Sunday, January 16, 2011

Education and healthcare in Russia

Education in Russia
Standards of education in Russia have hugely decreased over the last 10 years. I am not talking about Western Education here – since I only had a limited exposure to it. But I have graduated from 2 Russian Universities, one of them being one of the top-3 in Russia. I got both diplomas with honor but I am not proud of it – because whereas I had to study hard in both cases to get there, many of other students got the same results by bribing and ass-licking. It did not feel right when students get good marks just for regular attendance – a common case in Russian universities.

There is an opinion that Russian school education provides broader knowledge foundation compared to the West. Since my first education was in teacher’s training, I know pretty well that nowadays it is extremely rare that those who did well in their studies go on to teach in schools. There were about 30 students in our group, only about 5 of them went on to teach in school, most of them had bad marks and were far from knowledgeable in their subject.

There was a moment in my life 2 years ago when I was so tired of hard exploitation at my office with lots of overtime work and no gratitude for it from management, that I went to school I graduated from – mind you it was a Moscow school with in-depth German study – these are considered almost elite schools in Russia – and offered my services as English and German teacher. The principal offered me an administrative job as head of educational activities in out-of-school hours as well as part-time teaching English and German. She promised me lots of interesting activities and independence in the position. I liked the sound of it – until I heard the price tag. I would get 22,000 RUB which is about 700 USD – at that time my basic salary in office work was 48,000 and with overtime payments I was getting 60,000 and there were different bonuses paid as well. We were paying 28,000 RUB rent for a bachelor apartment in Moscow – so you can imagine what I thought about the idea of taking the job. The only way out from this according to the principal, were private lessons that I could be teaching and although they are not officially allowed, everyone did turn a blind eye on them.

Russian healthcare
There are doctors in Russia who do not charge bribes and treat patients well anyway – my classmate’s mom is a good friend of our family and head of department in Moscow hospital – she is one of these doctors herself. But there are also many others who won’t do anything unless bribed – and I do not judge them for it – with the funny salary they have it’s their way of surviving, I do not mind help them in this. Though I do mind the Government making them act the way.

There is a nice quote from Stalin the Government must be following “We will not increase doctors’ and teachers’ salaries – a good doctor and teacher can take care of themselves and we do not need bad doctors and teachers, do we?”. To me it sounds bizarre but what do I know!

1 comment:

  1. I would add something about the way the teachers and medical staff treat their pupils and patients. Nothnig is going to change even though they would be more paid -- disrespect.