Krasnodar, 10 June. Our today’s interviewee is Yelena Vorobiova, Minister of Education, Science and Youth Politics of Krasnodar krai.
Q.: How did the pandemic affect the system of general education?
A.: The 2019–2020 academic year was a real challenge for the entire educational system. At the same time, the conventional system got a new experience. Our teachers were using this experience of giving lessons and extracurricular activities with the use of remote technologies and online techniques during the previous school year.
Q.: How many times were the schools (classes) closed this academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
A.: The biggest number of inactive schools was observed in mid-September, when four schools were closed for a two week quarantine. In total, 16 secondary schools were closed on quarantine during the academic year. Regretfully, COVID-19 sufferers were registered in all forms.
Q.: How was this year’s examination session organized?
A.: Like last year, the exams are going on subject to all mandatory sanitary and epidemiological requirements. Social distancing is kept in all premises where exams are held, body temperature is taken in all examinees in front of schools, and every classroom has hand disinfectants and air disinfecting lamps.
Q.: Were the difficulty levels reviewed and the university pass grade lowered?
A.: The material for the Unified State Exam is subject to yearly corrections – but not due to its difficulty level, structure and content; rather the assessment criteria for subject commissions that are defined more accurately or various formulations are corrected. As for higher school entering scores, they will always be peculiar for each concrete university. The demand is formed depending on the region, city, university and specialization.
Q.: What is the difference between the examination campaigns this and last years?
A.: This year, the Unified State Exam is mandatory only for the school leavers who are planning to enter universities. For them, the only mandatory subject is Russian. Basic Mathematics has been cancelled. Other subjects, chosen according to their future educational profile, will also be passed in the format of the Unified State Exam. Those school leavers who are not planning to enter higher school, have passed end-of-course assessment in the form of the state final exam. To get the school-leaving certificate and be able to enter a college or lyceum, they will have to pass Russian and Maths only. There are over 2,600 such school leavers in the region.
Q.: How were schools upgraded during the year?
A.: Last year, 195 Grow Points were opened and equipped at Kuban schools. In 2021, their number will reach 329. According to the needs of regional economy, these new centres will be furnished with digital labs in physics, chemistry and biology. In the framework of the regional project “Digital educational environment” of the national project “Education,” schools are being equipped with relevant material and technical resources; they are getting access to high-speed Internet and digital educational content. In 2020, 351 schools benefited from stable Internet connection. Besides, 102 schools got a state-of-the-art educational environment; this year, 117 schools will be provided with similar facilities.
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