“Think, act, create”: multilingual education system to start running in Tatarstan as soon as in 2020

Renaissance republican fund has drawn conclusions of the first stage of its business – the revival of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk – and determined tasks of the second one: the creation of a multilingual education system

“Think, act, create”: multilingual education system to start running in Tatarstan as soon as in 2020 Photo: tatarstan.ru

A meeting of the supervisory and administrative boards of Renaissance fund took place under State Advisor of Tatarstan, founder of the Republic Fund for Revival Historical and Cultural Sites of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiyev in the Kazan Kremlin. Reformation of the education system was the key topic for discussion. The pilot project is aimed to demonstrate how a future school looks like, create complexes of multilingual education. At first, there will be six schools across Tatarstan. More is in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

Stage one: revival of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk is over

The first large-scale project of Renaissance republican fund has been successfully completed. Its founder Mintimer Shaimiyev announced it at the meeting of the supervisory and administrative boards of Renaissance fund. It’s the revival of two historical sites of the republic – ancient Bolgar and the island city of Sviyazhsk.

“It was both hard and easy. Probably because we had many helpers and Most High’s support. We laid a solid foundation for further protection and conservation of world heritage sites. We got international recognition. It’s all the republic’s business. Nobody has ever dealt with so many sites, I mean big, nationwide. It’s an impetus and a constant stimulus to do serious jobs,” Shaimiyev stressed.

Bolgar and Sviyazhsk are now handed to the Ministry of Culture and the Tatarstan State Committee for Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites. Moreover, the first Tatarstan president honestly warned he would personally control the results of his work and works of thousands of single-minded people given to other people. And people from UNESCO will also come. So the sites can become better and attractive for tourists, but without novelties and careless attitude. Otherwise, the republic can simply lose them. The world practice has examples about the exclusion from the list of UNESCO World Historical Heritage Sites.

As for the team, Tatarstan now can take on any tasks with such professionals. Moreover, it has already done it.

“A kind of artificial stagnation in the education system was created in our country, while teaching methods for children change around the world. We can’t fall behind. Too much is at stake,” the Tatarstan state advisor is sure

We cant fall behind in education

“We took on a new project together with the fund – the problem of education’s state. The world changes so fast that we fall behind it, don’t catch up with it. A kind of artificial stagnation in the education system was created in our country, while teaching methods for children change around the world. We can’t fall behind. Too much is at stake,” the Tatarstan state advisor is sure.

“The republic successfully develops. We have a knowledge-based developing economy. We need world-class worthy specialists. We should smartly give tasks. Oil production, oil processing, petrochemical sectors, KAMAZ – is a complex with a history, but upgraded and still advanced – aircraft engineering, helicopter engineering, shipbuilding. Staff is needed everywhere. And the country’s strategy is mainly associated with the education system’s success,” he stressed.

The question is about the competitiveness of both the youngest specialists and the country in general. A professional who is live, active, speaks several languages, looks for new knowledge and aspires to improve his skills is a priori able to achieve more both for himself and the enterprise he works in. But the foundation of future success is laid in childhood.

“A system of modern educational complexes should be created in Tatarstan where education will be given in at least three languages: Tatar, Russian, English. A graduate must fluently speak them, he or she should have an ability of personal development and growth,” noted Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan and Minister of Education and Science of Tatarstan Rafis Burganov.

There will be six complexes in total in the republic – one in Almetyevsk, Nizhnekamsk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Yelabuga and two in Kazan.

“A system of modern educational complexes should be created in Tatarstan where education will be given in at least three languages: Tatar, Russian, English,” noted Rafis Burganov

“To create multilingual complex across Tatarstan, a working group consisting of directors of the most successful schools, scientists of the Academy of Sciences, management representatives of education and the ministry. We discussed approaches to form complexes, educational programmes. As a result, a project of the concept was created. The project hasn’t been completed yet, it’s still polished. Understanding that preschool education is an important level of education, a decision to create basic kindergartens was made. Nowadays they total 24. A concept of preschool multilingual education is elaborated. It’s being actively created nowadays. We have a task to expose it until 1 June.”

