Experts Describe the Future of the Education System

The participants of the panel discussion "Uniting the World: Trends in Modern Education," which was held on the run-up to the main round of online Maths Olympiad for primary school students of BRICS countries, BRICSMATH.COM+, discussed how the education system is changing in the modern world and what changes are expected soon. The discussion was organised by the Russian Uchi.ru educational platform with the support of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

All participants of the discussion noted the following main trends of modern education: the collaboration of educational communities in the world, individual approach to learning, a mixed format of offline and online lessons, and importance of soft skills development as a set of general skills that are not related to the subject.

This change is mainly caused by the rapid digitalisation of the educational process, with the coronavirus pandemic significantly accelerated it.

"Now, we have three sets of questions to be discussed. Firstly, it is necessary to improve teachers' IT literacy, who are going to work with large network commands, as classes can be composed of students from different schools or even different cities and countries. Secondly, it is a technical issue for both students and teachers: recently we faced this problem, and the first attempt to solve it was the all-Russian action "Help Me Study at Home." And finally, the developing of high-quality educational content that can be stored on digital platforms," said Julia Khanzhina, ASI Deputy Director of Young Professionals.

She also mentioned the importance of interaction with the parent community. "Parents want to understand how their children will learn in the future and how educational platforms are organised. It is also important to arrange feedback with parents to assess a particular educational product's convenience and usefulness. To achieve this goal, we need to develop parents' digital education skills too," Julia Khanzhina stressed.

"It's also clear that there are tendencies in teaching ecology for school students, for example, in the form of project activities and developing of responsible behavior to nature. We are talking about such large-scale project activities when teams can be organised in different countries," added Julia Khanzhina.

The future of education will significantly depend on the current transformations in the economy. "Everything possible to automate will be automated, human participation in such processes will be minimized; thus, new jobs and professions, where people can express their creativity, will appear. Hence, a person needs to develop the skills of cooperation, sympathy, and empathy," Pavel Luksha, Professor of Business Practice at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, considers.

"We live in a time of 4.0 industrial revolution when the role of artificial intelligence is skyrocketing, but it will never be equal to the human mind. We can think about ourselves and improve ourselves, compared to artificial intelligence. We need to develop critical thinking because self-understanding is the way to understand others," underlined Rose Luckin, a professor at the UCL Knowledge Lab in the UK.

Alexey Chukarin, Senior Director for Digital Transformation of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, believes that students should have a common basic standard for all the benefits of education personalization. "Uniqueness is perfect, but everyone should get basic knowledge. They are the ones who help to reveal the talent of a child," explained A. Chukarin.

He also noted that the digitalization of education does not mean a total shift to remote learning. It is hybrid systems that are needed to create. Remote learning is a forced measure now, but it does not favor quality education. It is impossible to learn social skills and communication without real-life interaction," Chukarin emphasized. In his opinion, digital education is less about remote learning and more about the use of modern electronic textbooks and tools of augmented and virtual reality.

Another important task of the new education system is to popularize science and education," Ilya Parshin, General Director of Uchi.ru educational platform considers. For these purposes, particularly, the Uchi.ru platform organised an online Maths Olympiad for primary school students of BRICS countries called BRICSMATH.COM+. "Promotion of such initiatives also enhances the motivation to study, and our experience with the online Olympiad proves that. Thus, the first Olympiad was attended by about one million school students from the BRICS countries, and this year we already have about three million participants, with those from such non-BRICS countries as Indonesia and Vietnam joined us," Ilya Parshin said.