Science and Education News

Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the RF, sent greetings to the participants and guests of the Meeting of young scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) “Past, present and future of science in Russia” and highlighted that resolution of social challenges of young researchers is one of the most important tasks of the state. The meeting of young scientists took place in the RAS headquarters building in Moscow on Monday, November 7.

“Henceforth the state shall pay prior attention to creation of conditions for fruitful and successful work of young scientists, their career development and effective realization of intellectual potential. Resolution of actual social challenges is an important key task”, - it is said in the greeting.

Prime minister expressed confidence that “such high professional and personal qualities as scientific forwardness and optimism, and ambitious and hardy ideas are highly popular today”.

According to Mr. Putin they help to achieve the set targets and make bright and “really groundbreaking discoveries”.

“First and foremost such energetic and assertive way of work is peculiar to you – young generation of Russian researchers. The future of Russian science, successful and innovative development of national economics and leading positions of our state highly depend on you and on your active and efficient participation”, - it is stated in the greeting.

October, 28, Friday, Yaroslav Kuzminov, President of National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) commented at the 2nd International Conference of Researchers of higher education that almost 90% of Russian government-subsidized students of technical and engineering specialties are mediocres, and the fee-paying students don’t have almost any skills.

Also he added that a person who came to study in the university still obtain some skills. Mr. Kuzminov supposes that the person there forms more advanced social skills – in some cases he or she manages to finish studying a foreign language, acquire some insight on social subjects or math basics. According to him such graduates are similar to the graduates of colleges of other countries of the world or junior colleges in the USA.

Mr. Kuzminov highlighted that annually 1.4 millions of graduates of universities, 420 thousands of graduates of technical secondary schools and 490 thousands of graduates of primary professional education enter labor market.

“If in 1980s approximately a third of all citizens had higher education then today it makes 70%”, - said Mr. Kuzminov and added that still employers are more likely to employ a student of higher education but not a graduate of a technical secondary school.

Within the Race Online 2012 initiative Great Britain intends to become the first country where each citizen has access to Internet. To realize this ambitious idea the government plans to subsidize distribution of cheap PC of Linux OS for those who don’t have a computer.

Value of such PC including LCD monitor, delivery and guarantee certificate shall make around 150 USD, and value of unlimited Internet would be reduced to 14 USD per month or 28 USD for 3 months.

At present according to preliminary calculations made by the campaign organizers there are near 9.3 millions of adults who don’t have access to the world wide net, 4 millions of which are too poor and can’t buy any computer.

October 12, Wednesday, Andrey Fursenko, Minister of Education and Science, made a report “Conditions and perspectives of teachers training in conditions of modernization” at the meeting of the Federation Council at the Government Hour. It was informed to Regions.ru by the press relations service of the Upper chamber of the Russian parliament.

As Mr. Fursenko mentioned in his speech at Government Hour at the Federation Council, this year the Ministry of Education pays special attention to plan figures stated for reference for the whole education system and aimed at improvement of quality of general education.

“Modernization of the education system has changed the image of a teacher in a modern school and the image of administration of an educational institute. We need “a new teacher” for “a new school”. This is a teacher who is responsible for quality of the result. Change of contents, methods and education technologies above all, new requirements to the results of teaching when transferring to the state federal educational standards of general education require proper staff training and retraining, which means reorganization of the whole system of teachers education system”, - highlighted the minister.

According to Mr. Fursenko, creation of conditions for execution of education process of new quality level could allow to provide plan transfer to the new education standards, to develop sufficient level of school infrastructure and to increase motivation of the teachers to study new technologies including information and communication ones. Increase of teachers’ salary will lead to moral and material impetus for teachers, increase of interest in quality of the result of their professional activity, marked the minister.

According to the Minister of Education and Science, complex of measures aimed at rise of prestige of teacher will allow to attract to schools 10 percent young specialists more than in 2010 (9100 specialists) – in accordance with opinion polls executed in professional colleges and universities for teachers. More than 220 thousand of students attended module courses of advance studies during the first half of the year 2011.

