"When speaking about preschool education it is important to note that we have got the best system in the world. This is evidenced in its accessibility, which approaches 100%, the broad range of available formats and the high share of state financing," said Analytical Center expert Inna Karakchieva speaking at the 7th International Conference on Education and Training of Preschool Children.
At the same time, according to Ms Karakchieva, as part of the state policy for strengthening Russia's positions in the international education market and boosting the competitiveness of the education system of our country, preschool education is gaining in importance as a system that lays the foundation for human capital. For that reason one of the Russian president's May decrees states that Russia should become one of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of the quality of general education in the next five years and preschool education is the first element in the country's overall education system.
As part of the efforts to develop our country's human potential, the May Decree in question says an effective system must be created for identifying, supporting and developing talented and gifted kids to promote early age development of children of up to three years of age. These are closely interrelated objectives as early support for the development of each child later allows teachers, parents and society as a whole to consolidate efforts to create conditions conducive to personal fulfilment while identifying, supporting and helping each individual develop their unique skills and aptitudes.
"Today our view is that all children have gifts and aptitudes with no exception," Ms Karakchieva said. "Having an effective system in place for supporting and developing those talents is the foundation for making our overall education system more competitive."
The expert is of the opinion that there is another priority that must be addressed as it too can completely change the educational landscape, and this is the creation of a modern and safe digital environment for education, which should then become the development driver for every child and for the education system as a whole.
Ms Karakchieva identified seven main development priorities. These include a transformation of vocational training and professional development for preschool educators, the development of a digital educational environment and promotion of fundamental research, creation of a system for supporting and developing the natural aptitudes of preschoolers, which must include appropriate incentives, as well as efforts to improve methods for assessing the quality of preschool education and the support mechanisms in place to help children integrate when they enroll in grade school.
"What all the state initiatives in education have in common is one common national idea that Russian citizens should get education in spiritual and ethical values so they will know they are part of a great nation and that they have responsibility to their country, family and to themselves. Being an active citizen means the person must understand their own importance and be always willing to make a personal contribution to help the country grow and improve," Ms Karakchieva said in conclusion.