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Educational system in Russia (informal letter)

17.04.2011

Dear Ann,


Thanks a lot for your letter. Hope you passed your German test.


You asked me about the educational system in Russia. Well, most people go to nursery school first between 3 and 7 years old. Then, from age 7 onwards, education is compulsory and everybody goes to primary school until you`re 10 years old.


Between 11 and 15 years old, we go to secondary school. At the age of 16, we move to senior high school and stay there until 18. We take exams after secondary and after senior high school. They`re very important and you have to get good grades inthose exams to get into university.


In Russia education is free for everybody, but there`re private schools as well.


In times of high unemployment, many people work hard for exams to give themselves a better chance of getting a good job. And there are only few high-fliers who have come to the top without being born with a silver spoon in their mouth and without getting A grades in their exams. So we see that education plays quite an important role in our competitive society and it goes without saying that education has to be taken seriously.


Different people put their own thoughts into this term, but as for me, education isn`t only about learning and remembering information. In my view, the main purpose of it is to bringout people`s abilities and talents. Besides, education prepares people for jobs.


Of course, if you`re unambitious and if you`re ready to give your whole life to, for example, importing coffee, you don`t need to be a mathematical genius or have a degree in business studies to get it right. So in that case, getting higher education would be a complete waste of time. But if you`re purposeful with a great wish to achieve a lot in your life, you should go straight to university to get higher education. It will be quite challenging, but it will be good practice for you before going out into the wider world.


All these lines are said by a first-year-student of the Volgograd State Teacher Training University. I had done a great job before I became a student of this wonderful educational institution.


I was not a child prodigy and my parents didn`t give up their jobs to educate me at home. They didn`t think it was a good idea to educate me in such a way. I had been able to become mentally mature, but I wouldn`t have had enough socializing, so I would have felt out of place communicating with other children the same age in my furthest studies. So being a simple child I was got into a local primary school at 7. By this time, I had been able to read, but I hadn`t started academic subjects yet. Now I don`t think I worked harder than any other boys and girls of my age, but concentrated on what I really enjoyed, principally English. Learning it was really to my liking. Besides English, I also enjoyed literature, geography, nature study and other subjects. When I have some free time, I read historical novels a little, but not as a habit. I was taught how to play the piano, dance and paint. Now I have quite a wide range of interests. I am very grateful to my parents: they got me into the school and so gave me a great chance to mix much with other children and study as part of a team. Group work is necessary experience for children in their educational process. Pupils and students have to work much harder in groups because it isn`t just one student talking to the teacher; they all have to do something in order not to let each other down. Besides, children can do much more interesting things in groups – role plays, games and projects. Apart from that, it`s a great chance to learn a lot from other students in the class. So I`m quite happy that I wasn`t deprived of all this things.


I left school in June and began to prepare for my entrance exam to the University. I was lucky and passed it with excellent mark. I didn`t have an idea I`d have the highest mark because I wasn`t sure about the last 2 tasks of my 3-hour paper. But I was happy with the first 8, so I`ve made it up.


When my parents heard about my achievement, they all jumped up and down a bit. So I became a student. But it`s only the first steps to fame and fortune. I work hard at University and I eventually hope to become a good teacher of English in5 years. It`s an ambition I have in my teens. Our teacher is concentrating her efforts on my pronunciation. And I`m trying to get rid of my phonetic mistakes to the best of my abilities, but it`s too early to say that pronunciation is my strong point.


I`ve made up my mind to continue my studies as long as possible in order to get higher qualification and learn the skills to help me get a better job in the future.



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