Further he informed that in 2011 the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia together with the Federal subjects began to realize the project of modernization of regional systems of general education and increase of teachers salary by aid grants. In the years 2011-2013 the total amount from federal budget for support of modernization of regional systems of general education shall make 120 billion RUR, 2011 – 20 billion RUR, 2012 – 60 billion RUR, 2013- 40 billion RUR.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science, realization of the project of modernization of regional systems of general education will provide increase of average teachers salary in the 4th quarter of 2011 not less than for 30 per cent in comparison with the average teachers salary in the 1st quarter of 2011. KPI of work of the RF subjects is proportion of average monthly teachers salary in a subject of the RF for the 4th quarter of 2010 and average monthly salary of the employees of the RF subject for the 1st quarter of 2011 according to figures from the Federal State Statistics Service.

The minister highlighted that in the result of the complex of means of state support of modernization of regional systems of general education the teachers salary level in each subject of the RF would reach the level of salary of the employees of the subjects of the RF in the sphere of economics. He gave an example that in 40 subjects of the RF the average level of teachers salary for September of the current year shall reach the average mark of general salary in the corresponding subjects of the RF in the sphere of economics for the 1st quarter of 2011, among them there are: Belgorodskaya, Vladimirskaya, Kaluzhskaya, Lipetskaya, Moscow, Orlovskaya, Tambovskaya, Tulskaya, Kaliningradskaya, Leningradskaya, Murmanskaya, Novgorodskaya, Pskovskaya, Volgogradskaya, Rostovskaya, Nizhegorodskaya, Penzenskaya, Samarskaya, Sverdlovskaya, Kemerovskaya, Novosibirskaya, Omskaya and Sakhalin regions, St-Petersburg, the republics of Kalmykia, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia-Alania, Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Altay, Buriatia, Sakha (Yakutia), Krasnodar, Altay, Zabaikalsky, Khabarovsky and Kamchatsky territories, Chukot Autonomous area and Khanty-Mansijsk Autonomous area – Yugra.

Mr. Fuesenko marked that the aim of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation is to increase average level of teachers salary up the average economics level on the one hand, and keep proportion of basic and stimulating part of the labor compensation fund in the salary structure on the other.

Further the head of the Ministry marked that today it is necessary to pay attention to new category of managerial human resources and specialists that are able to invent ways of development of an institute, educational services market and education in general. “Modern manager of the educational sphere without sense of perspective and ability to correct strategy constantly is impossible. The most important purpose in conditions of modernization of the system of general education is to train professional managers”, he told.

According to the minister means of social support for the teachers are also foreseen in the subjects of the Russian Federation, which include increase of volume of social support and financial motivation of teachers. Among other factors apart from non-recurrent payments to young teachers and bonus payments to the best ones that are wide-spread in many regions, there are regions where normative legal acts providing stable social and financial support to the teacher are approved by executive authorities. For example, the order of submission of free residential area with heating and free electricity by compensation of 100 per cent of expenses in the form of monthly payment to all employees of the institutes is stated in the Kirovsk region. And in the republic of Khakasia submission of action grants to the budgets of municipal subjects are given for development and realization of means for purchasing accommodations by young teachers in the country.

In his speech the minister marked that 56 subjects of the RF execute social support of young teachers in the form of non-recurrent payments, compensations for payment for rented accommodation, university or post-graduate professional education, traineeship in institutes of the countries near and far abroad, etc.

According to Mr. Fursenko methodical help of proficient teachers is very important for binding young teacher at their work positions. Some subjects of the Russian Federation renewed institutes of coaching to use experience of proficient teachers (for example, Altay, Krasnodar and Krasnoyarsk territories, Ianovskaya, Lipetskaya, Moscow, Pskovskaya and Tomskaya regions, the republics of Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia-Alania and Tatarstan). According to the minister, attraction of young specialists in schools and support of teachers-coachers – are effective means of binding young specialists to schools, developing respect for proficient teachers and decrease of social strain among the teachers.

Mr. Fursenko marked that development of educational staff aimed at development of social, moral and finance support of teachers on the one hand, and at encouragement of responsibility of teachers for their own contribution in development of educational system on the other.

