President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Where do we begin, Mr Kravtsov?
Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov: Mr President, let us begin with infrastructure. All the tasks that you have set for the Ministry are being fulfilled.
We have a large programme underway to build schools. About 700 schools have already been built, or, if we consider all programmes, 900 schools. There is no such thing anywhere in the world. Many schools have swimming pools and up-to-date cafeterias. We also train teachers and prepare all education literature right away.
The next area is kindergartens. Here, on the whole, the problem of availability of kindergartens has been solved: today we are at 99 percent, while a few years ago it was 80 percent.
The most important school renovation programme was initiated by you. We approached it in such a way that some of the funds available in the regions could be left for major repairs.
I would like to report that the Valentina Tereshkova School [in Yaroslavl], which was built 85 years ago, was also renovated. Today, it is an up-to-date space-themed school. Ms Tereshkova was involved personally in designing it. On September 1, the school opened its doors. It is fully equipped with modern facilities.
Vladimir Putin: Now it looks completely different.
Sergei Kravtsov: An absolutely new school, in fact.
We focus a lot on rural schools. More than 70 percent of all schools under the capital renovation programme are rural schools. Equipment is also being purchased. Schoolchildren and parents also participate in designing them.
A separate area is equipping schools with up-to-date facilities, as you mentioned. We have created more than 300 Quantoriums, and 13,000 Growth Points. These are advanced centres providing additional education in engineering, where children can study physics, biology, and chemistry, in depth after school. They are in great demand and very popular.
A separate aspect deals with the development of secondary vocational education. Today, virtually 65 percent of school students enrol at colleges after graduating from the ninth grade. We have established over 3,000 modern workshops. We are actively implementing the Professional Training programme, when the industry also invests heavily in colleges. We have received an additional one billion rubles from enterprises.
The creation of a special centre for training shop-floor instructors is an important aspect of the Professional Training programme. This previously non-existent concept is highly popular. We will train shop-floor instructors for the secondary vocational education system. In 2024, we will start operating the centre at full capacity.
Support for teacher training universities is a separate aspect. You have supported this project. We are setting up technology parks and also supplying modern equipment, and we have also overhauled various facilities.
We are now setting up about 3,000 pedagogical classes. These are good career guidance courses, and are therefore in high demand, all the more so as we are creating modern spaces. I would also like to mention pedagogical Quantorium technology parks, with the same modern equipment that we deliver to schools, so that graduates would be able to operate such equipment after finding employment at schools.
Mr President, support for the new regions of the Russian Federation is a separate task. We have done the work necessary to open 1,337 schools on September 1. We have provided them with computer equipment and school books, and about 30,000 children have attended our camps for children.
Together with the heads of these new regions we are now drafting a comprehensive programme to develop the education system, so that it would meet the Russian Federation’s standards. We will pay separate attention to sport infrastructure. We have met with children, and most of them (virtually everyone) are saying that they need gyms and sport infrastructure, which were lacking. We will certainly do this.
Mr President, I would like to take this opportunity to present this book to you. We held a contest under the heading “What does it mean to be with Russia?” The book contains the many poems, drawings and essays that the children have sent us, and I would like to give this collection to you.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.