The Most Valuable Possession of a Society is Education
Written by Michael E. Nikolaev
Effort is being exerted to make it be known that development of education is a priority task in the Republic. I am also of the opin ion that education is the absolute value. Our primary concern should be directed at educational problems and schools should be in the center of public attention.
In 1991 the concept of revitalizing and developing a national school in Yakutia was accepted. One of the concept's position is to maintain the right to be educated at school in your own native tongue. The ethnic features of each person are reproduced in their own language. Language, no less than customs, traditions and myths are inevitably attired in their own ethnic features.
Today preschool educational institutions and high schools provide education in Russian, Yakut, Even, Evenk, Yukagir and Chukchi languages. Many national and cultural communities opened Sunday schools where native languages and cultural traditions are studied.
A positive tendency of this process to develop education in Yakutia is a transition from a unified educational system to a vesatile one where every child can choose from an educational pro gram the kind of school and type of educational establishment he/she would like to attend and also the rate of progress desired.
The innovative movement of creating and developing new types of educational establishments was launched while working on the concept of a national school. The necessary legislative basis for these activities exists in Yakutia.
There is a so-called special category of schools known as «author's schools», which practice non-traditional methods of education. Among these schools are the «author's school of Nina Alekseeva» in Yakutsk, the «author's school of Elgyaiskaya» in Suntar, the «author's school of Dzhabylskaya» in Megino- Kangalassy, the «author's schools of Mugudaiskaya and Sylanskaya» in Churapcha.
In some districts there are other types of schools that are more agriculturally-oriented, the so-called farmer working schools. They are open and are operating successfully.
New models of schools for the indigenous peoples of the North are being developed. The necessity of opening such schools is caused by increasing and acute social problems: traditional forms of survival is disappearing, the environment and the indifference to violating the sanctions developed to preserve the flora and the fauna plus ever-increasing social difficulties make the search for new models of school a necessity. New models of schools for the indigenous peoples of the North have been implemented and are in operation in the following villages: Iengra, Kutana, Nelemnoye, Topolinoye among others. In 1998 a boarding high school of the intermediate level for children of indigenous peoples of the North Ч "The Arctic" Ч was opened. Today the school is a federal experimental site. Schoolchildren from 21 districts of the republic and even from other regions of the country come here not only to study but Mother Nature also takes care of their health.
Then there are nomadic schools for the tribal communities. They also belong to this new type of school practicing non-traditional methods and receiving positive feed-back.
In the republic there are also associated schools with the UNESCO Associated Schools being a good example. When they opened their doors here the republic realized the meaning of the principle «from the native culture to the world of universal value». The Sakha-Turkish College (Yakutsk), Sakha-Korean school (Yakutsk), Sakha-French school (Khamagatta, Namski district), Sakha-Belgian school (Legoi, Ust-Aldanski district) are operating successfully today as a result of joint cooperation with their foreign partners.
Schools-laboratories exist and provide a rich source of scientific information. Such educational establishments also offer ample opportunities for cooperation between scientists and teachers in joint exploratory projects.