Opinion: (Mr. Popov, president of the International Education Association, from ng.ru): “The problem with our society is that it doesn’t know in which direction the world is moving. The direction of the future is not being taken into account when building the education system. …The adults are disoriented.
“The main organizers of the pre-school, kindergarten, and school education system were industrial and military leaders. Thus the pre-school-kindergarten-school system was organized to support this idea. It wouldn’t have occurred to anyone to take tiny children away from their parents and put them into daycare; however, the industrial model of those times demanded daycare. And it wouldn’t even occur to today’s parents that this can be done differently. This is why today we’re missing an affordable and developed network of qualified nannies. Children are being put into institutions where they get sick, and then they are all vaccinated. Schools and universities are based on an industrial way of life and are designed to raise a class of disciplined workers.
“Today the world is competing for people who are capable of independent decision-making and action. However, the parents don’t want there to be any changes within the school system. We don’t understand where the world is going. Fifth graders are spending time on the Internet, they’re in a different world, and the schools can’t do anything about it.
“English schools are among those that have the most freedom. Up to 80% of children are studying via the Internet. The whole world is trying to teach children to work independently and find information on their own. After all, children are bored at school, and though they are small it’s still impossible to force them to do something they don’t want or have no interest in doing.
“Teachers are mistaking that there is no alternative to school education. There is an alternative. It’s because of the teachers that the parents today don’t see it. First this alternative is discovered by the children. Some, for example, realize that a better way to study geography is through the Discovery channel. It’s also a lot quicker and more comprehensible.
“The development of the global Internet can lead to a point where everyone could receive knowledge through the Internet. In the U.S., a company called Apple was the first to introduce a school education system through the Internet. There is a growing number of children who are being home schooled and receive a certificate of completion at the end.
“If we wonder what will happen to all the teachers, then we’re not thinking about the children. Our society isn’t discussing what we’re doing with the children. It’s convenient for us to think that schools should be conservative and that kindergartens are a very necessary invention.
“Today, parents don’t want to put their children in schools because they want to protect them from violence and abuse. This attitude toward schools is reaching a large scale. Parents are trying to save their children, never mind giving them knowledge but simply save them from beatings and humiliation.”