Section I. Context Chapter 1. Country s context and current equity situation.

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1 1 Equity in education: dimension, causes and policy responses. Country Analytical Report Russia Outline Russian CAR will follow structural requirements offered in General Guidelines. Outline from this report represents frame ideas of each chapter in order to introduce them to experts for further references and comments on particular essential points. Section I. Context Chapter 1. Country s context and current equity situation. Country s economic, social and cultural background Demographic data of the country; average education level in the country; economic indicators, general economic growth, disbalance in regional industrial development, evaluation of threats and opportunities; growing social (geographic, cultural, ethnic and religious) diversity of population; incapability of social sphere (welfare system) to meet properly all the requirements of population, including educational needs; people s negative attitudes towards reforms, due to hardships, caused by the reforms of the last decade. Concerning public opinion it should be noted that still the view at Soviet times educational system as at the very best one in the world, even against all other disadvantages of the communist regime is commonly spread in Russia. It makes public expectations of reforms to be aimed more at sustainability of old practices rather then at looking for adaptation to modern demands. Main structural features of the educational system General performances of the education system; number of institutions; growing participation rates; enrollment requirements at each level; percentage of GDP and budget share spent on education (its changes through the last decade), population expenditures on education; influence of transition period in Russia on the quality of education, its financing mechanisms and governance; first evidences of reforms. Cultural and political context around equity More then 15 years of political and economical transformations have inevitably influenced cultural sphere and educational system of the country adding complexity to international challenges of liberalization and globalization. Thus, making reforms in education Russia needs to resolve both common and specific problems among which there is the imperfection of social infrastructure; luck of systemic and legitimate approach to quality assessment; misbalance in between education institutions programs offers and labor market demands; low social status of scientific and educational personnel; and, in the end, equity problems at near all levels of educational system. Views and approaches to equity problems Broad spectrum of Russian politicians and policymakers regard the provision of equity in education, specially equal access and opportunities as a top priority of the country policy leading to greater social cohesion and forming adequate

2 2 resources for further economical development. Recently started in Russia program of education reforms incorporated this idea as one of its guidelines. In connection to the previous notes it might be useful to analyze several topics related to the Russian education policy, which caused rather hot internal debates: Unified State Examination (Final test after graduation of secondary school conducted independently from school administrations and providing admission to universities due to its results.) State Individual Financial Obligations, (Prospect of the implementation of state educational vouchers) Rural school net restructuring Informatization of education Consequences of Russia signed Bologna declaration. Subpopulations at risk Among equity problems actual for Russia it might be useful to distinguish following characteristics: - place of living (remote territories); - SEB; - special needs groups; - gender; - immigration status - ethnicity. Section II. Opportunities and outcomes Chapter 2. Profile of equity in education This section of the Russian CAR presents all quantitative and qualitative information available from official statistics and various independent surveys to equity problems at each level of education. Main points of the Russian education system, where inequity becomes more visible and even glaring are transformations between levels (i.e. job, college or university as options for secondary school graduates). Nevertheless each educational level has its own equity concerns. Analysis of accumulated data on each stage follows the breakdown, presented in General Guidelines (SEB, location of residence, ethnicity, immigration status, language group, gender) as precisely as possible. But some levels may have deviations in description from these requirements due to the lack or incompleteness of the information obtained (preschool education and adult learning), while the others may have some peculiar characteristics, which are not mentioned in General Guidelines. Preschool education Preschool education is provided for children from 3 to 7 years old. Analysis of equity issuers at this educational level is mainly based on research works than on statistics, as there is a glaring lack of it.

3 3 Compulsory secondary education Compulsory secondary education in Russia is mainly public and maintained for children between 7 and 15. Description of this level of education includes comments on participation, graduation and drop-out rates (based on statistical data), curriculum and its deviations, analysis of PISA results and surveys of equity problems held on these grounds. It should be noted that compulsory public education is added by different options from out-of school courses, trainings and other opportunities, which, of course, influence individual s capacities. Unfortunately, variety of these options in spite of their importance for equity can hardly be assessed. Upper secondary education and primary professional education After compulsory education there is a choice for students between upper secondary education and primary professional education. Problems of low status of primary professional education in Russia, lack of its correspondence to labor market requirements; prevailing tertiary education orientation over upper secondary education can be treated as sources of inequities at this level, despite the rest of more or less common ones for each educational stage. Results of surveys on equity issuers are widely presented in this description as well as quantitative characteristics similar to the previous educational level. Post-secondary education Post-secondary education in Russia includes secondary professional educations, higher professional education and post-graduate education. Secondary professional and higher professional educational options are provided mostly for people from 17. Concerning higher education it takes the first place in inequalities combination list in Russia, and as the result education at leading universities is often treated as something tending to exclusivity. Wide range of surveys, exploring main equity problems of this educational level (SEB, place of residence, gender inequity in some specializations and programs, private and public status of universities as a source of inequity, etc.) and excessive statistical data (participation, graduation, dropout and stop-out rates) form the basis of this educational level description. Adult learning and on-work cite training Information about this type of education is the most incomplete and fragmentary. Lack of relevant statistics and little research made in this sphere maintain significant difficulties for its description. Although there are some tendencies that are evident: crucial role of employers (mainly foreign, transnational or big Russian companies) in this sector; and tendency among people, participating in adult education to have higher education levels in particular fields Earnings over the life cycle. Earnings over the life cycle is the most difficult issue in the Russian CAR. The life cycle for the most of population has changed dramatically during last 10 or 15 years. In contrast to OECD countries, in Russia there isn t yet any strong correlation between individuals contributions (both, financial and time & intellectual) into personal education and following progress in social status. In Russia there are many professional fields with a very strong competition at the entrance and very law incomes and/or social guarantees inside (medicine, arts and