Then the Minister of Education and Science of the RF answered many questions of the senators. The members of the Federation Council were interested with the following: training of teachers for disabled children, building new schools and students hostels, organization of internships for the students of teachers universities, comfort and safe delivery of children to schools, creation of education channel on TV and in Internet, etc. The mentioned question were asked by: Valentina Matvienko, Chairman of the Federation Council, Svetalana Orlova, Deputy of the Chairman of the Federation Council, senators: Oleg Panteleev, Ruslan Gattarov, Zinaida Dragunkina, Andrey Riazansky, Vera Oskina and Alexey Sokin.

Upon completing the report of the Minister of Education and Science of the RF the Federation Council took the decision of the chamber “Conditions and perspectives of teachers training in conditions of modernization” as a basis. Yury Solonin, Head of the Relevant Committee, spoke on this issue.

It is highlighted in the decision of the Federal Council that development of education mainly depends on value systems, qualification and experience of teachers, their professional and personal qualities: “The questions of modernization of the system of teachers training, improvement of their qualification and retraining are particularly pointed today. Creation and methodical support of educational programs necessary for teachers, specialists, supervisors and experts training is still actual”.

The Federal Council has repeatedly raised a question of necessary perfection of the system of research, training and retraining the teachers. At the parliament meetings the specific means of state support of the teachers were offered in the issued recommendations “Normative and legal support of teacher in the Russian Federation”, “Concept of the project of the federal law “Education in the Russian Federation”, “Professional education and modernization of Russia: legislative aspect”.

In the Decision of the Chamber it was offered to the government of the Russian Federation and subjects of the RF to consider a question of keeping and development of the current net of profile teachers institutes of secondary and high professional education within the scope of their powers, and to develop and to realize set of events for training, retraining and advance studies of managers and teachers in accordance with the modern requirements.

It was also offered to develop and adopt  program of modernization of teachers education system providing effectiveness of the institutes of professional, further professional education and continuity of education for teachers.

In the Decision of the Chamber it is recommended to provide modern teachers with timely information about social support and finance bonuses issued at the federal level.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation is offered to revise federal state education standards of secondary professional and high professional (teachers) education, and develop federal state requirements for minimum contents of additional professional education program for teachers.

It is recommended to the Subjects of the Russian Federation to provide complete realization of the projects of modernization of the regional education systems and to level teachers’ salary up to average level of salary of the subject of the Russian Federation in the sphere of economics.

The Federation Council Committee for Education and Science was charged to monitor law enforcement legislative practice in the sphere of teachers training in the subjects of the Russian Federation together with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and to inform the chamber about the results at the autumn session of 2012.

The program is aimed at development of material and technical base of the Centers of Russian Language and Culture of Daqing Teachers University, Kharbin Teachers University, Heihe University and Changchun University, at attraction of teachers, employees of the universities and students interested in teaching Russian language and culture into the Centers, at self repayment of the Centers and self financing of the projects events. Mr. Kozhemyako told Mr. Fursenko that the project requires additional federal financing, and asked to include it into the Federal Target Program “Russian language” of 17 mln RUR.

As it was informed by the press relations service of the region administration, according to the minister, the specialists of the federal ministry will work with the information about the educational projects stated by the governor.

Oleg Kozhemyako met with Andrey Fursenko, Minister of Education and Science, in Moscow. The main news informed by the governor to the minister was about the fact that salary of the teachers of the Amur region shall be increased. According to Mr. Kozhemyako, the money is for the teachers only and not for other employees of the education institutions, and will be sent for the intended purpose in the nearest future. The governor mentioned that increase of salary shall be executed depending on level of proficiency, length of experience, workload and work quality of the teachers.

Then Mr. Kozhemyako spoke about the problem of lack of skilled personnel for real economic sector of the region.

Regional authorities can’t influence a student when he chooses a place of employment being a graduate. Today some young boys and girls who studied at the expense of the federal budget, move to other regions becoming graduates, so annually region economics is short of necessary specialists of high education. Money spent for a specialist, 80-134 thousand RUR, does not come back, says the governor. Mr. Kozhemyako offered to increase share for special education, when the regional government would take part in the process of education of a future specialist and would oblige him to work off input money on the territory of the region.

