“I clearly understand how great the role of women in the history of our country is. Nobody reacts to what is happening in society the same way as women. The way of how the state local policy in our children’s education will be built depends you”, said Olga Vasilyeva, the Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, at the conference ‘Interaction of Family, School, Councils of Women in Civil and Patriotic Education of the Younger Generation’ held in Russian Women's Union on February 14.


Members of the Federation Council, the deputies of the State Duma, chairpersons of regional branches and members of Russian Women's Union from 72 subjects of our country took part in this event. The main issue discussed at the conference was development of the idea of patriotism and citizenship in the young generation.


According to Olga Vasilyeva, children must, firstly, love their homeland, secondly, feel being citizens of a great country and, thirdly, absorb its cultural values.


During her report, she referred to Dahl's Explanatory Dictionary and reminded all those present of the meaning of the word ‘patriotism’, which means loving one’s homeland and nation. She spoke about those directions that are included in the state program Patriotic Education of Citizens of the Russian Federation for 2016-2020.


Of course, the program contributes to developing the idea of patriotism and citizenship. However, according to the minister, family is the greatest contributor, as the personality of the child is initially formed following the example of his parents. 

At the conference, Olga Vasilyeva stressed the fact that Soviet and Russian education used to be aimed at upbringing people-creators. Then followed the period when Russian education focused on people-consumers. 

“I will always be against considering education (as well as medicine and culture) as service. Education is serving”, she said.


She noted that any personality can’t be formed without reading.

“Starting with kindergarten, we must correctly choose the direction of literature for our children”, she commented.

She consulted to women's councils as women work most closely with children's institutions and schools. The child's upbringing is secretly taking place when reading fairy tales, discussing them with parents, through characters and their behavior.

According to the minister, it is very important not to lose love for reading. One may use the Internet as well, but one shouldn’t forget about real books. Reading not only educates a person but also develops their oratorical skills, enlarges vocabulary, and teaches to formulate thoughts correctly. This lets school students be active at the lesson. Parents, of course, should be role models for their children. If the family reads, children will also be interested in literature. As Olga Vasilyeva noted, “reading mother makes reading country”.

She stressed some problems necessary to solve. One of the possible ways to do it is to support young parents. Now there are 10,000 centres providing free consultations on all issues related to children's upbringing.

The minister mentioned a serious problem related to psychological support to school students. Today there is only one educational psychologist for 800 school students.

“Schools must morally prepare children for challenges in their future life”, she said. 

In addition, the tendency of revival of local history museums is now urgent. The minister believes that knowing the history of their homeland provides children with inspiration and helps to develop them as people-creators. 

In her report, Olga Vasilyeva referred to school education, its basic level and the unified educational space. According to her, the system of teacher training must be returned. She stressed the necessity of a perfectly considered list of the textbooks, used by school students throughout the country. 

“This does not mean creating a single textbook, there should be a single basic program”, she commented. 

Her speech touched all those present as it was filled with the experience of a woman who really cares about the upbringing of the younger generation and sincerely wants to help young parents and teachers. 

“This all will contribute to our strengthening the basis of the personality created in the family. Families are our future, they are the future of our country”, she said. 

Polina Danilova, news agency of the Eurasian Women's Community 

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov