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Newest technologies in Belarus’ educational system

"To learn, to learn and to learn once again!" said politician Vladimir Lenin. Though many nowadays don’t even know who Lenin was, this slogan is still topical. Even in the pragmatic time, new technologies, scientific developments and unique computer programs promise not only the country’s glory, but also large profit. Belarusian IT workers have proved it. The founder of the company developing the world-famous game World of Tanks is now among the richest Belarusians. This example cheers Belarusian youth up even more than the story of foreigner Steve Jobs, who created the “bitten apple” empire.

I realize that as pupils don’t know Lenin, many former followers of the politician don’t understand who Steve Jobs is. It shows that we should learn not to forget the old and not to miss the new at the same time.

This will be the theme of our today’s discussion with Natalya Kochanova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus. On April 1, she reported to President Alexander Lukashenko on the education system development. But let’s first watch Aleksandra Kulakova’s report on this matter.

Children:
My name is Anya and I want to become an actress.

My name is Margarita and I want to be a ballet dancer.

I want to teach Spanish, Italian, Greek, French, and Arabic.

For sure, in childhood, everyone knows who they want to become. However, statistically only one of ten achieves their childhood dream. Nine other children just change it.

Mother and son:
– I want you to paint, and your father wants you to take up football.
– I like both!

What should little Pasha take up? New technologies can answer this question. A special program can detect future profession by fingerprint.

Gennady Manko, children’s development center founder:
He has a flair for physics and mathematics, so he can develop it. Speaking of sport, he can succeed in chess.

Not all people tell fortunes by hand. Most of them listen to their hearts, as Zhenya Tarnogurskaya. She has been dreaming of creating robots for a long time. Here, at 3D modeling courses in the Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU), she can create any part of a smart machine on a computer and print it right here.

Zhenya Tarnogurskaya, BNTU Lyceum student:
I’d like to create a robot from the beginning to the end on my own. I want to think out an idea and then see it moving and carrying out a given task. It will be euphoria for me!

3D printing is called the third industrial digital revolution. Only yesterday this science seemed to be conceivable to the select few and nowadays, any child can learn to use it.

Such courses under universities will help pupils understand which way they should take and which flairs they should develop. Specialized education is to be introduced in 10 and 11 forms. After 9 forms pupils get basic general education, after which they need help in a choice of profession. But it shouldn’t become a load for children. On April 1, President Alexander Lukashenko spoke on this matter at a meeting on the educational system.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
We don’t need any educational reformations, we need to develop what we have. We inherited a good educational system from the Soviet Union time and we have improved it. We have revisited this matter more than once, we have written new textbooks. Nevertheless, we still have problems. Every family has or had students, which is why this problem touches everybody.

‘If you have decided on a specialty, you need specialized education,’ said Yegor Cheptsov, a student of the Belarusian State University (BSU) Lyceum. He wants to become an IT worker, so he devotes his time to programming, physics, and mathematics. He attends classes in the Lyceum till 4-5 PM, then he spends 1.5-3 hours with tutors, and also does karate. The boy doesn’t have leisure time even for changing his mind of being a programmer.

Yegor Cheptsov, BSU Lyceum, 11th-form student:
We don’t need chemistry or biology at  that deep level we study it now. I am convinced useful knowledge in these subjects had finished when I was in the seventh form. I would divide pupils into specializations after the seventh school year.

Besides specialized classes, new technologies are to be introduced. While humanity dithers about how to draw children away from the Internet, Igor Varaksa tries to involve them in physics lessons using IPad. He believes that learning can be absorbing. Igor Varaksa has developed a navigator textbook in the BSU Lyceum. It is great discovery for Belarusian education. Actually, it is an electronic version of a textbook on physics, which can be downloaded on any device. There are only advantages.

Navigator textbooks are not the limit. Igor Varaksa shows video lessons of the whole physics course for forms 10-11, which are already on the BSU Lyceum Internet server.

It is called an “inverted lesson” when children learn theory at home and do tasks at school. During the lesson, the teacher only answers questions and helps children with practice.

Alexandra Kulakova, CTV correspondent:
There is nobody in this classroom, but it doesn’t mean that there is no any lesson. The lesson is underway with the help of this device. The teacher is from one side and the pupil is from the other. Can you imagine that each person may attend a physics lesson and learn Ampere's law being at home or wherever else? All that you need is a gadget with Internet connection. Online schools are not distant future but today’s reality. In the BSU Lyceum, lessons in form of online conferences or webinars are to be given next year.

New textbooks, new technologies, a new generation come into the educational system. The chancellor of the Belarusian State Pedagogical University says new teachers will come to schools. It’s common knowledge that learning process success almost at 100% depends on a teacher. A teacher can make pupils fall in love with a subject and take a great interest in it. Teachers should have a genuine desire to sow the good and the light.

Alexander Zhuk, chancellor of the Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after Maksim Tank:
Our head of state has supported the idea of specialized pedagogical classes, which I find a great task that will allow to raise the level of school-leavers and future teachers.

Nowadays, 1,500 children study in such specialized pedagogical classes. It’s not known how many of them will enter pedagogical universities, but the main thing is that they have opportunity to choose, as well as students from other specialized classes.

Newest technologies in Belarus’ educational system