The Teacher of the Year national competition was established in 1992.
After the meeting at the Sirius educational centre, the President spoke with the centre’s students and attended a presentation of the animated film Savva. The Heart of the Warrior.
The script for the film was written by American author Gregory Poirier; the film was directed by Russian producer and composer Maxim Fadeyev. The work took seven years and involved professionals from several countries. The animated film created in Russian and English will be released in Great Britain, Korea, China, Italy, Australia, the United States, Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
I would like to begin by congratulating you on the recent Teacher’s Day and, of course, on your victory in such a prestigious competition as Russia’s Teacher of the Year 2015.
As you may know, we hold such meetings regularly, and I am especially pleased that today we have gathered at Sirius – a centre for training gifted children. Of course, we should think and are thinking (as I hope you can see) about the development of the education system. This is reflected primarily in the resources allocated by the state for these purposes.
Compared to 2005, our spending on general education has grown fourfold, amounting to 1.4 trillion rubles in last year’s consolidated budget. This is a significant amount.
The conditions you and your colleagues work in are very important. In 2006, some 40 percent or even less of educational establishments met all the requirements, whereas now their share has gone up to 90 percent.
Regarding teachers’ salaries. You know this better than I do: without a proper salary, there is no way we can raise the prestige of a teacher, of the profession in general, which is undoubtedly the most important one in any society, including ours.
If we take 2005 again, the average salary was 6,500 rubles, which accounted for 77 percent of the national average. Now, over the past year we have created a situation when the average salary of a schoolteacher is 8 percent higher than the national average, amounting to 35,000 rubles.
You and I know very well that there is a significant difference between the regions – I am referring to the average figure, but nevertheless, it exceeds the national average by 8 percent. I know that there is never enough money, and this should probably not be the limit, but these are the objective indicators.
Internet access is one of such objective indicators that is very important if we bear in mind that the main thing today is not simply to pass on knowledge, though this is very important, but to teach people to learn; we often say this now, meaning that a school classroom is not the only source of knowledge. So, in 2005, 3.7 percent of all the schools in the country had internet access. Today internet is available at 90–95 percent of all schools. This is a truly impressive indicator.
There are things that did not even exist before. Thus, rural schools never had school buses. Now 98 percent of all rural schools have the opportunity to use this service. However, there are other positive things in the development of school education.
At the same time, naturally, any big system has its problems and things that need to be done additionally: we need to develop the system of education and help our teaching corps.
Let us consider this, especially now that we have gathered at such an unusual educational establishment as the centre for the support of talented children. We have many of them: very many people who can and want to make great strides in their profession and take part in the affairs of the country. Undoubtedly, you can do a lot to support these kids in their development in these areas.
One more thing I would like to say in my opening remarks: today is the birthday of one of our colleagues, Sergei Kocherezhko. Please accept my best wishes.
This is all I wanted to say by way of an opening.