I found an announcement here on the Internet: at the Moscow State University of Construction, the Council of the Federation will hold parliamentary hearings on the subject of state policy on the preparation of engineering and technical personnel. At first I thought - I'll go, I will listen. I clearly understand: the topic is very important, especially in the field of training specialists for the defense industry. Yes, and I myself graduated from MGSU, at least I will visit my alma mater. But later decided - I will not go. Because I am sure: I will not hear anything new for myself.
How many times over the past many years have I read vigorous reports on meetings devoted to these issues at the highest level, or have myself attended meetings of this kind and heard that the most important investments in the modernization process announced in the country are investments in human capital, in improving the educational process, bringing it to modern standards. But the words, from whatever high tribunes they were not spoken, for some reason disagree with the case. I say this with full awareness of responsibility for my words, I speak as a teacher who knows the problems of education from the inside.
What can I hear again at these parliamentary hearings? Reports of representatives of ministries about how many billions are allocated to support individual educational programs in the training of engineering and technical personnel and, at the same time, complaining officials that about half of graduates do not go to work in the specialty, and staff shortages are the main challenge to the domestic economy? Tearful speeches of rectors of universities about that, the competition for engineering specialties is minimal, that training centers do not have enough money to organize the educational process, update the material and technical base, and the industry and business circles do not show interest in graduates of their educational institutions? What is new here; interested people have been constantly talking about it all these past years.
I can add to this myself that in recent Soviet times the profession of an engineer did not shine with particular prestige, and even today it has completely stopped attracting the mass interest of young people. It is clear why: and then and now the whole thing is in earnings. In Soviet times, a simple worker could earn more than any engineer, this was the ideological policy of the state. And now, when ideology is absent and all the needs are regulated by the market, the young specialist, a graduate of a technical university, is not simply demanded by industry or business, as he is prepared outright badly, at the production level, at the end of the last century, which does not meet modern requirements. In the real sector of the economy, this freshly baked specialist is uncompetitive and therefore no one is interested.
I understand why today the federal government so actively undertook to discuss and even try to solve this problem. There is an understanding that someone will have to make a technological breakthrough in the context of the declared modernization of the country in parallel with joining the WTO. And all this, I stress, in the face of a recognized shortage of personnel in the engineering and technical sphere. Difficult task, and even for solving defense issues difficult in twins. Where to get qualified specialists for the military industrial complex, if they are not enough for civilian industry? In my understanding, the best of the best should work in the defense industry. In our current case, we will have to choose the best of the worst. A joyless and hopeless choice.
In such a situation, I could understand the rectors of technical universities, if they themselves, without waiting for instructions from above, took up the modernization of the educational process, trying to bring it as close as possible not even to today's needs, but looking at the future, having developed at least the same qualifications standards for future engineering and technical specialists, which is a lot and boring talk about now. But instead, I hear completely different sentences, in my opinion, having nothing to do with the learning process.
Last week, a group of rectors offered to introduce for students of those universities, where there is a military department, the passage of military service in the army for three months a year during the period of study. I have nothing against urgent service, I myself served an “urgent” two years and I think that there is no better life for a young man. But I do not understand that the rector's initiative will give both the army and the students. In what capacity will they come to the troops and for what? If the officers - this is complete nonsense, because students are not prepared for this, especially younger students. If the excursionists, in order to familiarize themselves with samples of military equipment, are also absurd: you do not need to serve for this, it is enough just to visit a military unit without interrupting the training process. For army units, these people will also become a problem. They need to be settled somewhere: it is simply risky to place the three-month “conscripts” in the same barracks with the others, and it is impossible to turn them on in any combat crew - after three months each such fighter will have to be replaced and re-trained. Who needs such a leapfrog!
And, finally, what is the point of the military department at the institute, which exists just to train worthy military specialists who benefit their homeland. And if there is a need for such, then they should be called upon after graduation from the university, but by an officer who thoroughly knows his specialty.
It seems to me that such proposals come from hopelessness, from a misunderstanding of where to go next, what decisions to take and what, by working them out, be guided. Sending young people to the barracks is the simplest thing that could have been thought out and it is much more difficult to prepare them of first-class, modern specialists that the country needs.
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