The head of the region addressed the minister with the request to increase the share of special places in the institutes of the Amur region from 20 per cent of total number of the state places to 30 per cent.

For his part the governor assured the minister that the government of the Amur region is ready to increase scholarships for the students, guarantees to assist with employment, to pay installation grants to young specialists, to pay salary not less than average level of the region, to resolve housing problem with social mortgage loans or payments from regional budget. Also the head of the region considers that the state order for the specialists training shall be issued by regional and not federal authorities. It shall be necessary to conclude contracts with students under which they shall liable materially in case of violation of the employment obligations.

Mr. Fursenko supposed to the governor to write a letter to the Ministry of Regional Development which could probably also undertake some expenses for training specialists for the regions. This applies especially to the increased scholarships for students and accommodation for young families in the country.

Then Mr. Kozhemyako presented to the Minister of Education the list of projects of students support being realized in the Amur region. The first project is Interacademic Space Innovation Center created on the basis of the Amur State University where students study the subjects in the sphere of space. There are following specialities: “Projecting, production and exploiting rockets and rocket-and-space complexes”, “Spaceships and upper stages”, “Start and technical rocket and spaceship complexes”. The governor told that in future other universities could be also possibly included in the project, and this would allow to consider the Center as the base for full-scale innovative development of the Amur region.

It is planned to create laboratories of simulation and IT for projecting rocket-and-space systems; of production and technological try-out of rocket-and-space equipment; of projecting, exploiting buildings and construction of rocket-and-space complex; of rocket-and space composite constructions and others.

Mr. Kozhemyako asked the minister to include this project into the financing plans of the federal budget in the framework of the Federal Target Program “Research and development in priority areas of development of science and technology complex of Russia for the years 2007-2013” in the amount of 136 mln RUR.

Meanwhile one more education project is going to be realized in the Amur region – “New employees for industry”, it is aimed at training high-qualified personnel for mining industry. Realization of the project would allow to make areas for students intern programs at the factories of the Amur region, to strengthen interaction of graduates and employers. Blagoveschensk Engineering College where around 120 geologists, drillmen, miners and other specialists will study every year, will take part in pilot realization of the project. Project financing at the expense of federal assets in the framework of the Federal Target Program “Education development for the years 2011-2015” will make 25 mln RUR.

The next project is “Russian language centers in China” is realized by Blagoveschensk Teachers University.

NASA, YouTube and Lenovo announced a project named YouTube Space Lab. International jury will select scientific projects of pupils and students less than 18 years old to carry out experiments at the International Space Station.

The international commission for selection of attractive projects shall consist of William H. Gerstenmaier, the Associate Administrator for Space Operations and Research for NASA, Leland Melvin, ex-astronaut and Associate Administrator for Education for NASA, Frank de Winne, astronaut, and Akihiko Hoshide, the representative of Japan aerospace agency. “We are going to select 30 student projects, and the authors of two best projects will gain opportunity to execute their projects at ISS”, Zahaan Bharmal, Google Marketing director (owner of YouTube) and Space Lab project curator, said to “Izvestia”. Lenovo undertook technical and software support of the project. Equipment and materials for experiments of 6 kg is planed to send to ISS. Cargo delivery cost shall make approximately 2.5 mln RUR.

October 7, Friday, Valery Fedorenko, member of Russian parliamentary delegation, member of the Federation Council and appointed speaker about nanotechnologies on the part of the Assembly, presented his draft report to the European colleagues at the meeting of PACE committee for environment, agriculture, local and regional issues. He supposed that anticipatory recommendations about respectively possible risks in NANO sphere should be issued and all-European approach in respect of nanotechnologies shall be elaborated, possibility of nanophobia shall be anticipated, European educational programs shall be introduced and contribution of nanotehnologies into public health shall be induced.

“Nanoera has begun and it is already inevitable. Russia is an important player on the nanotechnologies field, and EU as many other countries stimulates research and scientific application of miniparticles”, told Mr. Sudarenkov. Estimating common approaches it bears mentioning that speed of implementation of such technologies outpaces safety research, highlighted Russian legislator. According to him the current picture is quite unclear though preliminary conclusions show that nanoparticles weaken human and animal immune system. As Mr. Sudarenkov marked discussions about nanotubes, nanosilver in clothes and other technologies became well-known.