4 4 culture (if not computer design), most academic (fundamental) disciplines). On the other hand many representatives of business and political elites at all levels are seeking for scientific degree just after they get the career peak. So it seems that on one hand education itself is still recognized as one of the social values independently from the lack of its direct connection with well-being, on the other hand particular level of education (formal degree) is necessary as a pass for penetration into some social gates. Analysis of these paradoxes together with controversial trends at the labor market should take the main space of this part of the Russian CAR Preliminary data sources Official statistics is presented by State Committee on Statistics of Russian Federation; Population poll 2002; Labour Force Survey; Household survey; Monitoring on Education Economy, Challenges of Education System Modernization in Russia, (State University Higher School of Economics) Polls on motivations in choosing educational strategies for children made by Obshestvennoe Mnenie Fund; Polls on education issues (including lifelong learning) Higher School of Economics All Russian Opinion Research Centre; Access to education for socially vulnerable groups of population (Survey and research project conducted by NGO Independent Institute for Social Policy). Section III. Causes and explanations. Chapter 3. Longitudinal transmission of inequality. Russia has not got any experience of providing longitudinal surveys on equity related issues. Nevertheless there are some analyses (though their number is limited ) made on transmission of SEB and education motivation through generations. There are also some surveys investigating processes and mechanisms of inequality accumulation through the life cycle. Analysis of these surveys is represented in details in Russian CAR. Chapter 4. Understanding the causes of inequity. Following structure presented in the General Guidelines Russian examines: CAR motivational barriers; institutional barriers; social and cultural barriers; economic barriers. Basis for understanding of causes of inequities in education form the results of the analysis presented in the previous chapters enlarged by relevant information from economic and sociological literature.

5 5 Section IV. Policies, programs and initiatives. Chapter 5. Active educational policies bearing on equity. It can be repeated that equity concerns have become an essential part and one of the major incentives of reforms in education sphere governmental program called Modernization of education, being held in Russia nowadays. This section of the Russian CAR represents quantitative and qualitative information about the Russian education reforms implementation, their impact on social, cultural, economical and institutional spheres, analyzed according to the different points of views on these reforms. This chapter should give a brief list and analysis of State Federal programs, targeted programs and initiatives taken to lessen inequity in education as a guarantee of social equality and better social cohesion in Russia and to strengthen the leading positions of equity issues in policy agenda. Chapter 6. Non-educational policies that affect outcomes in education sector. General observation of social and income support services, child health and welfare systems, their interconnection and interaction in policy priorities maintaining is the main content of this chapter. All these spheres in Russia suffer from underdevelopment and lack of financing so they do not form solid and secure base for provision of educational reforms. Special attention should be paid to relations between science and education. Debates around interrelations between the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian education and their impact on industrial and technological development of the country have been going on from the last century and remain unfinished. Russian higher education system has got another peculiar feature: 2 years of conscript military service, which is obligatory for males. It interferes into educational activity of males aged between 18 and 28 introducing additional inequities, especially harmful in periods of transition from school to work and from secondary school to tertiary education, these correlate to the age mentioned. This problem is extremely acute for Russia. Although its impact on participation, completion and drop-out rates and motivation to education is controversial. Analysis of numerous of surveys exploring these aspects of this equity problem, based on statistical data, is also available in this chapter. Section V. Conclusions Chapter 7. Conclusions and assessments This section gives overall summary of inequity issues at all levels of Russian education system, lists societal groups at risk, provides analysis of policies, initiatives and reforms addressing them and discussion of the perspectives, opportunities and threats expected in the future. It is compelled of conclusions finishing each chapter (sections).

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