Ilsur Khadiullin: ‘We have to fix the situation in an emergency order’

The August Pedagogical Council highlighted the sore points of the Tatarstan education system

Ilsur Khadiullin: ‘We have to fix the situation in an emergency order’
Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

The workload of teachers with non-teaching duties, the shortage of schools, kindergartens, and teachers, the unwillingness of schoolchildren to study exact sciences, which our publication has recently written about, as well as the prospects for the development of digital education in the Republic of Tatarstan were discussed on 16 August in Kazan at the traditional August Pedagogical Council — the republican meeting of education and science workers. Read the details of the meeting and the sore points of the Tatarstan education system in the report of Realnoe Vremya.

“I ask you to respect the rights of teaching staff”

The Big August Pedagogical Council was opened by the rais of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov — he thanked the Russian government for its support, and Minister of Education of Russia Sergey Kravtsov and Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov — “for personal participation in the development of education of the republic”. After that, a very optimistic video greeting from Sergey Kravtsov was included, addressed to the participants of all August meetings in the regions of Russia. However, the subsequent speech of the republican Minister of Education and Science significantly reduced the degree of optimism.

Big August Pedagogical Council was opened by the rais of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov. Dinar Fatykhov/

Ilsur Khadiullin began his speech by saying that the Year of the Teacher and Mentor in Tatarstan was celebrated with a large set of events, the list of which is crowned by the creation of a park and the installation of a monument to the teacher on the Kazanka embankment, the Belem Museum of Education on the territory of Kazan Federal University, as well as the publication of a book about the centennial path of development of the education system of Tatarstan.

Ilsur Khadiullin stated the need to limit the load on teachers Dinar Fatykhov/

Then he started talking about the need to limit the load on teachers, which is not related to the curriculum. The minister referred to the results of a survey of teachers, which showed that, despite that for almost a year — since September 2022 — the law on reducing the bureaucratic burden on teachers has been in force, the problem remains acute.

“I ask the heads of municipal districts and city districts, heads of ministries and departments to respect the rights of teaching staff, limiting the practice of assigning them work that is not related to pedagogical activity," Ilsur Khadiullin addressed colleagues and subordinates. “To solve this problem, the participation of all levels of government is necessary.

Situation in Kuyuki

The Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan very delicately recalled in his report about the scandal that broke out in the summer of 2023 in Kuyuki, where 200 children from among those living in a village that had actually been part of Kazan for a long time did not get into the only school that was commissioned only 2 years ago.

“In 43 districts of the republic, there is 100% availability of preschool education for children of the appropriate age categories," Ilsur Khadiullin said. “At the same time, there is a risk of not achieving this indicator in the Pestrechinsky and Laishevsky municipal districts, where intensive construction of residential complexes is underway…The situation in the village of Kuyuki in the Pestrechinsky district, where two and a half thousand school-age children live, is indicative. At the same time, there is only one general education organisation functioning there — the Algorithm lyceum.

Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan recalled the scandal that broke out in the summer of 2023 in Kuyuki. provided by Yury Publikov/ (archive)

He stressed that the root of the problem lies in the inconsistency in planning the construction of housing and educational facilities in these, as well as in the Vysokogorsky and Tukayevsky districts — it is the active construction of “warrens” that are not provided with infrastructure that leads to a shortage of places in educational organisations.

“We are forced to fix the situation in an emergency order, although it could have been prevented even at the stage of forming development plans at the municipal level," the minister summed up.

A bleak reflection of Russian trends

Ilsur Khadiullin presented to the participants of the August Pedagogical Council the data on the results of the Unified State Exam in 2023, and it turned out that with Tatarstan consistently ahead of Russia in points, the level of knowledge of republican graduates in the disciplines most important for continuing education has noticeably sunk compared to 2022.

“In general, our results are a “mirror image” of all-Russian trends," the minister noted. “This is an increase in the average score in chemistry, biology, literature, its stability in geography and a drop in physics, computer science and social studies.

The minister touched, however very cautiously, on the problem that has recently been raised by Realnoe Vremya — the steady decline in the number of graduates in Tatarstan who know well and are eager to take the disciplines necessary for further successful studies at universities in technical specialties, to which special attention is now being paid in Russia.

In today's realities, there is simply no one to “make” engineers of in the republic: the passing score for state-funded places is indecently low, as is the knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology by applicants.

Ilsur Khadiullin cited shocking facts: the results of the state final certification of graduates who claimed to be awarded the medal “For Special Achievements in Teaching” were far from successful — in Alekseevsky, Kaibitsky, Laishevsky, Apastovsky, Drozhzhanovsky, Buinsky, Chistopolsky, Mendeleevsky, Arsky and Nurlat districts, more than a third of them failed to score 70 points on subject by choice. Moreover, in the Alekseevsky and Kaibitsky districts, 62,5% and 60%, respectively, turned out to be such.

“Engineering education requires special attention, which is impossible without knowledge of exact and natural science subjects," the minister said. “In the last two years, there has been a decrease in the number of graduates choosing physics, chemistry, biology and specialised mathematics for the Unified State Exam. In general, there is an understanding of what this is related to. Among the reasons, one can single out the peculiarities in the rules of admission to engineering specialties in universities (future engineers are given a choice — to take mathematics, physics, chemistry they need, or simpler subjects like computer science, which do not subsequently ensure the assimilation of the university programme by students — I.S.) and the shortage of highly qualified subject teachers. In general, it seems necessary to develop a programme to correct the situation.

Eternal shortage of personnel

But the problem of the shortage of teachers, which our publication wrote about, remains unresolved.

“At the beginning of the school year, the need for them amounted to about 2 thousand people," the minister said. “The largest number of vacancies — in subjects such as mathematics, physics, Russian and foreign languages, elementary grades.

For the upcoming academic year, the need for mathematics teachers is 306 people, and the KFU and Naberezhnye Chelny Pedagogical University have graduated only 147 specialists this year. And even if all graduates go to work in schools (which is unrealistic), the need can only be half closed. The situation is no better with physics teachers: with a total need of 146 people, the KFU prepared only 40 of them in 2023.

“The problem is partially solved by attracting university students who have successfully passed the intermediate certification for three years of study," said Ilsur Khadiullin. “Last academic year, 445 such students worked in schools and kindergartens of the republic. However, the situation remains critical and requires a comprehensive solution, including targeted career guidance work with schoolchildren, motivational measures to attract teachers from municipalities and universities.

Thank you all!

Apparently, taking into account this difficult situation in which the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan is, and the efforts of the department to find a way out of it, concluding the meeting of the August Pedagogical Council, Rustam Minnikhanov did not utter a single word of criticism.

“The status and authority of a teacher is very important," he stressed in a brief closing speech and instructed Ilsur Khadiullin to prepare issues that could be considered by the council of rectors of Tatarstan universities to develop measures to improve the situation in the education system of the republic.

Status and authority of the teacher is very important," said Rustam Minnikhanov, closing the meeting. Dinar Fatykhov/

And then, noting: “A lot of work has been done, we sincerely thank our teachers, managers and employees of education centres," Rustam Minnikhanov went on to present awards to teachers.

Inna Serova

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