Discover more from Edward Slavsquat
Russian education (sponsored by creepy banks & American candy bars)
Herman Gref is up to his usual trickery
Fun fact: before your Still-Not-Back-In-Moscow correspondent migrated to the Motherland, he briefly pursued a lucrative career in … Education Journalism.
Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society, and everything written by John Taylor Gatto, confirmed our suspicions that the American education system was hopelessly broken and retarded. And so this seemed like a topic worth writing about.
As a nubile 20-year-old, we even landed an (unpaid) gig at famous cesspool and internet sweatshop The Huffington Post, which at the time had just launched a College section. We used this prestigious platform to urge discouraged American teens to move to the Moon and found their own money laundering operations—sorry, “institutes of higher learning.”
It is our firm belief that most, if not all, of the terrors of the 21st century can be traced back to the devastating consequences of compulsory government schooling. But can the same be said about Russian education?
Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science announced in May that it would withdraw from the Bologna Process (which aims to create a “European Higher Education Area”), and develop its own “unique” model of higher education.
Sounds good, but what will replace this Euro-schooling credential system?
We don’t really know yet. But there are troubling trends in Lower Education which might offer us some clues. And by “troubling trends,” we really mean “the corporate takeover of education.”
Started in 2015, the program offers an exciting career in education to any Russian with a university degree. Don’t worry if you don’t have a background in teaching—you will receive SberTraining. And a monthly SberStipend. And other cool SberPerks.
Have a look at Teacher for Russia’s vacancies page, which currently advertises teaching positions for history and social studies: “To participate in the program, it is not necessary to have a teacher education or school experience. We will help you become the teacher every child dreams of … Apply now to start teaching as early as September 1, 2023. Children are waiting!”
Successful candidates will have the honor of joining a community of “like-minded people” who will receive a monthly stipend in addition to their school salary, as well as compensation for housing.
Not a bad deal, especially because teachers (particularly in the regions) are criminally underpaid.
And whom can we thank for this generous patronage?
Aside from Sber, the program is sponsored by Mars Wrigley (the American multinational diabetes-manufacturer), Yandex (Russian Google, actually based in the Netherlands, which relocated several thousand Russian employees to Tel Aviv after the start of the Not-War in Ukraine), The Yeltsin Center (lol), VK (Russian Zuckbook), and many other trustworthy and deeply charitable organizations.
The program is still in its infancy, but the army of SberTeachers appears to be growing. Is it OK that the Schwab-worshipping CEO of Russia’s largest bank, in partnership with Mars Bars, is grooming a stable of “educators”?
All of this is happening as Russian officials insist there is no money for hiring new teachers, and that digital education is the future. What a strange SberCoincidence.
Nakanune reported in May 2021:
There is no money to finance “extra” schools, which is why the digitalization of education is being imposed. This sensational claim was made by the Minister of Digital Development of the Russian Federation Maxut Shadayev.
The minister made his comments during a discussion with an expert of the Federation Council Anna Schwabauer, who spoke out against the imposition of digitalization in schools and the replacement of teachers with “virtual assistants”.
“We have a lot of small schools, there are not enough teachers... A huge number of rural schools are not provided with teachers, billions will not help here. There is no such money. To bring teachers to rural schools, give them housing and a full set of teaching aids, we have no such opportunities,” Shadayev said.
On a related note, former Deputy Minister of Education Marina Rakova—an ex-vice president at Sberbank—was recently released from prison and put under house arrest as part of an investigation into a massive embezzlement scandal.
We applaud any and all efforts by Russia to extricate herself from The Western Education System, which is insufferable and awful in every imaginable way.
But what will fill the void? A creepy bank?
Let’s hope not.
Sorry for not posting for a week+. Won’t happen again.