Interview with Alexander Brychkin, CEO of Rossiyskiy Uchebnik (Russian Textbook) Corporation

— Rossiyskiy Uchebnik Corporation is a strategic partner of the Moscow International Education Fair. What activities has the corporation prepared for this year’s Fair?

— We have planned a series of various kinds of events specifically for the participants of the Fair, geared towards experts and teachers as well as schoolchildren and their parents. Discussions and workshops will be held at our booth throughout the Fair; moreover, open lessons on the use of the LECTA digital educational environment will be provided by specialists and teachers who will introduce visitors to LECTA’s digital resources. The user-friendliness and efficiency of these technologies usually come as a pleasant surprise to most visitors.

The inviting atmosphere at the corporation’s booth will offer the visitors a chance to communicate directly with speakers, as well as with well-known authors and qualified experts in the field of pedagogy, education, education management, and development of skills and competencies. We expect the presentation of the latest physical education textbooks and manuals, with football included as a special topic, to arouse a lot of interest. The hero of the FIFA World Cup held in our country, Honoured Master of Sport Igor Akinfeev, with whom our publishing house jointly developed these textbooks and teaching guides, will tell you about it in more detail. In addition to that, children and their parents will enjoy a series of educational games developed by authors of popular textbooks for primary school and preschool. Valuable gifts and unique souvenirs provided both by our corporation and by our partners will be given to the most active participants of the activities at our booth.

What trends do you think are arising in the system of education?

— Today, much is said about digitalisation of education, quite often it being declared some kind of panacea capable of solving all school problems almost as easy as nothing. This is something I’d like to caution against. Yes, digital technologies are extremely important for the development of education in the modern world, but it is essential to realise that they are mere instruments that should be used for the implementation of one or another educational concept or strategy. For example, broadband Internet access in and of itself will not ensure variability of the educational process, which is essential when it comes to preparing each and every child for a successful and happy life in the fast-paced world.

The development of school education is inconceivable without changes being introduced in the system of teacher training. The love of learning, the ability to learn quickly, to work in a team, and to analyse superabundant information – all these skills are coming to the fore and will be indispensable throughout one’s whole life. The task of developing these skills falls on the teachers’ shoulders, while the teachers themselves will have not only to learn to master the new competencies, but also to share their experience with students, building more efficient interaction with them. Teachers’ professional development and their role in modern education will be among the key issues discussed within the Fair’s Programme.

The use of public–private partnerships for the implementation of an ever greater number of educational projects is yet another important trend in the education system. The President has set the task to enter the global top 10 countries with the highest quality of general education, which requires significant spending, including on the renovation of the entire educational infrastructure. In the next five to six years, some two thousand schools need to be built in our country, this being practically impossible to be done by the state alone. In this regard, interaction between the state and its private partner is essential, and there are several ways to implement it. We will speak about these ways and their expected results in more detail within the Fair.

– What other new projects should the participants of the educational process expect in the near future?

— Together with our partner, Sberbank’s Investment to the Future Charitable Foundation, we will for the first time ever present the Programme for the Development of a Child’s Personal Potential to the public. This programme helps children shape their life goals on the emotional level, and learn to interact with other people. The programme is currently under pilot implementation in Kaluga and Yaroslavl Oblasts. 10 more constituent entities of the Russian Federation are expected to join the programme in 2019–2020. During the event, we will speak about the features of the programme and explain how a region can become its participant.

Popularising reading classical literature will be yet another serious matter for discussion. Joined by Samsung, with their Zhivye Stranitsy (‘Living Pages’) project, and by LitRes, we will talk about the resources and unconventional approaches to getting children interested in the literature taught at school. We have plenty of analytical data on what modern children read and how it correlates with the recommendations they receive at school. This information is really noteworthy. In addition, together with representatives of major companies in the field of digital education technologies and platforms, we will discuss what the target model of the “digital school” under the Obrazovaniye (Education) national project is and what it can become.

We are happy to invite everyone to our events!