Round table “D.I. Mendeleev – a brilliant scientist and citizen of Russia
KNOWLEDGE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND LIFE OR LEARNING TO LIVE IN THE XXI CENTURY
Member of the Presidium of the Free Economic Society of Russia,
Chairman of the Interstate Committee
Chairman of the Interstate Committee for the Commonwealth of Independent States on the dissemination of knowledge and adult education,
President of the International Association “Znanie”,
Academician of the New York Academy of Sciences,
Academician of the New York Academy of Sciences, International Academy of Informatization,
International Academy of Energy,
Doctor of Economics and Management, Professor
1. Should globalization be resisted?
The planet is too small to neglect the global processes of the Universe. Space and time have already handed Earth a credential called “globalization. And we, the people of the Earth, declare the mobilization of consciousness, experience and intelligence, attract intuition, talent, global ethics, and set out on a difficult but noble and grateful journey to meet the challenges of the third millennium, its challenges and confrontations.
For globalization and the global problems of the planet arising from it, our glossary, with its past State Planning five-year plans and even the formula “Five-year plan in three years!” – is nothing more than a metamorphosis of the microworld. Incidentally, the All-Union Society “Znanie” used to issue a series of popular science libraries under this name.
Globalization came inexorably into our world.
Suddenly it impregnated our consciousness and mentality, covered megacities and cities, and put provincial centers in dependence.
Its signs manifested themselves in villages and farmsteads, invaded every home, reflected in the destiny of every person.
It predetermined the lives of succeeding generations and dictates its conditions to governments.
It has come invisibly, like radiation, and is spreading across the planet at the speed of fire in a dry forest in windy weather.
Regardless of our will, globalization either makes us its victims or its riders.
Neither the political will of the superpowers nor the combined might of the world banking system can stop it.
It is objective, logical and unavoidable.
It must be accepted or become its slave, its servant without the right to vote.
I am a supporter of positive perception, welcoming approach and active cooperation with global processes.
I am sure it is necessary to take a collateral, not a barrier position in this process, avoiding a head-on collision.
In a hostile confrontation with globalization, the death of its unintelligent, illiterate opponents will not even be noticed either by it or by the surrounding world. The sacrifice will be inglorious.
It is necessary, before the run-up platform runs out, to jump on the footboard of the train called “Globalization.
It is important to state: the need to manage global processes has gained critical mass. The critical mass must be managed. Globalization inevitably leads to the elimination of borders and the formation of a prototype of global electronic government.
It is necessary to free our consciousness from worldview stereotypes and standard arguments.
It is necessary to free our consciousness from worldview stereotypes and standard arguments.
Many countries and nations have not fully realized this need and are under the illusion that globalization will not affect them, that they can fend it off, shutting themselves away in a comfortable niche with a familiar and mastered amount of wealth in the posture of a lazy presence at the feast of life.
But prosperity goes out from under everyone’s feet and can go out from under the foundations of any country, even a rich one, if it stagnates in its conservative prosperity, expending the accumulations of the previous phase of its development.
Such a worldview is reckless.
The danger of such a worldview is analogous to the recklessness of pushing the accelerator pedal of the latest Mercedes. Without losing comfort at high speed, the driver loses vigilance and may crash under adverse conditions to the edification of others.
It is necessary to prepare for the coming processes, which no single country in the world can cope with alone.
2. The problems of contemporary education
Life in the new conditions has to be learned. The most important factor is the unforgiving time. We need to master the future in a fast-paced regime. The best simulator for this is our education. But not the education we used in the last century, but a fundamentally new one, based on new mental attitudes and the latest technologies for introducing and disseminating knowledge.
Vladimir Vernadsky formulated: “Mankind is an absolutely unique type of terrestrial resources, possessing a very specific nature of energy replenishment – through knowledge.
The current limited-performance classroom-task form of education is outdated, hopelessly lagging behind and ineffective for a globalizing world in planning the development of the society of the future.
Global action in education is needed, because the problems themselves are global in nature as well as in origin.
The classroom-task form of education has exhausted its resources in this information age and has become counterproductive.
The old education system has fallen behind in technology and productivity, creating a growing “digital” divide and a billion completely illiterate people who cannot read or write. Meanwhile, the rest of the 5-billion-year-old civilization is also hopelessly behind the necessary modern knowledge. Isn’t this the path to planetary tragedy?
Compounding this is the 15 million teacher shortage, which is 26% of a total of 59 million people. “The digital” gap with this teacher ratio to the planetary ballast of illiteracy will widen even further.
Current educators themselves need to systematically update their knowledge, abandon conservative views of education, and master new technologies for disseminating knowledge.
Current teachers and their personal knowledge are a product of the “analogous” past and are hopelessly hostage to the classroom-lesson form of education.
