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Form Far East-2

Sketch of Leonid Blyakher about Far Eastern education. Part Two - Universities

Form Far East-2
Photo: MSU Press Service

Leonid Blyakher

Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
What can I say about universities in the last couple of decades. Yes, only one thing is being reformed. Introduced and with a whistle are canceled new forms of employment, new increasingly cumbersome forms of accountability, there are new positions of managers from education. Only one thing remains or is trying to remain: with a call the teacher enters the classroom and begins classes. Only today, and this - the only important part of education - was suddenly threatened.

Education is a conservative thing. Probably the most conservative of all social areas. Actually, this is her strength. It is the conservatism of education, especially higher education that allows society to reproduce and preserve itself, allows children to understand parents and vice versa.

“It used to be like that,” the thoughtful reader will say, “But in our dynamic time, in our era of changes, everything is different.” But here it is worth remembering that in "our dynamic time", "in an era of changes", humanity has been living for many centuries. And every time she (the era of change) was the very-very. The current time is no different here. And education each time turned out to be the thread that connected the past and the present, did not give time to fall to pieces.

“What is it about you,” another reader will say, “education should train popular specialists.” The rest is just snot and unnecessary philosophy. ” Actually, so think high, and not very high leaders. Many rulers of doom and shark feathers think so. This was managed to convince society itself. Of course, higher education also has this role. Only she is not the first and not the main one. Moreover, any or almost every person knows that specialists are being trained (really, are being trained) in the first three months of work, and not at all in high school. So, for what high school? Let's think about it.

There is an obvious, lying on the surface, although not particularly enjoyable with the scoring function of the university - to be a social sedimentation tank. In conditions when the family ceases to be a socializing tool as early as in adolescence, a person at the age of adolescence may well be socially dangerous. Physically, he is an adult. But there is still far from social. This is a dangerous time for young people and spend in high school. Their energy is redirected from things destructive, to "scientific", "creative" and other activities. And let this science - not quite a science, and creativity more like an average hand amateur performance. This is much better than the crowds of teenagers on the street, ready to destroy the whole world of violence, and not only violence.  

Even less often talk about such a function of higher education, as the overcoming of geographical inequality. Somehow it is not customary to say here that a resident of a global city has obvious social advantages to a resident of a metropolis. The latter initially has more life chances than a resident of a large city, etc. up to a small village. For us, the Far East, this is not the most joyous statement. In a region where there are only two large cities, which can be considered with great difficulty to megacities, this means leaving. But this thing, alas, is objective. Let's return to higher education. It is this that allows a young person from a town or small town to gain a foothold in a new, larger city, giving time for social adaptation. Is it important? Ask those hundreds of thousands and millions who have similarly moved to a new place of residence.

Not less, and perhaps more significant is the function of network building. Any or almost any person immersed in a mass of social networks. This is not Facebook or VKontakte. These are related, friendly, local and other similar ties. With their help, people build their own, commensurate and comfortable world, protect it from attempts at destruction, build career strategies. It so happened that formal institutions and social elevators in our country, and not only in our country, work far from automatic. They have to help, they have to constantly lubricate and maintain. Personal communication is a way to compensate for poorly functioning institutions.

But such ties are formed only where competition is weakened. Otherwise, any attempts to make friends are suppressed by the "war of all against all" that prevails in the world of competition. Higher education is an artificial space. The risks that exist in it, artificial risks (did not pass the test, earned a retake - all this is not fatal). Accordingly, it is here that social connections are best formed, which will then support a person throughout his life. Other functions follow from this feature of higher education. Including professional ones.

The price for the experiment (deviation from the norm and standard) in the real world can be loss of work, misfortune of close people, and even death. In high school the maximum payment is "two". Also not very nice, but not fatal. So, the young man has a long period when he can experiment in the profession, in relationships, in the future. Is it important? I think it's incredibly important. Without such a period in society, creators will be an extremely rare, almost disappearing product.

From the function of the network building it follows another, I think, the most important function - the reproduction of the elite of society. It is from higher education institutions (general higher education institutions) that groups emerge, which later become the leaders of a country, region, city, etc. They know each other, support each other. It is enough for several people from this group to achieve high status (possess the best starting capabilities, abilities, just luck) for the elite group to emerge. Having formed, it structures society, organizes it, turning chaos into orderliness.

