A new subject will appear in the school calendar

In recent years, the school calendar has undergone several changes. Since September of last year, every Monday for students now begins with raising the flag and singing the anthem, then moves on to “Talking about the important” (the name of the new subject, compulsory for all). And at the end of June it became known that from 2024 Russian schoolchildren will begin to master the “Fundamentals of homeland security and defense” (OBiZR), which replaced the usual OBZH (“Fundamentals of safety of life”).

OBZH 2.0

Anna Timofeeva, deputy director of the public policy department at the Ministry of Education, explained that they will start teaching OBiZR in Russian schools from September 1, 2024. Previously, well, it didn’t work in any way – at present, a working the group is only formed to develop a curriculum, followed by the writing of a manual, its printing and distribution to educational institutions. It is expected that representatives of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Ministry of Defense will be involved in the work.

Speaking at a roundtable in the State Duma, Timofeeva acknowledged that the introduction of OBiZR in schools is not limited to developing a curriculum and writing a textbook. The initiative revealed another problem. The new curriculum should replace the OBZh, so it should be taught by teachers of a discipline that goes down in history. But, it turned out that you can’t find them during the day with fire. But the manager is positive. In his opinion, in the remaining time it is possible to train qualified specialists according to specially developed programs.

The idea in the “school department” was discussed for a long time. For the first time, the fact that officials are discussing the transformation of OBZh into OBiZR became known to the public at the beginning of the first month of summer. Then the head of the Ministry of Education Sergei Kravtsov said that the new subject would include a broader course of initial military training, including the rules of first aid, actions in case of various types of disasters, etc.

We understand that today, including us, tell us that this course must be developed. And we also talked with the educational community, and with the teachers, and we saw that the guys who fought in the special military operation zone, they, like no one else, could come and tell the truth.

It should be noted that the OBZH was actively taken over after the start of a special military operation in Ukraine. The course initially consisted of three sections: safety and protection in the event of an emergency, the basics of medical knowledge, the basics of military service. And from September 1, 2023, basic military training will also be studied as part of the subject. NVP was canceled in the early 90s of the last century. In such classes, Soviet schoolchildren disassembled/assembled a machine gun, sometimes fired at a school shooting range, studied the rules of behavior in emergency situations and protective equipment.

Repetition of the past

The Russian education system is designed to meet the challenges of modern society. Not always fast, but still. So, in the late 1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev launched perestroika, the subject “Ethics and Psychology of Family Life” urgently appeared in Soviet schools (the name might change slightly, but the essence remained the same). Since 1985 (apparently, then it became obvious to everyone that family values ​​​​easy to become values) in the classroom, teachers tried to instill the qualities of a successful family man and explain how to behave in future family life. In the early 2000s, a half-hearted attempt was made in parts of the country to revive what had become history with the collapse of the USSR. The students learned “the fundamental principles of a healthy lifestyle”. It was done in high school and at such a primitive level that it’s no surprise that OLS disappeared from the school curriculum fairly quickly.

In 2010, the Ministry of Education and Science “felt” the approach of the next challenge. This time, spiritual ties are at stake. The department immediately reacted to this by approving the topic “Fundamentals of Religious Cultures and Secular Ethics”. It has been taught in all parts of the country since 2012. It was intended that fourth-grade students study different world religions and secular ethics. The program consists of six parallel modules (optional): Foundations of Orthodox culture, Foundations of Islamic culture, Foundations of Buddhist culture, Foundations of Jewish culture, Foundations of religious cultures of the peoples of Russia, Foundations of secular ethics.

It was assumed that the ORKSE lessons should take place at the same time for all classes of the parallel, therefore, during lessons, children “mix” along the tracks, depending on the chosen topic. For example, if several children from different classes want to study the fundamentals of Orthodox culture, they will do it together. The most popular module proved to be ‘Fundamentals of Secular Ethics’. Thus, the spiritual bonds were not allowed to be destroyed and the controversy surrounding the ORCSE died down.

About the important – from the school bench

Well, an example from the recent past. The first Monday lesson in all Russian schools since 2022 is “Conversations about the important”. The class hour in the new format has become an integral part of information and education work aimed at developing and strengthening patriotism. And it could not be otherwise under the conditions of the most powerful information war that the countries of the “collective West” unleashed against Russia. Teachers (even those who now have to wake up earlier) admit that “Talking about the important”, of course, is still “raw”, but it is necessary.

Thus, the education system has again responded to an external threat. How timely, time will tell. Now the main thing is not to rest on your laurels and not to scratch what was once done. Blind imitation leads to no good. Suffice it to recall the introduction of the Bologna uniformity system. Apparently, it was necessary to abandon “Soviet higher education”, which had proven itself for decades, to understand in 19 years all the inconsistencies for the Russian reality of Europeanization right away.

Author: Alexander Sizarov

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