It is important to overcome the mental ego of educators-educators who pass off their compilations as “my knowledge,” “my lecture,” “my course,” “my content. What they miss is that their lectures and content exist for a knowledge-hungry humanity.
The productivity of today’s education does not meet the demands of global governance processes. The required classroom size must be increased by a thousand times or more, which is impossible in the real classroom.
Counting on a face-to-face conversation with a course author is an increasingly unaffordable luxury.
Billions of people today do not have access to modern education. Billions of people cannot compete, cannot have jobs, cannot adequately participate in scientific and technological progress and cultural life. And so poverty and destitution accompany their lives.
The role of education in the sustainable development of humankind has not been sufficiently appreciated and has not been reviewed for decades. It is appropriate to recall the words of Harvard University President Derek Bock: “If you think education is too expensive, try ignorance.
It is illiteracy and the resulting lack of competitiveness that has led to more than two billion people on the planet living on less than one dollar a day, more than three billion – about half of the earth’s people – on two dollars a day. Hundreds of millions live in hopeless poverty, falling far short of even these numbers, which are hardly compatible with civilized life.
The “digital” gap cannot be bridged with the current classroom-lesson form of education, and the “digital” chasm will only widen.
3. Internet or satellite teleport?
In the face of the challenges of sustainable development, the strategic task of the global community should be to create new supranational instruments for development planning. It is based on worldwide continuous publicly accessible education of people throughout their conscious life, i.e. from their childhood to a ripe old age.
Modern educational content, adapted with talent and technology for virtual export-import transportation, should be sent from university TV studios via satellite teleporters on target request to any part of the planet.
It must be kept in mind that getting and doing decent jobs requires diversified cutting-edge, not yesterday’s, knowledge and skills.
Jobs for all and effective employment nationally and internationally challenge global sustainable development.
Globalization and migration are an organic fusion.
At the heart of all development are contradictions, resolved by new formulas, technologies, and rules.
Global development must have global supranational formulas, technologies and rules.
Staking only on the Internet also does not justify itself to the necessary extent. First, access to the Internet is quite expensive, and its relative massiveness extends only to the densely populated and highly developed regions of the Earth.
The cost of Internet training is also relatively high and proportional to the number of users. For mass training, i.e. more than 100,000 people, it will be hundreds of times higher than the cost of training using satellites, where the cost decreases in proportion to the number of users.
The Internet is only feasible for rich and developed countries, primarily the USA, Japan and Europe. For high-altitude regions, where almost a quarter of the poorest people in the world live, where there is neither transport (except a donkey) nor electricity, “classical” Internet access is not only unprofitable, but sometimes impossible due to natural, climatic, geographical and economic conditions.
In Africa, the cost of access is 20 times higher than in Moscow. This also applies to the Far North and the Polar regions. It is the same in the “hot” spots of the planet, and in remote sparsely populated villages.
The problems of education and equal access to learning apply to the tens of millions of people in prison, as well as to all of the world’s seniors and a host of other categories.
In the language of financiers, uneducated people are a “red balance” and a burden on the shoulders of the world economy, and with access to education, a positive balance. Only a planetary mass education system equipped with the latest global means of delivering knowledge to the consumer by means of state-of-the-art satellite communications can meet this challenge.
Until recently German education was considered one of the most prestigious in the world educational system. Today, according to its objective quality components, Germany has fallen into the bottom third of the world rankings, despite having the oldest schools and universities with centuries of history and learning experience.
The performance of the university-I.1. university, college, faculty, department, professor, and the ordinary faculty member plays an important role today.
“Knowledge for export!” – is the new theory of success we put forward for all educational and university centers of the world, its social and economic component.
With the current shortage of teachers, the modern professor needs not a 40-seat auditorium, not a classroom, but an army of half a million listeners.
It is absolutely necessary to change the old formula on a mental level: “Knowledge is for life!” – to the modern request and attitude: “Knowledge for life!”
4. Knowledge is Power when used by Life
Knowledge for humanity is not spread evenly on the planet, like butter on bread. To receive them is sometimes possible only from the careful hands or lips of a unique scientist on a very different continent and not in a common language of mass consumption.
As modern technology and tools for accessing the world’s knowledge are mastered, primary learning must be transformed into learning.
It is important to transform a person’s selective genetic abilities into a stimulus motivated by interest and success, a craving for a deep understanding of the subject of study as a pleasure at the foundation of quality longevity.
We need to achieve a real, not declarative inclusion in the policy priorities of states supranational extrabudgetary super-budgetary sector of the planetary world order – adult education. Today this industry, not being prescribed in the constitutions of states and the statutes of the ministries of education, – an economic snowdrop in the state economy.
However, its turnover is already 2.5 times more than the total budget of states for education. On the one hand, it is self-sufficient, as it is demanded by a conscious part of the world’s population for career advancement and satisfaction of material needs of an adult and his family.
