The Analytical Center has become an intellectual partner with the 1st International Build School fair.
Analytical Center expert Inna Karakchieva moderated a round table on new construction and modernization of the existing schools and kindergartens, which was featured in the business program of the fair. The participants talked about how modern methods can be used to transform the old mas produced school and kindergarten buildings and create a new educational infrastructure. "By September 1st 76 schools had been opened, another 94 are to open through the end of the year, however the problem of wear and tear of school and kindergarten buildings and their failure to meet modern requirements remains very much relevant. This academic year 1 million more students joined our school system and the total number of students has reached 15.5 million," Ms. Karakchieva said, stressing that these figures are the best illustration there can be for the scale and relevance of the problem.
As part of the program to help the expand the capacity of general education organizations in the subjects of the Russian Federation, which is part of the priority educational project aimed at creating a modern educational environment for grade, middle and high school students, the subjects of the Russian Federation get RUB 25 billion from the federal treasury on an annual basis and last year 7 pilot projects were launched to create a new type of school.
The priority project aims to not only create a modern educational environment for grade, middle and high school students in our country but also create an impulse of change, kicking off new development efforts and guiding the subjects of the federation towards more focus on creating convenience, transform-ability, versatility and modernity in the modern educational infrastructure, Ms. Karakchieva noted. The regions are implementing new approaches to creating modern educational environments and for this reason it's very important to assess the projects that are being implemented, replicate the best practices and find new effective mechanisms that all the stake holders can employ to interact with each other.
The expert believes that the most pressing issue is the creation of future schools in rural settlements where the number of students per school may be less than 150 people. Both the municipal authorities and local communities can be engaged by means of creating social clusters, this approach has already proved successful, for example in the Republic of Komi. There are examples of projects implemented at the municipal level: in Yekaterinburg schools are not only becoming environmentally friendly and energy efficient, but the quality, design and convenience of the educational environment are changing as well.
During a round table on the architecture environment and education experts discussed a broad range of issues from the promotion of social demand for a modern educational environment in schools and kindergartens to new trends in education that are manifesting in school architecture. "The impact of architecture on education is quite significant and poorly designed school and kindergarten buildings negatively impact the educational space," Inna Karakchieva noted. " However, the educational community hardly ever pay much attention to the architecture of the educational space that children grow up, are raised and taught in." The problem is that the orders for school buildings that architects get do not contain enough information about what kind of environment is needed, Ms. Karakchieva believes. At the same time, Russia's got a lot of experience in creating unique architecture for educational institutions.
The development of new schools can be based on a merging of the goals and functions of the educational program and the space that the educational organization exists in, i.e. its building. "The building designs for schools and kindergartens must have interiors and exteriors replete with details communicating positive messages and new information, " Ms. Karakchieva is convinced. "Smart surfaces that interact with people are another trend in modern educational spaces for new schools."