President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends, good afternoon.
Tomorrow we will mark Teachers’ Day in Russia, and I would like to use this occasion to congratulate the members of the Sirius Board of Trustees on their professional day and to say a few kind words to all the Russian teachers. I would like to thank you for your commitment to your profession, to your students and to the noble vocation of teaching, mentorship and the nurturing of Russia’s future in the literal sense of the word.
Sirius has brought together such talented, caring and interesting people, who are making a substantial contribution to the development of education, science, sport and arts in our country and, consequently, to Russia’s success.
Eight years of cooperation have created a harmonious environment here in Sirius that includes all levels of education – university, college and the lyceum where we are now.
We were taken on a tour of the new areas and we talked with students and teachers. They are unanimous that this is a unique and good project, that it is developing and is successful. All the necessary conditions have been created here for young people with different interests – future scientists, engineers, athletes and artists, who can attend various interest clubs and sections, take part in social work and receive career oriented skills.
I believe that this kind of united, cohesive and creative environment should be created step-by-step in schools across the country. I ask Sirius and all the trustees, together with the Education Ministry, to think about introducing these modern solutions not only for major repairs and construction [of schools] but also, which is key, for organising their work.
To reiterate, Sirius is among the most important components of the national education system, and it is expanding to take more of this niche. I look forward to seeing further growth in its role of creating new, outside-the-box and, most importantly, sovereign approaches to our schools, colleges, and universities.
Of course, I want to thank Sirius for its efforts to get the work going in the new territories, the new regions of our country, the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. This work comes as a major contribution to integrating these regions into the country's educational space.
I hope Sirius will use its experience and expertise to revive all levels of education in these new constituent entities. I will not go into detail, since we all share an understanding of the importance of this work.
This is a political goal, but frankly, it is primarily a humanitarian goal and a way to help people, especially children and everyone who works with them.
For many years, Sirius has been providing support to talented children, and I hope that Sirius – let us never forget that it was created specifically for this – will remain focused on this.
I am talking about programmes provided by Sirius for gifted children, and for upgrading the skills of the teachers, coaches, and educators engaged in extended learning. This includes expanding the system of incentives for high achievers among schoolchildren and university students in various fields. This includes presidential grants, awards for winners and the awardees of international subject-based Olympiads.
I would like to re-emphasise the point that these tools are effective. They will, in the true sense of the word, last indefinitely and are not limited by the time constraints imposed by state programmes or national projects. In his regard, I look forward to these activities receiving uninterrupted funding from the federal budget, among other sources.
Further, I believe it is important and necessary to identify the Talent and Success Foundation as a national methodological centre for addressing issues of how to foster, support and accompany talented youth. This decision seems to be timely and reasonable because, as I said earlier, you have managed to bring together the best teachers and mentors on this campus.
At the same time, your specific mandate suggests a higher level of tasks and, most importantly, responsibility.
What I mean is that, first of all, it is necessary to significantly increase the scale of your work at the regional level and reach out to every teacher to help him or her become proficient in advanced practices and best methodologies.
Earlier today, we met with teachers and students at Sirius and they talked about this. There is every opportunity here to achieve this, including experience, competencies, the relevant authority and, no less important, funding. So I believe the Talent and Success Foundation should propose nongovernmental support measures for the Sirius regional centres and Russia’s best schools, which have already started giving lectures and holding training courses for teachers. Of course, today I would like to hear practical proposals on this.
Colleagues, as we agreed, life sciences have moved to the forefront of research at the Sirius scientific and technological innovation cluster. Late last year, we became acquainted with your laboratories and the research base. I would like to repeat that the work here is proceeding at a good pace, and I can say without exaggeration that it is up to world standards.
I would like to specially mention efforts at Sirius to get young people involved in work to address environmental issues and issues related to climate change. Here you also need to work on a national scale, this being all-encompassing and very interesting work that, of course, needs to be closely coordinated with the Government.
Of course, I mean that above all we will orient our efforts towards the younger generation, which means that we have to work with the Pioneers Movement, and with schoolchildren and students from various regions of Russia. Here, we can think about different methods and different ways of organising this work. I will not list them now, but I am sure you will talk about this today.
Sirius’s special role is to help the younger generation create new ideas, knowledge, technologies, and works of art. And in this sense, the federal complex created here is a real space for working on projects of the future.
I think this first experience of creating a federal education space is positive. This is very good because it creates conditions to accomplish something similar in other regions of Russia if we need to.
Next year, Sirius will host the Youth Festival, which will be one of the largest youth events in the world. As far as I know, Sirius and its partners are organising an extensive children's programme where a thousand schoolchildren from different countries will take part.
In general, I believe that Sirius has reached a stage of development where it can and should conduct its activities at the global level and expand cooperation with friendly countries. As you know, our colleagues from many countries around the world are showing a strong interest in cooperating with Sirius; they are interested in this cooperation and want to replicate the experience that Sirius has gained in their countries.
Let’s dive deeper into all these issues. As planned, I would like to give the floor to Ms Yelena Shmeleva, and then I really hope, colleagues, that you will also speak up: on the issues that you consider most relevant to the development of Sirius.