Here’s the weather on the longest day of the year here in St. Petersburg. Note the sunrise and sunset times —
Another good article by pastor Andrei Furmanov —
Ever since the importance of teachers has been recognized by UNESCO, World Teacher’s Day is celebrated across the world on October 5. This includes celebrations to honor the teachers in a particular field or community in general. In most cases the way and reason of celebration vary amongst countries. Different countries celebrate the day on different dates attaching their own values to it.
In Russia, Teachers’ Day was celebrated on the first Sunday of October, between 1965 and 1994. And since 1994, the day is observed on October 5th, coinciding with World Teacher’s Day. More than one million high school teachers and 350,000 university teachers throughout Russia are honored on that October day. According to tradition, on Teacher’s Day Russia names the winner of the Teacher of the Year competition, who is usually awarded with the Crystal Pelican, the symbol of self-dedication.
TEACHER’S DAY ACTIVITIES IN RUSSIA
Celebration of Teachers day to honor the teachers for their immense role towards the society comprises lots of activities that add a fun note to the celebration. Some activities include dance, drama, games, competitions; thanks giving etc are organized by the students to make the occasion a grand affair for their teachers. They also perform mimicry of their mentors, instructors and tutors that involves a lot of excitement. This provides an opportunity for the students to show their respect and love to their teachers. The celebration is enjoyed by both students and those in whose honor it’s done with great zeal and enthusiasm. Some schools also reward the teachers for their priceless efforts towards the student’s betterment.
TEACHER’S SITUATION IN RUSSIA
While extending our congratulations to all teachers on this occasion, we would also like to use this opportunity to remind our readers of some of the problems facing those who have dedicated their lives to the art of teaching in Russia.
In his formal annual letter to teachers, Russia’s Education Minister usually points out the importance of the profession of a teacher and expresses gratitude to teachers for their devotion to their work and kindness. At the same time it was announced by the Ministry of Education and Science not so long ago that the number of teachers could possibly be reduced. It was emphasized that the ministry can only recommend that schools do so but cannot say how many teachers should be laid off or when. “In determining the optimal number of teachers, we can look not only at Russian experience but also international practice,” he explained. “In Europe on average there is one teacher per 13-15 students. Today there is one teacher per 9-10 pupils. Russia there are approximately 13 million pupils in Russia, and unfortunately due to demographic problems this number will not increase significantly in the near future. Growth won’t be seen earlier than 2015-2016. In order to be at the level we were at a decade ago, we need 1 million teachers. But right now we have 1.2 million, so there is potential for the reduction of 200,000.”
Statistics tell us that Russia spends a miserly 3.5% of its GDP on education, while the average in European countries is around 7-8%, in the US – 11%, in Finland – 16%, and in South Korea an incredible 23% of that country’s GDP.
Public school teachers along with public medical doctors are the two most underpaid and underappreciated professions in our country. Most public schools are terribly underfunded depending on free donations from parents, who are often forcefully encouraged to give towards school needs. It must sound strange for people from outside of Russia but this is the reality of our life.
The academic year has just begun and parent-teacher meetings are in full swing. Traditional topic of such meetings has always been the collection of money to meet school needs. However, this year parents are also worriedly discussing impending educational reforms, which nobody can seem to understand.
TEACHING THE TRUTH IN RUSSIAN CONTEXT
We cannot avoid anything that happens in this country, yet, we are committed to be mentors and instructors of our own kids both academically and spiritually. We continue investigating homeschooling possibilities in Russia context to be more effective in raising the new generation of believers on godly principles. We are devoted to teaching the truth not only to our children but to our congregation and people who have not seen the Truth yet. What joy! What privilege! What an honor!
OK, I promise not to post pictures of Valerie every day, but folks have asked to see some more.
I’ll send out a more complete update hopefully in the next few days.
We didn’t take too many pictures today. We start with a short video from breakfast: