The Russian government may consider opening an all-Russian network of political discussion clubs at schools. RANEPA experts will send such a proposal to the government in the near future. The director of the institution's expert and analytical center, Nikolai Kalmykov, told RT about this. He explained that this would distract schoolchildren from political discussions on the Internet and return them to the real world - it would provide an opportunity to discuss current political events in Russia and the world and teach schoolchildren to defend their political point of view.
The Russian government is being asked to open a single all-Russian network of political discussion clubs at Russian secondary schools. This proposal is sent to the Cabinet of Ministers (at the disposal of RT) by the RANEPA Expert and Analytical Center under the leadership of Nikolai Kalmykov. The authors of the initiative believe that such a measure will distract students from political disputes on the Internet and will provide an opportunity to learn how to defend their political point of view in real life.
“If we want to educate effective and experienced politicians, people with an active civil position, then we must organize platforms where it will be possible to defend our positions, develop new opinions. A person will learn, on the one hand, to critically perceive information, and on the other hand, to politely and correctly respond to the arguments of the opponent, Kalmykov notes.
He believes that school clubs can increase the political and legal literacy of schoolchildren, give young political scientists the opportunity to attract like-minded peers to their side, and in the future - apply the experience gained in the political life of the country and become public figures.
“You can also open discussion clubs at universities, student councils, public organizations. It is necessary that there is a relationship between political clubs, so that there is a single schedule and that it is possible to visit different sites with topics of interest,”Kalmykov said.
The expert added that these classes in schools will be exclusively optional.
The press service of the RT Ministry of Education and Science reported that the department will be able to voice its position on the proposal of the RANEPA expert and analytical center after reviewing the document.
The leader of the United Youth Front (UYF), Nikolai Shlyamin, is confident that in addition to political clubs, schools should introduce an additional discipline - to single out a civic studies course from the social studies curriculum.
“If we do not want to slide down to the level of a banana republic the size of 1/6 of the land, then this is a step that must be taken for the survival of the state and statehood,” says Shlyamin. - Riots and revolutions arise because the people do not know the functions of the government, local officials and the like. In such a situation, it is easier to manipulate a person and convince him to go to burn tires on Bolotnaya. Therefore, it is beneficial for the government that the people are literate in political and legal terms and understand what is really happening in the state."
Knowledge about the state should be based on civics. As part of this course, students will learn why a president, the State Duma, the government, ministries and other authorities are needed. Then people will be able to fully interact with the authorities, using the rights that are laid down in the Constitution, Shlyamin believes.
Olga Letkova, chair of the working group for the protection of the family and traditional family values of the Public Council under the Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights of Russia, believes that it is premature to initiate schoolchildren into politics from an early age.
“Of course, children need to be instilled with patriotism and love for the Motherland. But due to their age, it is too early for them to understand all the intricacies of political processes, explains Letkova. - Discussion platforms, where children, in addition to communicating on the Internet, could discuss the most interesting issues, are needed. Because mostly children are now communicating online without having the skill of real discussion and live communication. Such sites would be supported by the parent community."
When organizing discussion platforms, one should start from those topics that interest teenagers - the meaning of life, vocation, interpersonal relationships. With children, it is worthwhile to have a discussion about how to build your life and be realized in society, said Letkova.
Maya Pildes, the director of Gymnasium 56 in St. Petersburg, supports the idea of organizing political clubs in schools, provided that they are led by professionals.
“We need to understand who will be the leader, since pedagogical universities do not train such specialists. And future graduates of the Faculty of Political Science may not have professional readiness for this - not everyone can work with children. After all, no one prepares political scientists to work with schoolchildren. At the same time, children cannot organize themselves up to the level of a political club, because they do not possess the necessary set of knowledge,”explained Pildes.
She clarified that if there are professionals prepared for such work, and they are ready to come to school on small school salaries, they will be accepted to lead the political club. In this case, students will receive very little due to incomplete higher education - about 10 thousand rubles for 18 hours.