Mr. Sudarenkov proposed to initiate the idea to convoke European forum of nanotechnologies safety. He drew attention to the fact that Russian company “ROSNANO” is interested in coordinated international approaches to creation of harmonized regulation system in nano-industry. The member of the Federation Council expressed confidence that unique Russian experience of risk management organization in the sphere of research, creation of regulatory framework and organization of self-regulation system could become the basis for harmonization of international, European in particular, methodological and legislative framework.

It will be recalled that last September the group of members of parliament – the members of Parliament Assembly of Council of Europe – made a proposal to prepare a resolution for “Nanotechnologies – new danger for environment”. According to experts, implementation of nanotechnologies can help to resolve ecological issues on the one hand, and they can be developed only in case if risks for human health and environment are not taken into account, on the other.

By the 2011 over a third of educational institutions will install open source software on a half of their computers.

Toward the 2011 over a third of educational institutions will be using open source software on over a half of their computers - minister of science and education Andrey Fursenko reported during the VII social-economic forum “Information-oriented society”. According to him, The Ministry of science and education keeps financial support on the federal level in 2010 and 2011. Besides, ministry supports the maintenance, development and upgrade of software.

Due to Federal Budget access and technical support are provided. We have trained almost 80 thousands of pedagogical and administrative teaching staff” – reported the minister. According to his words, more than 7, 5 thousands of people, who tutor teachers on-site were trained. Practically every educational institution now has a man who received special training and is able to teach the use of Open source software. “In 92% of schools special zones for using Open source software were created, this means, that it is installed at least on one computer”- he also said.

A. Fursenko also reminded us that in 2006-2007 Internet access exclusion system was developed. Now federal segment of system handles about 250 millions requests per day., of which 1,5 millions are filtered as not consistent with tasks of education and upbringing. At the same time new educational resources are created, as for now there are over 100 thousands of such resources in ministry of education and science database, 17 thousands of which are interactive. Also ministry of education and science is developing a set of measures to implement library management systems in education and science spheres, aimed at greater access to learning materials.

 

More than a half (52%)of Runet (Russian-language Internet) users are registered in social networks. The percentage is higher among people living in the Urals (65%), Siberia (67%) and Far East (64%), in big cities (60%), among 18-24-year-olds (67%) and well-off respondents (65%). The smallest percentage of social network users is in the North-Western Region of Russia (38%), medium-sized cities (44%), among elderly (15%) and low-income people (42%).
7% of Internet users have blogs. This activity is, on the contrary, popular especially among the residents of the North-Western Region of Russia (25%). Besides, 18-24-year-olds are the most active bloggers (11%).Information that users are ready to provide in blogs and social networks in the first place is age (87%) and sex (84%). Russian citizens are also ready to make accessible information about their education (71%), marital status (64%), hobby (62%), favorite music/ films (51%). Most respondents have no difficulties with providing their photo either (65%).Users are less willing to provide the details such as the place where they study (38%), favorite places (35%), place of residence (32%), as well as information about friends and relatives (33%), profession, birthplace, nationality (31% each), travels (29%), workplace (25%), position (27%), religion (20%).Finally, few consider it necessary to provide information about their political views (14%), services they can provide to other users (13%), and income level (10%).Half of the users of blogs and social networks gave misleading information about themselves at least once (51%). 18-24-year old respondents are most liable to do this (59%).Most often users of social networks give misleading information about their name and age (29% each). They also tend to lie about their marital status (23%), appearance and hobby (22% each). Users less often provide false information about their sex, musical and artistic preferences (18% each), education level, educational organization, travels (17% each), place of residence, workplace, position, purchases and services (15% each), profession, sexual relations (14% each), level of income and nationality (13% each). Situations when bloggers and users of social networks give misleading information about their political views and religious beliefs are the most rare (11% and 10% respectively).Men (33%) and respondents under 35 years of age (32-34%) are more likely to log in under false names. Men are also more apt to lie about their

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