Oct 1, 2021
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There is more and more control, but knowledge is on the contrary

Following the meeting of the Presidium of the State Council, Vladimir Putin instructed the Ministry of Education and Rosobrnadzor to reduce the number of tests in schools and to exclude the term “educational services” from official documentation. Teachers, parents and schoolchildren were keenly interested in the control tests. The proposed measure and the fact that it was raised by the head of state caused heated discussions.

“Dad, Putin canceled the control tests!”

A friend’s seventh-grader’s daughter ran up to him today with a joyful cry: “Dad, can I go to the cinema with my friend? I don’t need to prepare for tomorrow: Putin canceled the tests at school yesterday!” The pope’s instant shock of confusion was quickly replaced by intense “googling”, from which it became clear that he had not canceled, but had given instructions to work out the issue of reduction.

Further search easily leads to the background of the issue: after the Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision removed the restriction on school tests a few years ago, many schools simply “filled up” with them. In some schools, there is one test for every third biology lesson, for every fifth – of the Russian language, for every fourth physics. And this is in addition to the notorious VPR (All-Russian verification work), the preparation and report on the results of which became a real headache for all participants in the educational process. And to the detriment of gaining knowledge. And especially – when switching to distance education, like last spring and partly last fall in connection with covid.

Today the remote control is again knocking on the school window. The first Russian TV channel Tsargrad has already addressed this topic more than once. And now the strange and superfluous (according to many teachers) organization Rosobrnadzor in April this year, finally, either hearing a groan from below, or following instructions from above, created a working group to optimize the number of tests in schools. And this August, according to the head of the department Anzor Muzaev, he sent appropriate recommendations to the regions to optimize these

based on the interests of the education system, as well as the physiological, psychological capabilities and needs of schoolchildren.

In August, according to the promise of officials of the department, “general regulations for Russian schools” were to appear.

However, now, at the end of September, the head of state has to personally issue an order to reduce control. Apparently, because there is little hope for the “recommendations” and “regulations” of Rosobrnadzor.

What do we control?

The fact that the situation with education in Russia, and especially with secondary education, has gone in the wrong direction has long been noticeable without special optics. The Soviet (read – traditional) system is almost completely destroyed, the new one is not built – endless experiments are underway: digitalization, distance, variability and competence instead of knowledge. In this sense, control and verification work seems to be rooted just in the old – classical system. But in the context of existing school uncertainties, they often become a profanation: testing knowledge not to improve and consolidate this knowledge, but for bureaucratic reports upstairs.

After all, in theory, according to the results of the control, the teacher should, after analyzing the mistakes, correct his work – both with each student and with the whole class, filling gaps in knowledge. But in fact, too often it happens that even if a student wrote a test for “two” or half a grade for “three”, it will not change anything in further teaching: they drove on.

It is not for nothing that some of the “advanced” teachers are enthusiastic about the idea of ​​abolishing school grades, persistently pushed by the liberal progressives. It’s easier this way! The school, they say, will give “everything that is supposed to.” And then, as they say now, “your problem”. That is, the students themselves and their parents. They want their offspring to be educated – let them hire tutors. Today, schools have even relinquished responsibility for preparing for the Unified State Exam. And the state and graduates already receive a ready-made result in the form of state examination points, which will determine, as they say now, the “life trajectory” of a young man.


As for the control of knowledge and the quality of teaching, the point here, obviously, is not in the number of tests and reports of schools to the authorities, but in their quality. An overabundance of formal controls is not only stressful, but also evil. However, the interpretation of the president’s instructions in the spirit of the schoolgirl’s reaction described above may become even more evil: Putin, they say, canceled the control ones. In the same spirit, raspberries, alas, can perceive the president’s message in other schools.

How can we overcome degeneration

On the other hand, the rector of the Moscow State Pedagogical University, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Alexei Lubkov, believes that the president’s attention to the topic of education and the entry into such details as the number of tests is quite natural and worthy of respect. In a commentary to the First Russian, he emphasized:

The presidential administration has initiated several round tables in the educational community. It turned out that the greatest stress on teachers is precisely the overload with their control from the side of various supervisory agencies. The shaft of control at different levels also belongs to this bureaucratic burden. There is no time left for analysis of mistakes, that is, it does not work to increase knowledge. All this is a direct consequence of the “egeization” of education: we cannot fundamentally solve this problem, so we need to mitigate it.

According to Lubkov, the “common sense” of education departments of different levels will help prevent the situation from swinging in the opposite direction – the complete cancellation of control works.

However, rely on the “common sense” of officials, but do not make a mistake yourself. Therefore, in the list of Putin’s important instructions in the educational sphere, there is a seemingly not so important terminological issue. The government and the State Council were instructed to exclude the concept of “educational service” from the legislation. Namely, this is how the process of obtaining education in Russia is still called in regulatory state documents.

Despite the fact that the president himself had repeatedly rejected the definition of education as a “service” before, this terminology was preserved in the normative acts, which means that it continued its destructive work. Now this next verbal outgrowth of the liberal paradigm will be cleaned up – and this is good news. It is much more difficult to chop off not only in words but also in deeds all the poisonous anti-national shoots that have grown in our country over the years.

So what?

Russia, despite the clearly visible efforts to get out of the perilous matrix of liberal capitalism and Western “democracy”, on which it was placed in the early 1990s, periodically slips, slipping back. Education, especially school education, is an extremely important link in our Fatherland’s acquisition of true sovereignty and national idea. It is not for nothing that so many visible and invisible copies break around him. Every “trifle” is important here: essays, tests, terminology.

The first Russian TV channel Tsargrad constantly “monitors” this sphere. And “saving the people of Russia”, “protecting traditional spiritual and moral values”, which Vladimir Putin named yesterday at the Security Council meeting among the main national priorities, are certainly unthinkable without “metanoia” – correcting the minds of both fellow citizens and those in power. And it starts from school. The fact that the head of state has finally begun to fully delve into this problem cannot but reassure. In Russia, nothing moves without a tsar.

Andrey Samokhin

Photo: AGN “Moscow”

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