“The new thing is nothing more than something old that we had forgotten”. It is a saying that many Russians like to repeat. The country is something resistant to the novelty, but at the same time a friend of knowledge: 96% of the population finished High School and more than half of the working-age population have a university degree or similar.
The intellectual capital is enormous, and Russia decides these days what education it wants. The space that sewing lessons and the study of Russian classics must have and, on the other hand, to what extent should the winds of globalization enter the classroom: languages, internet and that (new?) idea of a class turning around the student and not the teacher.
In short, recite Pushkin by heart but without losing pace with Chinese neighbors who are teaching their children artificial intelligence.
There are some educational oases in Moscow that have long since made thit debate old. The Detskoe Posolstvo (Children’s Embassy) is a hidden space in the middle of one of the largest parks in the center: a nursery school made of small wooden houses.
Inside, handmade toys. Outside, orchards that the children themselves cultivate. Russian is spoken but also English, a language with which the majority of the population still stumbles. Some children who already go to school help to manage the center on holidays, receiving even a salary for taking care of the little ones.
In 2014 Pearson / Economist Intelligence Unit rated Russia’s education as the 13th best in the world: it is one of the fields in which the communist inheritance played a positive role, but Russian schools are in the news only when some interrupt their activity because of some 67 degrees below zero.
However, in some of these forests may things are being done. Always with Pushkin’s consent.