Teachers and parents express opinions against the "Talk about the important"

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Teachers and parents express opinions against the "Talk about the important"
Teachers and parents express opinions against the "Talk about the important"
1 September, 13:13Photo: Соцсети
The Russian public reacted extremely negatively to another pseudo-patriotic undertaking by school officials.

Ivan Zubov

Two days ago, Novye Izvestia already wrote about parents' concern about the intention of the Ministry of Education to "strengthen" propaganda work in Russian schools. Family psychologist Lyudmila Petranovskaya, however, reassured them as best she could, explaining that it is unlikely that officials will be able to achieve any results in this field. However, the anxiety does not subside, because things have already gone too far.

According to many Russian media and social networks, according to the decision of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, every Monday in all schools in the country will begin with an extracurricular lesson on "patriotic" topics. The so-called "Talk about the important" officials ordered to be held weekly on Mondays in all Russian schools for all students from grades 1 to 11. They will start on September 5th. With pupils of the first and second grades, for example, they will conduct "talks about the unity of the country, about how it is necessary to preserve and protect one's culture, one's people." Pupils of the third and fourth grades will be told what to love the Motherland means, among other things, "to perform military duties, to be in military service." The script for the lesson for grades 5-7 includes a conversation about the events in Ukraine.

“It follows from the methodological materials: third-graders should be led by teachers to the idea that “the happiness of the Motherland is more precious than life” and “it’s not scary to die for the Motherland”, fifth-graders should be convinced that “military assistance from the collective West increases the number of victims of a special operation” of the Russian armed forces by territory of Ukraine, and for high school students to cite as an example the hero who lured the nationalists into the minefields. - writes Kommersant .

Patriotism can only be instilled by example.

In this regard, the Soft Power movement, together with the Alliance of Teachers , prepared a Statement of Disagreement with the new educational policy.

“We urge parents not to let their children go to propaganda classes on Mondays!” the statement says.

“We are sure that true patriotism is not brought up in an atmosphere of hatred, fear and obligation. Patriotism can be instilled only by example: doing charity work, protecting nature, studying and preserving historical heritage. And parents should do this, and the school should help, not interfere. This is, first of all, the business of parents, not officials.

Many directors, out of fear of their superiors, deceive their parents, declaring that propaganda lessons are obligatory. However, we declare: you are not obliged to send your children to these classes.

Activists offer teachers:

- refuse to conduct such lessons, defend the freedom to choose an educational program, write appeals to the Ministry of Education;

- if you can not refuse at all, conduct this lesson with real benefit for children, teach them to think, offer discussions without edification and instruction. There is a huge difference between patriotism and aggressive militarism, teach them to see this difference.

Activists recommend parents:

- boycott "Conversations about the important", which will be the first lesson on Monday. If you can, bring the child to the second lesson;

- team up with other parents, find like-minded people with whom you can write a collective appeal to the school principal about your unwillingness to attend extra-curricular propaganda classes, collect signatures, let the doubters join the most active;

- send an individual or collective appeal to the Ministry of Education with a request to transfer the class hour “Talk about important things” from the first on Monday to the last on Friday, so that there is a free opportunity not to attend this lesson, as the system of extracurricular activities suggests.

It would be better to teach children how to pay in stores

But that's not all. According to the Nestka publication, children with intellectual disabilities will also be taught "active patriotism" through "Conversations about the Important". Patriotic "Conversations about the important" will be held for children with disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorder.

Methodological recommendations on conducting in schools a cycle of extracurricular activities "Talk about the important" for children with health problems, mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), were published on August 31.

Parents of children with autism were skeptical about the idea of these activities.

Svetlana Gladkova , member of the coordinating council of the Spektr Association, which helps people with autism spectrum disorders and other psychological development disorders, explains:

“Conversations with my son about patriotism and love for the motherland will be largely meaningless. It's a waste of kids' time that could have gone into teaching them how to cut their own salad. It's also a waste of time for teachers.

Our class does not yet know anything about this and, as far as I know our school, they will not do anything inadequate. Our teachers know perfectly well what our children are capable of and what it is worth spending time on - their own and their children's.

After all, we have a truly inclusive education, which we never tire of boasting about. And, you know, all the children of our school, next to whom children with special needs study, know perfectly well how important it is to help those who need it and not leave their own in trouble. They learn this not while talking about important things, but at every lesson and at every break, when they see that another person may be different from you, but at the same time you can communicate with him, you can be friends, you can help him.

My son distinguishes colors and shapes, knows clothes, cartoon characters and some books, as well as a bunch of songs by heart and in general a lot of everything that he can understand, touch, see. He does not know that he is Russian (and I will not even try to explain that he is one-eighth Jewish), that there are some other people who are not Russian, and his beloved girlfriend Anyuta comes every summer to visit her grandmother from some there America. And what kind of America this is, he also does not know. And about every day off all summer he was going to visit Anyuta, and I told him that this year there were no planes flying, so Anyuta could not come. We have such conversations about the important.”

Svetlana is echoed by Galina from Novosibirsk, mother of a 12-year-old son with autism:

“A child with ASD needs other 'talk about important things', like how to pay at the store and how not to get hit by a car. And where do you get extra hours for these classes, when it often takes children with ASD twice as long to learn a math lesson?

“In our country, not everything is going smoothly with inclusion, either in education or in society in general. Finding a circle for a child with disabilities, where he will be taught to swim, ride a bike, draw or play the piano is always a little feat for both the parent and the teacher, says Gladkova. “Even the basic constitutional right to education requires a lot of effort from parents.”

Do not despair: propaganda for children is like water off a duck's back!

Public figure Alena Popova was also extremely skeptical about the idea of officials:

“Children who came to study and gain knowledge will solemnly sing the anthem and raise the flag at the entrance to the school tomorrow. Between the lessons of mathematics and reading, first-graders will insert lessons in a new history ...

And, of course, the lessons “Conversations about the important”. Just don’t think that it’s about security, education, at worst, financial literacy. What do you! Here the children will be explained how to love their homeland. Seriously, you can hardly think of something more effective in order to cause negativity than coercion.

Just imagine, every day (instead of preparing for the lesson and chatting with friends) you are in the snow and in the rain, in the heat and in the cold, sleepily trying to sing a hymn. At the same time, it is required to sing in the most patriotic way: literally with fire inside. I remember that in kindergarten we were forced to read poetry on a stool under a portrait of Lenin. They dressed us in the kindergarten at the same time in headscarves and kokoshniks. That's all you need to know about strained patriotism. At the same time, my classmates and I, when we removed the uniform requirement at school, were the first to put on suits from the market a la Adidas. For the coercion got us just the most I don’t want to.

None of the teachers in my kindergarten ever explained to me why I should adore the authorities for empty shelves in stores or for the fact that my mother and I stood in huge queues for milk and sour cream from early morning. The only thing that warmed my patriotism at school was not poems to Lenin and an asterisk of the October Revolution, but carcinogenic pies with jam and ice cream. All. And also candies "Bird's Milk", which were worth their weight in gold and appeared once a year. Successfully hid from me by my parents, they were right there by me and completely eaten in 5 minutes.

You know, it's all so dark, but I believe in children. They are often quick-witted and see the world through very different eyes than we do. So all these political minutes are more for teachers who will sit on election commissions back in 2024. And propaganda for children is like water off a duck's back. Don't despair and don't be afraid to send your kids to school. Talk to them at home, speak calmly and honestly. They will understand…”

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