Experts Claim Russian Secondary Education Is On Verge Of Collapse

April 16, 2018

Experts from the Russian Presidential Academy of Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) have revealed that secondary vocational education in Russia is at risk of collapsing.  The report states that current the budget financing allocated for education is barely enough for minimal development of schools and universities.

Demand for secondary vocational education in Russia is increasing, yet the budget allocated for its development is extremely limited. Over 41% of school graduates prefer to enter vocational colleges after 9th grade and 17% after the 11th grade.

“Since 2014 the rules governing state exams became more rigorous and many schoolchildren preferred to enter secondary vocational education, rather than go in to the universities”, noted director of the Centre for Continuing Education Economics at RANEPA, Tatyana Klyachko.

The report indicates that the number of students who may wish to enter secondary vocational education could rise more than twofold by 2024.  Klyachko noted that if the forecast is true, “the system will collapse”. It is necessary to start updating the material base and increase pay for teachers. The current federal budget for education — 3,6% of GDP — is not enough to keep up with the upcoming number of students. Russia has been decreasing state expenditure on higher education since 2012 and as a result it currently occupies one of the last places in terms of educational spending.

The authors of the report, Tatyana Klyachko and Galina Tokareva, claim that in order to solve the problem of secondary vocational education spending, the education budget should be increased up to 4.4% GDP till 2024. Even an increase to 4% will allow all children from kindergarten to get a place at a school, increase the number of available nurses places, improve the general standard of schools and completely withdraw them from emergency accommodation.

Alexey Kudrin, ex-Minister of Finance, together with the Higher School of Economics presented a 12-step educational reform programme that is aimed at the development of school infrastructure, vocational colleges and universities, the digitalization of education, teacher training, growth of investment in basic research and support of preschool education.

Kudrin stated that reformation of the education system is a key mission for the Russian government. “Education today does not keep pace with the challenges of the time; it does not provide the Russian economy with the necessary personnel required for the development of a digital economy”

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