The list of more or less explicit functions of higher education can be continued. But from the above list is clear - the thing is extremely important. Without it, society gradually loses its image of itself, disintegrates, turns into a mass, unable to understand and hear each other. What is the reason for the fact that today an increasing number of people, one way or another connected with education, are talking, or even shouting about its crisis? Alas. It is in the fact that all these functions die during the reform. There is a character who, in the course of daily communication, makes these functions of higher education feasible - the teacher. But the teacher, who must guide the process of growing up, becoming and finding students, partly replacing the parents, as in the case of the school, turns out to be only a translator of knowledge. Yes, and it is proposed to replace it. The idea of ​​distance education, online education, etc. it is quite rational, if we are talking only about the training of specialists (and so and so - they prepare poorly), it completely destroys the most important functions of education, built on communication in the system “teacher-student”.

They say smart people that the whole thing in financing. Little pay teacher. They will execute May Decrees in higher education institutions, pay twice as much as the regional average, then there will be no fairy tale, but education. Will not be. To say that regional universities do not pay much is not entirely true. In general, salaries in universities in the region are higher in 2 times than teachers' salaries in the western part of the country. If a professor, say, in Ulyanovsk or Saransk, earns 24-25 thousand rubles, then a professor in the southern part of the Far-Eastern Federal District earns more than 50 thousand (at various universities from 48 to 55 thousand "on his hands"), and in Far Eastern Federal University and even more . Approximately the same ratio in other categories.

Of course, the salary in universities does not reach the doubled “average salary in the region (39000 rubles in the Khabarovsk Territory). What the university budget does not allow is done with the help of accounting games and sleight of hand. Universities with "weak" budgets are transferring their employees to part of the rate in order to report on the increase in wages. Data on accrual, not payment, are given. Although it is difficult to blame anyone for this. In fact, there is no money. But this is not the only problem. It's just that life in the region is much more expensive. After all, nominally, not a small salary should allow you to pay utility bills, when the usual rent for a three-four-room apartment costs 10-12 thousand rubles. And a fur coat (from 50 to 150 thousand rubles is not the most luxurious fur coat) is not a luxury here, but a basic necessity. It's cold, however. There is almost a double excess in the price of basic foodstuffs, cellular communications, the Internet, and much more. Accordingly, a nominally high salary (higher than the average in Russia, although, of course, lower than at the HSE), in reality turns out to be lower than a similar remuneration in a region with a slightly cheaper price tag.   

But this is not the main problem either. Far Eastern universities have always been very tightly included in the local community. They lived on its juices, giving their capabilities to a city or region. Today this connection has been broken. To the shouts about "control over the quality of education", about "world experience", etc. universities of the region were cut off from the soil, given, as once taken fortresses were given, "to the stream" to officials or "ideologists" from the relevant ministry. Universities in the region, and not only have not been teaching for a long time, but "provide educational services."

A teacher from an assistant to a professor at a university today is a being miserable and servile. Slave cannot be a teacher. He can not teach not only the profession, but nothing at all. At best, he will be able to reproduce the new generation of slaves. Today, an attempt to build education from outside (with the help of instructions, an increasingly complex system of control, the introduction of new and new managerial positions) leads to the fact that there is no time left for a deeply personal process of transferring oneself.

Increasingly, there are offers to close "extra universities," "unclaimed directions." Especially here in the Far East. In the previous essay, I wrote that it is necessary to close the school, as the village dies. Something similar can be noted in connection with universities. Only the scales are different. Closing the university - closing the city. We are crushing the system of universities (and everything goes to that) - we “close” the entire region. The next generation will not be here.

Is there a way out? Sure. Stop building a university from the outside. Recognize that all these managers are just not needed. And as soon as this happens, higher education will start working in Khabarovsk, and in the Far East, and in Russia. And with it, society will "work" as well. You need to realize that everyone - from a laboratory assistant to the Minister of Education - is only service personnel. And the essence is those who meet in the audience, starting the communication with the words: “Hello! Write down today's topic ... ".
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