Even in the pre-war times, education was not a high priority on the federal budget, and the authorities responsible for education policy were not open to dialogue with civil society.
The war made things worse:
Russia withdrew from the Bologna system, isolating Russian academia from the international community
Sanctions, counter-sanctions and economic crisis leave no hope for an increase in the education budget
The state has forced school teachers to give patriotic lessons, which can have long-lasting consequences (like the «hate lessons» in Nazi Germany).
At the same time, wartime is known to create many new challenges for education.
How to talk to children about war and politics?
Is it possible to skip patriotic lessons?
Where to get teaching materials to use in those lessons?
How to defend yourself if the school administration tries to fire you for expressing an anti-war stance?
What to do if the school forces children to wear military uniforms?
How can I enter a foreign university if I can't pass the language exam in Russia?
How can I cope with the anxiety of uncertainty at school and university?
Lawyers, educators, psychologists and activists have answers to these questions. However, because the links between pupils, their parents and teachers are weak, it is sometimes unclear how and where to get answers and support in a difficult situation related to education.
That is why we launch a chat line with a helpline for all school-related questions. The volunteers work the chat line, while the qualified experts provide legal and psychological advice.
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We believe that the crisis period in education, can be turned into an opportunity for profound change — despite the actions of the Russian state.