On the other hand, when the number of illiterate non-competent people on Earth exceeds a critical mass, they will be used and succeed as contract killers, drug couriers, fanatical terrorists, or “human bombs,” which can bury not only the peace of the country, but also the very sustainability of humanity, by becoming a “tool of the criminal world.
Planetary values are constantly changing. The export of knowledge and learning is becoming a serious business, and intellectual property is becoming the most expensive and profitable type of property.
As society’s mental attitudes and views on adult education change and its fundamental role is reflected in the policy priorities of states, the quality of life will increase through the preservation of the intellectual potential, experience and wisdom of elders.
Elders are happy to remain in the creative ranks instead of replenishing a doomed army living in legalized suffering on the pension sidelines, bitterly waiting for “their time.”
Involving adults and the elderly in the modern educational process and providing them with access to applied and practical knowledge and contacts will not only prolong their effective role as mentors for the state and society, but will also prolong their lives, accompanied by a respectful perception of their authority by the younger generation. At the same time, the spending part of the country’s budget on medical care for retirees will decrease dramatically against the background of an appreciative, not embittered, interested positive philosophy of perceiving the natural stages of life. As a result, the number of educated competitive productive population of the country and the world will effectively grow.
The cost of mass, age- and ability-diversified global modern education will asymptotically tend to the generally accessible minimum.
5. The World University as a guarantor of the global economy
Following the world’s demand. The CIS Interstate Committee on Knowledge Dissemination and Adult Education and the International Association “Znanie” as the UN general consultant have membership with the status of the basic organization of a super modern educational structure – the Modern Humanities Academy (MHA).
The NUA is one of the five largest universities in the world. It has its own space teleport covering more than 400 cities in 14 countries. Its 2,500 professors educate 175,000 students in 68 fields of study.
Following the conversion doctrine of military production. The CIS Interstate Committee for Knowledge Dissemination and Adult Education and the International Association “Znanie” together with the English company SatEduNet put forward the idea of creating the World University of Distance Education (WUDE) and providing global coverage in the interests of global cooperation and international division of labor through mutual exchange in the form of export-import of knowledge from leading universities and professors in the world.
The World University as a distributor of modern knowledge – the guarantor of the provision of the world economy with highly qualified labor resources at the national and international level.
Organizationally, legally, and already in fact, the work of the WUDO began with the efforts of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Thus, the technical center of the ATCM is provided by the Research Institute of Space Systems with the support of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this work is reduced by heterogeneous perceptions, inflexible policies of individual states, imperfect international mechanisms, national egoism, and internecine interests of local importance. Moreover, the old educational system insists that the main factor for successful education is direct contact between student and teacher. Indeed, this is an important factor. But what can we do if it is no longer effective in the information society?
The teacher’s tutelage is clogging up and sidelining the natural qualities of the individual, who needs to independently search for truth, for a profession, for a goal.
New learning technologies are needed to respond instantly to changes in the human environment and geopolitical trends. Humanity must rely on fundamentally new knowledge. Highly motivated independence of people in learning new professions, disciplines, techniques and principles of life is required. All this makes it necessary to look for new modern tools for the dissemination of knowledge.
And humanity already has them at its disposal.
Once Socrates taught individually, Plato created an entire academy with only a few students. They learned by walking in conversations in the garden. The students made a life from their teacher, imbibing his ideas about the world and copying even his way of thinking.
When society needed thousands of educated professionals, the classroom-lesson system replaced Plato’s. But the time has come to say goodbye to it as well. After all, the world’s population is growing every second, and illiteracy is keeping pace and even growing faster, as knowledge is updated more and more rapidly.
Of course, the process of mental change is the most complex and time-consuming, unfolding over a lifetime, sometimes several generations. Nevertheless, it is time to free our consciousness from worldview stereotypes and standard arguments in the field of knowledge dissemination.
Overcoming this “appanage-princely” mentality will be helped by the young island of the future, the World University. This optimism is reinforced by the seventeen years of experience of the SGA established in Russia.
The cost of SGA students’ education using satellite technology is $5 per person per year. Studying via Internet would cost $500, i.e. 100 times more expensive. SGA’s virtual classroom is 4,000 times larger than the classical classroom.
SGA students in distant, poor villages and high mountain villages can afford to study at Cambridge or Princeton without having to be away from home and incurring the crippling costs associated with it.
Today hundreds of millions of people living in the hot spots of the planet, in total hopeless poverty, in conditions which are hardly compatible with civilized life, can get high quality versatile education right on a mountain slope, in a pasture, in aul, in a remote village, even in prison.
6. Life is Science which became Knowledge
Between science and life there is a great river. It is called – Knowledge.
On the foundations of science you can build a beautiful life, but first it must turn into universal knowledge.
Rapidly overtaking us, its slow-moving “analog” legal predecessors, uncompromising, disregarding analogies “digital” III millennium calls us to responsibility for the right to be successors of the new “digital” time and its unified order for all.
