The Baikal International Education Fair was held on November 22-24 in Irkutsk for the first time. The largest regional project of the Moscow International Education Fair organized with the participation of the Ministry of Education of the Irkutsk Region, brought together over 15,000 visitors– experts of regional and federal levels and education specialists, as well as manufacturers and developers of state-of-the-art technologies and innovations being introduced in the educational process throughout Russia. The participants included the Chiefs of Staff of the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Siberian Federal District, the Governor of the Irkutsk Region, rectors of Russian universities and business representatives.
The topic of the Fair was 'Accessibility. Quality. Continuity'. It was covered as part of the implementation of the business program that included over 249 events with 789 speakers; the fair display included 70 exhibits from 8 regions of the country. The educational aids – recent developments of Russian manufacturers - were presented as part of the special project 'Russian manufacturer.'
Sergei Levchenko, Governor of the Irkutsk Region: 'The first Baikal International Education Fair has become a high-profile event for the region. We have managed to gather a number of educational institutions on one platform and present the best practices. We have something to be proud of: annually graduates of our region show good results in the Unified State Exam and enter the leading universities of the country. Definitely, the credit goes not only to students but also to their teachers and the properly established education system in general. Such events not only expand horizons but also raise the bar, set new tasks. I am sure that the education fair will become a good tradition and will promote the introduction of the best Russian and international practices in the regional educational organizations.'
Valentina Peregudova, Minister of Education of the Irkutsk Region: 'I would like to thank all participants of the MIEF, the whole pedagogical community of the Irkutsk Region for fruitful work. We have survived these three days and proved that we can hold such major events. I especially want to thank the MIEF's managerial board represented by Maxim Kazarnovsky for bringing your moderators, a variety of interesting projects, and just for support. I hope for further active cooperation. Thank you very much.'
Maxim Kazarnovsky, Director of the Moscow International Education Fair (MIEF): 'A wide range of technologies and ideas of the content and exhibition space management proposed by the Moscow Education Fair are innovative for the region. The true improvisation should be exclusively based on professionalism, profound expertise and global vision of the context – we found all these qualities in the team of partners from the Ministry of Education of the Irkutsk Region. Today we can definitely say that the Baikal International Education Fair has succeeded, and there is a strong feeling that it will become a powerful tradition for the region in the long term.'
The BIEF's partner in the development of the forum business program was the Ministry of Education of the Irkutsk Region. It was implemented by the leading experts of regional and federal levels. The Fair brought together the educational process participants from the Republic of Buryatia, the Republic of Tuva, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Transbaikal Territory and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Irkutsk Region and the Kemerovo Region, and other regions. The dialogue was conducted within six thematic clusters: preschool education, supplementary education, general education, professional education, inclusive education, online education. Each cluster included professional discussions in all kinds of formats – research and practical conferences, interactive sessions, round tables, master classes and project presentations which allowed us to identify the problem issues and find advanced solutions in building up the elements of the modern education ecosystem.
An effective discussion was centered around the issues of government regulation in the field of education (supervisors: O. Goncharova, Director of the All-Russian Center for Artistic Creation; S. Gershpigel, Acting Head of the Department of General and Supplementary Education of the Ministry of Education of the Irkutsk Region). The discussion involved the heads of executive government bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation executing state administration in the field of education. The experts considered the factors of development of the departmental regional education system, network interaction of the education system and other issues.
Oxana Goncharova: 'The Baikal International Education Fair showed that there are regions where state policy in the field of education is implemented not only by education specialists. The Irkutsk Region is a region where education is a priority area where all regional ministries and government agencies work closely together and in a consistent manner. It is this that yields good results shown by the region being one of the leaders in the development of economic and human potential of the Eastern Siberia.'
As part of the cluster the representatives of the BIEF's strategic partner – Rossiysky Uchebnik Corporation - presented the eventful business program dedicated to innovative digital educational solutions for schools, advanced educational practices, unique expert evaluation which will help schools to successfully implement the 'Education' national project in the near future.
Alexander Brychkin, Director General of Rossiysky Uchebnik Corporation: 'No doubt that the first Baikal International Education Fair was held at the highest level thanks to its organizers' professionalism and the participants' joint efforts. The active agenda allowed us to study comprehensive experience and propose solutions for key areas in education – from digital tools of childhood reading development for teachers to participation in implementing the 'Education' national project and public-private partnership. A genuine interest and engagement in the discussion, demonstrated by teachers and heads of educational institutions from several regions of the country, show that we can and must continue forming a joint unique expert evaluation which will help improve the quality of Russian education.'
As part of the 'Preschool education' cluster (supervisors: T. Volosovets, Director of the Institute for Childhood, Family and Education of the Russian Academy of Education; T. Zakharova, Advisor for Preschool and General education at the Department of General and Supplementary education of the Ministry of Education of the Irkutsk Region) one of the main topics was development of preschool education quality, and, in particular, readiness of preschool teachers for humanitarian expert evaluation of the educational environment quality. The following topical issues were discussed: development of the competitive environment in the field of preschool education, social project planning issues, interdepartmental interaction in solving difficult problems.
Tatiana Zakharova: 'The speakers shared their experience in cultural practices of working with children, defined the capabilities of a teacher's methodological support in developing the preschool teachers' expert competencies, prospects of innovative development of educational practices in kindergartens of the Irkutsk Region'.
The quality problem was also discussed as part of the 'Supplementary education' cluster (supervisors: S. Kosaretsky, Director of the Center for Socio-Economic Development of the School of the Institute of Education of the National Research University Higher School of Economics; I. Torunova, Head of the Supplementary Education Department of the Ministry of Education of the Irkutsk Region): the experts discussed the modern landmarks of evaluation of results, conditions and processes, development of various models of working with children, the basic principles of supplementary education.
Sergey Kosaretsky: 'The important criterion of the supplementary education quality is children's ability to apply acquired knowledge and skills when solving practical tasks. The professional community must be more active as subjects of evaluation of the teacher performance quality, attestation and certification'.
In the 'General education' cluster (supervisors: A. Ezdov, Director of School № 1788 of Moscow; Ya. Bezrukova, Deputy Director of the Education Development Institute of the Irkutsk Region) the following issues were discussed: teachers' professional competence, individual education in mainstream school, the ways to achieve good results in education, the use of information technologies for individualization of educational process; practical aspects of education digitization.
Alexander Ezdov: 'The participants openly expressed their point of view, were ready to defer to other opinions. This indicates, on the one hand, the teacher audience's good preparation for professional dialogue, and, on the other hand, a lack of similar events.'
Research activity of university students, digital transformation of education – these and other topical issues were brought up in the ‘Higher education’ cluster (supervisors: A. Molchanov, Vice-President of Proobraz Management Company LLC; A. Grachev, Head of the Department for work with HEIs of the Ministry of Education of the Irkutsk Region). The experts paid individual attention to demand for university graduates on the modern labor market, interaction of educational organizations of all levels when developing students' entrepreneurial skills.
Alexander Molchanov: 'Today, business representatives do not actively participate in the educational process as there is no effective communication between educational organizations and real practical enterpreneurs who are ready to join in training the young generation.'
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