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Running from the state: the number of parents choosing private schools for their children increases
22 June, 15:35
Society
Running from the state: the number of parents choosing private schools for their children increases
Entrance exams for specialized and private schools in Russia are over. They showed that private education is becoming more and more in demand in the country. Experts note a trend: the demand for private schools is growing in parallel with the strengthening of patriotic education in public educational institutions.

Irina Mishina

Pupils in grades 6-8 of the Krasnoyarsk Territory were asked to study the president's speech and talk about why neighbors become enemies. Recommendations were also sent to the schools of the region on conducting history lessons on the latest events in Ukraine, ngs24.ru reports. And on September 1, 2022, an additional course in modern history will be introduced in all schools of the country. Meanwhile, in Belgorod, Chuvashia and Tyumen, a "Hero's Desk" dedicated to the military who died during the hostilities in Ukraine appeared. According to media reports, against this background, a mass transfer of children from public schools to private ones began.

The quality of education does not depend on the form?

Today, the demand for private schools in Russia is going through the roof. At the same time, private schools are not lost and raise prices. For example, at the Letovo school, whose owner, billionaire Vadim Moshkovich, fell under personal sanctions, the cost of education under the IB DP program doubled from 1.4 million rubles to 2.8 million rubles, writes The Moscow Times. In other schools, the price increase averages 20%.

In the meantime, innovation from the past is promised in public schools. In Russia, a program of class hours on social and political topics is being developed, designed for 32 weeks. This was announced during the “Class Marathon” by the head of the Russian Presidential Administration for Public Projects, Sergey Novikov.

“The quality of education does not depend on the form”, - says Yevgeny Yamburg, Honored Teacher of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Director of Education Center No. 109. - Private schools are now less than 1%, and their choice depends, as a rule, on parents. Most often, private schools are chosen for children with developmental problems. As for ideology and class hours related to politics, we all, in my opinion, need to get rid of hatred and aggression. If you spend a class hour, then about the tragedy of two peoples. I have no sympathy for the Nazis, but I am against Ukrainophobia. In this regard, I recall an illustrative case from history. Once, children were brought to Auschwitz on a tour, among whom was the grandson of the commandant of the concentration camp. When he learned about the atrocities of the Nazis, he began to cry. To this, the rabbi answered him: “Boy, you are not to be blamed for anything”.

However, it would be a mistake to assume that only ideology is the reason for the mass transfer of children to private schools.

“Russian private schools today offer very interesting programs. These are new educational practices, new educational spaces, a team of professionals is selected very carefully. Private schools today offer a very high standard of education and use modern pedagogical concepts. And these concepts work, it's not just about subject academic achievements, it's the formation of motivation, the ability to make choices, and communication. In the end, this is a happy living in a period of formation in life”, - Irina Abankina, Candidate of Economic Sciences, Director of the Institute for the Development of Education of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, tells NI.

Who can afford a private school

The cost of studying in private schools is not affordable for everyone. For example, in the New School in the 2022-2023 academic year, the cost of education for those who entered the 2019-2020 academic year and later will be 770,000 rubles per year, 77,000 rubles per month for each of the 10 academic months. In Horoshkole, the cost of a gymnasium in grades 5-11 and IB DP will cost 144,000 ₽ / month and, accordingly, 1,440,000 ₽ / year, but the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB DP) in grades 10-11 will cost 234,000 ₽ /month and 2 340 000 ₽/year. At the Letovo school, the cost of education this year is approaching 2.8 million a year.

However, almost all children entering Letovo receive a scholarship, which depends on the family income. “Let's start with the fact that the cost of education at Letovo is really high. But the cost price is the amount that the school itself spends per student per month, it includes payment not only for the main course of study, but also for absolutely all circles, sections, special courses, teaching materials and equipment, campus accommodation. We are well aware that for the families of many of our applicants, paying the cost in full is simply impossible. That is why the Letovo Scholarship Fund was created, so that everyone who successfully passes the exams has the opportunity to study at our school. 23% of students study absolutely free of charge, in total, 80% of families received a scholarship from the fund in the required amount, ”the Letovo school explained to us. The scholarship system also exists in other private schools. “All private schools are trying to find the possibility of differential payment. This is the flexibility of financial policy. The increase in tuition prices is now due to the fact that tariffs are rising, wage requirements are rising, but the main thing is the equipment of schools. We have to invest a lot in the digital educational environment”, - explains Irina Abankina, director of the Institute for the Development of Education at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Who is leaving public schools and why

Modern private schools are very different. Among them are confessional and national; elite and communal; schools created by the type of charter (Charter School) or schools of the "free" type (Free School) and many others. Even among seemingly “ordinary” private schools, each has its own specifics: Gazprom School and Letovo, Tochka Future in Irkutsk, and Naslednik School in Moscow. Most of them provide children with an education that goes beyond that provided by public schools.

Who chooses private schools today? “These are those who invest in the education of their children, that is, in the future. And this choice is not only in favor of motivation, but also of the environment: among whom the child learns is quite important. Private schools are not miserable spaces of closed classrooms with a closed corridor system. This is a space for joint creativity, discussion, communication. Those who are not satisfied with the rigidity of the curricula of the new educational programs, formalism, and bureaucracy in public schools also go there. There is another negative aspect in public schools: it is the exclusion of children with special educational needs, special children. They go to private schools, where they can get more attention, where special programs are selected for them, where teachers work with them, because inclusion, written as a slogan, is not implemented in public schools”, - says the director of the HSE Institute for Education Development Irina Abankina.

So, in the “Khoroshkola” in the list of services it is indicated: “tutor support for children from the 5th grade and supervision; support - individual support for students in lagging subjects; career guidance; medical support".

“There is an opinion: if a child has developmental problems, he chooses a private school. But in fact, the state school today provides all the necessary psychological and pedagogical support. Giftedness often leads to schizoidness. Such children often have psychological problems: if they get a "B" - they shoot at the teacher, if they don't get first place at the Olympiad - they have a nervous breakdown. And in general, the Nadia Rushevas, as it turned out, do not live long ( Nadya Rusheva is a gifted young artist who died at the age of 17 - approx. Ed .). They must be treated like a crystal vase. Here, very delicate work is needed”, - says Yevgeny Yamburg, Honored Teacher of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Director of Education Center No. 109.

Research shows that in addition to private education, every year more and more children in Russia are switching to home schooling. Even federal statistics record an increase in the number of such children by one and a half times compared to the 2018/2019 academic year, when there were a little more than 30 thousand. Some do not like the quality of education in public schools, others lack an individual approach, and some want to spend more time with their families. In Russia, family education is most often chosen for the following reasons: dissatisfaction with school education - 52% of parents (they believe that the school does not rationally spend time on studying subjects, does not provide a sufficient quality of education); psychological problems in a child - 38% of parents. “The reason is that the formation of one's own educational program with a personal value system becomes a more important element. This is one of the trends of the modern world”, - says Irina Abankina, Director of the Institute for the Development of Education at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

One way or another, the desire to form in children their own, “non-mass” value system is becoming a trend among Russian parents. The only question is whether there are means and opportunities for this.