Earlier the President met with the winners of the 2017 Teacher of the Year national contest.
Speech at gala evening marking Teachers’ Day
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear friends,
It is my sincere pleasure to congratulate all of you, all Russian teachers on your professional holiday – Teachers’ Day. Congratulations!
This is a holiday that is close to all of our hearts, because teaching is not just a job but a calling, a challenging and weighty mission. And we all remember our mentors with special gratitude and appreciation for their sincere love, care and wise advice.
Good teachers always impart much more than what is contained in the curriculum. They help young people, teenagers, children to understand themselves, to reveal their best qualities and ultimately to find their own way in life. You, at least the vast majority of you, invest a bit of your soul in your students and try to show them the importance of decency, fairness, trust, respect for each other and love of country.
I am convinced that it is impossible to become a thinking, decent and free person without such basic, fundamental values. These concepts, these moral foundations cannot be learned from a textbook or downloaded from the internet; this moral foundation is laid by the daily work of teachers and solidified by their personal example and personal engagement with students.
Of course, teachers need to feel the payoff of their work, to know that their daily efforts are duly appreciated by the state and society. In recent years, much has been done to bolster the profession’s prestige and social status, and such work will certainly continue.
Today's holiday, Teachers’ Day, is also a great opportunity for all students, both current and former, to once again say thank you to their teachers, to express all their gratitude and appreciation.
Friends, our country has always taken pride in the quality of our education, our strong teaching traditions, and our outstanding vocational training. We need to carefully preserve this legacy, and use all the best – programmes, methods, and approaches – from the experience we have already amassed.
However, Russian education must certainly meet the highest requirements of not only today but also tomorrow. This concerns the content of the educational process and the technical equipment of schools.
We have many strong educational institutions with established reputations. It is gratifying to know that the number of new leading schools is growing year in and year out, and not only in major cities. The rankings of Russia’s best schools this year were compiled using 72 Russian regions, including cities such as Saransk, Kirovsk, Omsk, Kazan, and many others. The programme for building and upgrading general education institutions is being actively promoted. By the end of this year alone, 170 schools will have been opened, which translates to almost 100,000 new slots for students.
In general, our goal is to create a truly modern educational environment that is comfortable for both teachers and students, and provides all the necessary conditions for developing the creative abilities of children and teenagers.
We are rightly proud of the successes of our children, their victories at international competitions in general subjects. This, by the way, speaks volumes about the high quality of our education, and the high achievements of the entire educational system of the Russian Federation. But you know better than anyone else that the talents your students demonstrated during academic competitions derive from one very simple truth – every student has talent. So, if a teacher was able to help a pupil gain entry to a competition, to win a competition, it means that the teacher managed to find a ”spark“ in that pupil. The mission of the teacher is to find that ”spark“ in each student that can lead him or her to outstanding heights.
Much depends on the personality of the teachers, their skills and competencies. We will be developing a system that allows teachers to constantly improve their skills, and share best practices among themselves. Of course, we, like no one else, know that teachers must constantly learn as well.
In closing, I would like to say thank you to all the teachers, and wish success to your students. Their achievements and victories are the best testimony to your professionalism and devotion to your chosen path.
I already had the opportunity to congratulate 15 laureates, the best teachers of the year, chosen by the professional community. I congratulate them and, addressing the wider audience, I want to congratulate all teachers of Russia on their professional holiday.
Thank you very much and have a nice evening.