“The mechanism of upgrading educational standards must have transfer as its basis: from the main educational program to a tailored one, from total quality control to expert assessment,”- says Inna Karakchieva, an expert with the Analytical Centre, making her presentation titled “From Comprehensive Reform to Elective Education Development Models” at the XIV International Conference and Workshop “Current Trends in Education”. Finding a solution here will require consolidation of personnel, infrastructure, and financial resources of various educational institutions and due consideration of each territory’s socio-economic conditions and specific aspects of their development.
“Putting availability, quality and uniformity as the priorities in the educational system, the standardization mechanism, primarily the Federal State Educational Standards, sets the norms and requirements which become binding. When it comes to the standards of pre-school and primary school education, the effectiveness of their adaptation directly depends on the quality and level of the professional standards of teachers. A teacher’s competence is what determines not only how successful students will be at mastering school education standards, but also the possibility of moving from the traditional focus on “the contents of education” (a body of knowledge, skills and abilities) to adjusting the educational system so that it seeks to generate 'competence'.
However, the very mechanism of application of the Federal State Educational Standards lacks practical adaptation, with inconsistencies and conflicts identified in almost every aspect. The expert believes that fine-tuning is required for both instruments related to organization and management as well as for the financial and economic ones.
Along with integration into the globalization processes and maintaining transparency as the key feature of the Russian educational system, experts expect the reform of the educational infrastructure to involve the diversity (in terms of both form and content) of tailored educational programs, curricula based on students’ individual needs, which, in its turn, indicates flexibility and diversity.
Ms. Karakchieva also believes that standardization of approaches and their sweeping application with no consideration for the specific characteristics of the region not only reduce the effectiveness of the educational reform mechanisms employed, but also entail a string of accruing problems, including rising social tensions and increasing costs and resource-intensiveness of the implemented reforms. “What could indeed help to remove the barriers and reduce the risks are elective models of education development tailored to solving specific problems defined by various regions in the specific conditions of these regions,” sums up the expert.