The Ministry of Education will conduct diagnostics of migrant children on the level of Russian language proficiency in Russian schools. Based on the results of the tests, students from migrant families can be sent to additional Russian language courses. This was reported by Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov at a hearing in the Federation Council.
This statement, as “Kommersant” writes, was preceded by a discussion in Russian society. Thus, the head of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, Valery Fadeev, stated that 50% to 75% of migrant children do not know Russian well or at all. Fadeev claims that in some schools in Moscow and St. Petersburg there are up to 20% of such students. The “Just Russia — For the Truth” party, in turn, proposed limiting the number of foreign children and children with insufficient knowledge of the Russian language to 10%. And in schools where “the number of children who speak Russian as a foreign language exceeds 3% of the total number of students”, introduce paid courses for additional study of the Russian language.
In addition to diagnostics for the level of Russian language proficiency, tests for “assessment of sociocultural identity (adaptation) of a child” appeared on the ministry’s portal. Tasks for high school students include diagnosis of spiritual and moral development, readiness for self-development, as well as student conflict. “Diagnostics of knowledge of the history and culture of Russia” appears in the tests for high school students. Thus, eighth- and ninth-graders are asked to match the descriptions of biblical characters with their names, to identify two false statements about uraza (Islamic fasting), and also to compare twelve images with “canonical images of icons”. High school students are also offered to learn about mosques in different countries through photographs.
In an interview with Kommersant, Director of the Platform Social Design Center, Aleksey Firsov, criticized both the psychological block of questions and the tests related to knowledge of the historical context: “Strongly expressed religious bias, strange selection of historical events,” Alexey Firsov noted.
Experts and teachers who generally support the ministry’s plans to determine the level of Russian language proficiency of migrant children emphasize that the main question is who will finance additional lessons. “Most likely, the schools themselves will demand the implementation of the courses, and the director will be forced to introduce paid education,” says Vsevolod Lukhovytskyi, a member of the Uchitel trade union council. However, experts note that migrants do not have money for additional paid education.