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26 Февраля 2021
Foreigners

Sergei Zengin: “Education Should Teach to Think Rather Than Merely Tick Off Test Tasks”

Источник фото:  пресс-служба КГИК
Источник фото: пресс-служба КГИК

Krasnodar, 26 February. 0+ Today our interviewee is Sergei Zengin, Principal of the Krasnodar State University of Culture. 

Q.: Do today’s entrants differ from those who entered your University several decades ago? 

A.: From the viewpoint of striving for professional success and desire to become a competent and well-known professional – no. However, I regret to state that the level of their preparedness is declining. We enrol students based on entrance exams on history, literature and social science, and we can see that enrolees and then first-year students have rather poor knowledge of these subjects. 

Q.: Whom would you describe as an ‘ideal student’? 

A.: An ideal student can be talented in various fields; they may strive for something new or develop the existing projects – but the most important thing is that they should be thinking, searching, and able to put uncomfortable questions. Only I can understand that a student does think – which is very important and, regretfully, it is a rare phenomenon nowadays. 

Q.: How do you measure the result achieved by a faculty? 

A.: The result is defined by concrete achievements. One of the foremost achievements, I believe, is the employability or professional relevance of our graduates. Secondly, it is the preparation or participation in own projects that deserved recognition of the professional community, or participation in professional projects led by others. Thirdly, it is the popularity of the faculty’s specialisation among foreign students. 

Q.: What are the benefits and the drawbacks of the contemporary educational system in Russia? 

A.: Speaking about the benefits, I would distinguish its variability – an opportunity to choose; the use of information technologies and studying of foreign languages starting from primary school or even before; the work of resource centres based on vocational educational establishments. As for the main drawback, I believe it is the Unified State Exam. Its introduction leads to cramming for certain results, ticking off test tasks. The Unified State Exam may be a cure-all for physics or chemistry, but undoubtedly it brings much harm for history and literature – subjects which let the students develop their minds and hearts with the help of their teachers, and bring up genuine citizens and patriots. Another global drawback of Russian higher education is that the chain between the employee, the higher school, and the employee has been torn. As a result, over 70% of university graduates cannot or do not want to find a job according to their diploma.


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