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  Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with five winners of the Teacher of the Year'2006 national competition in the Kremlin
Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with five winners of the Teacher of the Year'2006 national competition in the Kremlin. He also invited other winners to the meeting. The top five this year represented schools in a village in the southern Rostov region, St Petersburg, Ulyanovsk, Tyumen, and Chelyabinsk. Teacher or the Year annual competitions were launched 16 years ago, but for the first time ever four of the top five are teachers of the Russian language and literature and one is a historian, The winners were named this year by a panel of judges chaired by Viktor Sadovnichy, the president of Lomonosov Moscow State University. The prizes the winners get this year include a "crystal pelican," an electronic interactive desk, and a notebook computer. The name of a teacher who received the grand prix of the competition will be announced at a gala event in the State Kremlin Palace November 22. Putin used this opportunity to declare some of his viewpoints in the field of school education. Russian school system needs innovators and innovative ideas, he said. "The entire system needs the people who would meet the high international standards and would help Russia move along the innovative path of development it has chosen," Putin said. "As soon as we get a proper place in the world education system, we'll also get the same place in the international education space," he indicated. Putin said it is not worthwhile closing the schools that offer high standards of teaching, even though the number of students there may be less than required by administrative parameters. He admitted however that rural schools with rather limited numbers of students are traditionally the most expensive ones. "Now, what's more important -- to have a school in every village or to build education centers with good roads and accessible transportation," Putin said. A teacher from the town of Uglich remarked on this, however, that "a rural school is a source of local life, and if a school is closed then the locality will die out." A teacher of history from St Petersburg said frankly that he came from a megalopolis and was not an expert on education in rural areas, but added that "the most important thing is to make the system comfortable for students." One more point Putin mentioned was the system under which teachers' salaries were computed. He supported the idea of changing over from payments upon the instruction load measured in numbers of class hours to payments tied to the quality of education. The current system leads to a situation where children have to sit in the classrooms virtually from dawn and until dusk, do homework late at night and come back to school next morning ruffled and nervous, Putin said. The teachers indicated at the same time it would be highly undesirable to apply unified approaches to the computation of salaries in all situations. A teacher from the city of Tula said, for instance, an extrapolation of the thesis on excessive instruction hours to absolutely all the schools may prompt a slashing of academic loads even in the schools where they are not at all excessive.
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