behind the front of current achievements. Hence – the system “bachelor-master”. perhaps really adequate to these conditions.

And Russia basically needs workers with advanced training, increased erudition and capable of solving innovative, creative tasks on the fly. That is, Russia needs the production of workers with higher training and a higher ability to creative solutions.

If Russia is remaking its education system for the Western, then. it will train specialists for solving not their own, but other people’s production and economic problems.

And, in fact, the existing Russian system was created precisely taking into account the experience of the Western – as one that stands on a higher level, because both in pre-revolutionary Russia and in the USSR the country faced more complex development tasks.

Initially, the Russian system, relying on the achievements of the Western one, was created as a step forward compared to the latter, while the initiators of the reform, not understanding this, simply not knowing, due to illiteracy, in what conditions and for the solution of what tasks it was created, they are not trying to reform it. in the forward vector. and the vector of descending to a lower level.

Sergey Chernyakhovsky

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