Artek members urge the Decade of Childhood to provide equal access to education for all children

“Today at Artek we discussed with its members the Decade of Childhood program. Children spoke a lot about the accessibility of education which must be equal for all young people. They spoke about those who live in small villages and do not have the opportunities their counterparts in large cities have.”

This was how Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets outlined the main topic of discussion on the Decade of Childhood program that took place at Artek on February 21, 2018. At the meeting there were children from Moscow and the Moscow Region, the regions of Irkutsk, Tver, Penza, Smolensk and Kirov, as well as from Ryazan, Kaliningrad, the Republic of Tyva, and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Olga Golodets emphasized that she is behind Artek members in terms of the need to provide an educational ladder for young people to climb. “I agree that there must be full accessibility and equal opportunities for everyone to receive education, be instructed in sports and develop creative as well as technical skills,” she said.

The deputy prime minister praised the format of the discussion with the young people, adding that it allowed her to take a look at the state children’s agenda for 2018−2017 through non-adult eyes. “The young generation has its own outlook. We touched upon important matters: online education and how it can coexist with traditional methods, the expansion of additional education and the possibility for advanced studies of matters of interest both in secondary and high schools, as well as education for children with disabilities, plus the possibility to try their hand in various professions,” Golodets said.

Artek director Alexei Kasprzhak believes that education is a pressing matter for today’s children because they feel a gap between school education and the tasks they meet later on in life: “Today these young people spoke openly about the fact that there is school education and education for life. They pointed out that they did not want to study at school for too long.”

“Generally speaking, children want school education to be interesting,” he said.

Kasprzhak emphasized that the discussion marked the beginning of the development of an Artek program document on the Decade of Childhood. The voting for the document will take place at the next traditional children’s referendum on March 16 and will be an instruction to the future Russian president. “Each year on March 16 we hold a children’s referendum at Artek. We believe that the proposals that we have developed will become the object of the referendum. The document supported by children will be a proposal for the future Russian president on how to implement the Decade of Childhood,” he said.