Society Is Not Ready to Pay for Additional Education for Children

7 december 2015

How to assess quality of additional education for children? What are foreign models? What are prospects of development of additional education in Russia? Experts discussed these and other questions during the Round Table ‘Models of independent estimates of quality of additional education for children’, which was held at the Analytical Center.

According to Inna Karakchieva, the expert of the Analytical Center, despite the presence of the regulatory framework, the level of development of the additional education system is still at the opening stage. An independent assessment should have a positive impact on quality and accessibility of services, development of competitive environment, as well as destribute best practices, considers the expert. Authorities are working together with consumers and producers to resolve these issues; they all have their own goals and ideas about quality, said Ms Karakchieva.

Maxim Inkin, the representative of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, noted that the Ministry pays special attention to the system of additional education. ‘We adopted a Concept of additional education for children, and it states that under the lack of standards the quality revaluation of services implementation is really important,’ the official said, noting that existing problems cannot be solved without the independent quality assessment system, and the Ministry of Education and Science is planning to dive into this issue in 2016.

Alexander Kostin, the Founder of InLearno, said that education is divided into general and additional, and these are two completely different systems. Thus, the assessment of general education quality is based on students’ results, and the assessment of additional education consists of 3 stages. ‘The first stage – the system of basic level evaluation, parents’ reviews and quality rating. The second – evaluation of the results achieved by children. The third – a ‘ruble voting’ that is abandoning the budget financing of additional education and switching to a system of educational certificates,’ said Mr Kostin.

‘Of course, one day the ‘ruble voting’ will operate in Russia, but it is necessary to move gradually,’   said Svetlana Pavlushkova, the Chairperson of the Labor Union Organization of Vologda Oblast. Additional education in Russia was free of charge for too long, while playing heavily in the upbringing of children, according to the expert. ‘Such a large investment of public funds in this sector exists only in Russia. Russian citizens are not yet ready for such a change,’ said Ms Pavlushkova.