Russians have always shown a great concern for education. The right to education is stated in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. It is ensured by compulsory secondary schools, vocational schools, and higher education establishments. It is also ensured by the development of extramural and evening courses and the system of state scholarships and grants.
Education in Russia is compulsory up to the 9th form inclusive. The stages of compulsory schooling in Russia are: primary education for ages 6–7 to 9–10 inclusive; secondary education including intermediate school for ages 10–11 to 12–13 inclusive, and senior school for ages 13–14 to 14–15 inclusive. If a pupil of a secondary school wishes to go on in higher education, he or she must stay at school for two more years. Primary and secondary school together comprise 11 years of study. Every school has a «core curriculum» of academic subjects, such as Russian, Literature, Mathematics, History, a foreign language and others. Lyceums and gymnasiums offer programs giving a profound knowledge in some field of study.
After finishing the 9th form one can go on to a vocational school which offers programmes of academic subjects and a programme of training in a technical field, or a profession.
After finishing the 11 th form of a secondary school, a lyceum or a gymnasium one can go on in higher education. All applicants must take competitive examinations. Higher education institutions, that is, institutes or universities, offer a 5-year programme of academic subjects for undergraduates in a variety of fields, as well as a graduate course. If one finishes a graduate course and writes a thesis, he or she receives a candidate's degree or a doctoral degree.
Higher educational establishments are headed by Rectors. Prorectors are in charge of academic and scientific work. An institute or a university has a number of faculties, each specializing in a field of study. Faculties have specialized councils which confer candidate and doctoral degrees. 59
The system of secondary and higher education in Russia is going through a transitional period. The main objectives of the reform are: to decentralize the higher education system, to develop a new financial mechanism, to give more academic freedoms to faculties and students. All secondary schools, institutes and universities until recently have been funded by the state. Now there is quite a number of private fee-paying primary and secondary schools; some universities have fee-paying departments.
Tasks to the topic:
1. What is the right to education in Russia ensured by?
2. What are the stages of compulsory schooling in Russia?
3. What programmes of study do different types of school in Russia offer?
4. What is a vocational school?
5. What is necessary for entering a higher education establishment?
All British children must stay at school from the age of 5 until they are 16. Many of them stay longer and take final examinations when they are 17 or 18. Before 1965 all children of state schools had to go through special intelligence tests. There were different types of state secondary schools and at the age of 11 children went to different schools In accordance with the results of the tests.
State schools are divided into the following types:
Grammar schools.Children who go to grammar schools are usually those who show a preference for academic subjects, although many grammar schools now also have some technical courses.
Technical schools.Some children go to technical schools. Most courses there are either commercial or technical.
Modern Schools.Boys and girls who are interested in working with their hands and learning in a practical way can go to a technical school and learn some trade.
Comprehensive schools.These schools usually combine ail types of secondary education. They have physics, chemistry, biology 60
laboratories, machine workshops for metal and woodwork and also geography, history and art departments, commercial and domestic courses.
There are also many schools which the State does not control. They are private schools.They charge fees for educating children, and many of them are boarding schools,at which pupils live during the term time.
After leaving school many young people go to colleges of further education.Those who become students at Colleges of Technology (called “Teches”) come from different schools at different ages between 15 and17. The lectures at such colleges, each an hour long, start at 9,15 in the morning and end at 4,45 in the afternoon.
Tasks to the topic:
1. At what ages must British children stay at school?
2. What groups are state schools divided into?
3. What is a private school?
4. What do many young people do after leaving school?
There are about 90 universities in Britain. They are divided into three types: the old universities (Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities), the 19th century universities such as London and Manchester universities, and the new universities. Some years ago there were also polytechnics. Alter graduating from a polytechnic a student got a degree, but it was not a university degree. 31 former polytechnics were given university status in 1992.
Full courses of study offer the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Science. Most degree courses at universities last 3 years, language courses 4 years (including a year spent abroad). Medicine and dentistry courses are longer (5-7 years).
Students may receive grants from their Local Education Authority to help pay for books, accommodation, transport and food. This grant depends on the income of their parents.
Most students live away from home, in flats or halls of residence.
Students don't usually have a job during term time because the lessons, called lectures, seminars, classes or tutorials (small groups), are full time. However, many students now have to work in the evenings.
University life is considered «an experience». The exams are competitive but the social life and living away from home are also important. The social life is excellent with a lot of clubs, parties, concerts, bars.
There are not only universities in Britain but also colleges. Colleges offer courses in teacher training, courses in technology and some professions connected with medicine.
Tasks to the topic:
1. What are the three types of universities in Great Britain?
2. What degrees do students get after finishing full courses of study?
3. What grants do students receive?
4. Why don't students have jobs during term time?
5. Why is the university life considered «an experience»?