On October 11, 2017, during the ICC 2017 Russia discussion of priorities in international cooperation, Director of the Artek International Children’s Center Alexei Kasparzhak suggested that Russia was the leader in the global children’s recreation industry.
Alexei Kasparzhak believes that Russia has set a high standard of working with children for the international community, a standard that is ahead of foreign practices: “We are the leaders of the industry; we set the standard and the understanding of what a camp is today. Our Western partners continue to come and study our experience. They say that they are not ready to compete with us: our organization and content level are still out of reach,” he said.
The director of Artek noted that this provides Russia with unique opportunities to export such services as extra-curricular work with children: “The children’s recreation industry is becoming our advantage on the global stage, and the export of education services can replenish the Russian budget.”
In Kasparzhak’s opinion, Artek has such a high reputation that other camps, including foreign ones, file applications for program certification: approval from Artek is regarded as an international mark of quality for a camp’s education program.
“We offer such a tool as voluntary program certification for the Russian and foreign markets. We state that if a program meets our requirements, we allow this program to say that it meets Artek’s requirements. For example, this service was provided for the Kamchiya camp in Bulgaria,” Artek’s director said.
Alexei Kasparzhak added that Russia can secure its leadership in the industry like the United Kingdom in the university sector: “A part of the UK budget is the money that the education system receives to export education services. More than a half is the money for accreditation of foreign university programs for compliance with UK universities’ requirements. The leadership in children’s camp program certification should remain with Russia and provide it with benefits.”
“In fact, we are talking about a new industry in Russia, which is winning the international competition and can capitalize on its advantage,” the director concluded.