In most cases, already existing schools and kindergartens were a basis for the future complexes, which partly fulfil ideas of multilingual education. In Kazan, it’s School No. 165 where few pupils speak less than three languages. In Naberezhnye Chelny, it’s Golden Fish kindergarten. Children in two groups play and communicate in three languages, kids in another five groups speak two languages. Almetyevsk, in turn, has had an experiment with two languages teaching almost 6,000 pupils from 34 kindergartens.

“Because we don’t want to create everything from scratch. For instance, we go to the microdistrict in Kazan where School No. 165 is located. We look at the state of the main building of the school, the state of basic kindergartens. We repair what needs to be repaired, we will build a new building of the senior or primary school if needed. If there is a shortage to fill schools of basic kindergartens, we will build the new ones and attract children from neighbouring districts. Many facilities that will be built are already included in the plan. Now we’re building a senior school by the School No. 165’s example with the fund, we’re expanding the primary school.”

The works on sites are already humming now. Minister of Construction, Architecture and Housing Utilities of the republic Irek Fayzullin said what had managed to do:

“In accordance with the tasks given at the previous meeting and the approved schedule on the construction of the school for 1,244 pupils on Bondarenko Street, the site was prepared on time, the project’s documentation was created, the state expert review was obtained. The works are running in the main school building. 48% of piles have been fixed – 654 pieces nowadays. The main developer controls the site.”

The works on sites are already humming now. Minister of Construction, Architecture and Housing Utilities of the republic Irek Fayzullin said what had managed to do

Everything keeps to the schedule in the teaching block of the building. As for the boarding school for 240 seats, the technical documentation was filed for expert review. Approvals have been obtained. We don’t see problems. 241 piles have been fixed – 48% too. The building on Bichurina Street, here our facility doesn’t presuppose federal financing. We provide works on the façade, roof and major overhaul and reconstruction in the approved part of the old building in summer. The task is to complete the approved moments. This is about the old building. As for the annexe, it’s hard to call it an annexe, a new building.

We will agree on the documentation. We just need to agree on the project. We plan to obtain a positive expert review on 1 June. The contractor is already preparing the sites – 80% of works are completed, and 60% of piles have been fixed in. 50% of the networks have been laid. This week we will finish laying the networks, and the site will be completely ready. Each complex will also have suburban campuses operating all year round.

Boarding schools are needed so that not only children who had a chance to live next to it but also talented boys and girls from other districts of the republic, Russian cities and even from abroad could study in the new centres.”

Major problem

“Whatever repair was done, whatever benefits were given, children won’t start speaking three languages if there aren’t teachers who speak these languages fluently,’’ Larisa Karamova, the headmistress of that kindergarten Golden Fish in Naberezhnye Chelny, raised the major problem. And the hall welcomed this remark with a round of applause.

Indeed, there is a problem, a serious one, but it's solvable.

“We will involve everyone. There was a talk with a state university. There is an understanding. The university has good possibilities to train good, top-level teachers. In our universities we reach children from many countries – people from Spain, Italy, France come to study. And we should teach teachers for ourselves. Now a programme is prepared together with the Ministry of Education, the Academy of Sciences, first of all, to train teachers for our multilingual schools. It’s one of the major tasks. There is a proposal from senior students to attract students to teach at schools, while high graders from multilingual schools can work in basic kindergartens. It’s both practice and money for graduates. And foreign specialists can be attracted, too,” Mintimer Shaimiyev shared.

“Whatever repair was done, whatever benefits were given, children won’t start speaking three languages if there aren’t teachers who speak these languages fluently,’’ Larisa Karamova, the headmistress of that kindergarten Golden Fish in Naberezhnye Chelny, raised the major question. And the hall welcomed this remark with a round of applause

Moreover, active interaction with parents will be created in the new system. This is done to enable parents to take part in the school’s extracurricular life and be involved in the educational process.

The project aimed to create the multilingual complexes in Tatarstan will have three stages. During the first stage, two complexes will be created in Kazan. The others won’t fall behind too much. The Almetyevsk mayor hopes to open in 2022.

By Arseny Favstritsky. Photo: tatarstan.ru
Tatarstan

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