Global tasks and momentous challenges under the fear of non-existence due to ignorance do not give humanity a reprieve for an inactive contemplative stance. States and governments, leaders and doers, atheists and believers, young hearts and gray-haired sages need to revolutionize the traditional, ingrained among the dogmas of centuries and millennia gone by, and the mental attitude to our education.
The earthly hourglass of the second millennium is empty. Their grains of sand-methods, standards, and attitudes-no longer belong to the future. Without new knowledge, we will not find the future. But first let us ponder what the present is like. In the modern social structure and time management, the life of the average Russian consists of three phases: – Fast, like a sprint, study in order to get a decent place in society; – Long, like climbing Mount Everest, work (better said, service) to ensure a decent standard of living; – Short, although indefinite, rest in retirement, in order also worthy to get off (in English) on the sidelines.
Alas, the word “dignified” in all three phases of life remains a dream for most Russians, these three phases do not make our lives quality, efficient, long and happy.
So what do we have today?
The winds of history have created and destroyed empires, changed socio-economic formations, redrawing the borders of states, creating the preconditions of the new on the ruins of the old. Human destinies, the fate of peoples, wildlife, the future of civilization were sacrificed.
The planet became weaker than the contradictions tearing it apart. Contradictions between people and states, politics and humanity, conscience and expediency, technological progress and the stock of vital resources. This is why the world has spoken of the unsustainable development of life on Earth, recalling civilizations that have passed into oblivion.
Spinning in a giant information cauldron, mastering the latest technology, virtual reality, interacting with the distant cosmos and mastering inanimate “digital” thinking, the younger generation is becoming pragmatic and soulless in relation to those who created the world of today. It makes its future not even on the shoulders, but right on the belly of its creator.
The bridge between the past and the future is broken. The current generation no longer guarantees its descendants the resource of habitat that it was able to exhaust itself. This situation is called the unsustainable development of mankind. The incubation period of this disease of civilization is still unknown.
In the search for a recovery of the world community, the UN has adopted Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals as a world policy priority for states and governments and the world government of the future.
The UN recommended that governments, national and international nongovernmental organizations seek new ways of partnership (partnership type II) of state and public structures, media, business and industry, educators, scientists, youth to implement the basic principles of sustainable development.
Among these principles, a special place is given to adult lifelong learning.
7. High intellectual bankrupts
The concept of education in the world has undergone very significant changes in recent years. Previously, education was strictly tied to the capacity of the state budget, which also formed the basis of the constitutional responsibility of the state to its people for their education.
At the beginning of the last century there was a complete renewal of knowledge every 20-30 years, and the society did not feel sharply the lack of modern knowledge, maintaining a conservative class-lesson system of education.
A century later, knowledge on the planet is updated at 20% per year. However, the traditional basic education that exists in most countries, due to its inertia, does not keep up with the changes in the world and our perceptions of it. As a consequence, young people who have completed higher education by the age of 22 or 23 are largely out of date. During the subsequent career “foreshadowing” of 5-6 years some young people (depending on their talent and determination) acquire a high social position, but they often end up as pseudo-professionals, or simply as intellectual bankrupts. After all, over the same period their knowledge has had time to become completely, 100% obsolete.
The new generation, in its turn, will also suffer from the imperfection of the educational system. They will be displaced even faster by the next generation of young people, who will be saddled with more modern technologies and approaches to solving applied, financial, economic, scientific and technical problems.
There is a new social problem – under-utilization by each previous generation of its resource, experience, energy of creation. Attitudes about the need to vacate the place soon and, as a consequence, a complex of natural fading, accelerated biological aging, spiritual exhaustion are being formed.
And as long as the system and technology of education will lag behind the rate of renewal of knowledge, the effective time of each new generation will be reduced. Therefore, adult education, along with the economy and nation-building, is the most important factor and one of the main arguments and tools of social development.
Already in the first decade of the XXI century, when humanity has faced many previously unknown, acute problems, the role of knowledge, education and creativity has increased immeasurably, because without them it is impossible to meet the challenges of time. On the historical scene there are countries and peoples who claim and demonstrate the ability to provide a higher level of organization, the capacity for inquiry, cultivation and excellence in all its manifestations.
The economic competition of nations is shifting from the sphere of production to the sphere of science, new technologies, and education. The state and level of their development will determine the competitiveness of countries, their position in world markets and in the global economic community, and, ultimately, their national security. The changes on the geopolitical map that depend on this, as we can see, have already begun.
Economic development in the coming decades, according to experts, will be determined by resources consisting of “black gold and gray matter. It is not by chance that many economically developed and rapidly developing countries, working out national doctrines, concepts and programs of stable and safe development, include the statement of principally new approaches to national systems of education as one of their strategic directions.
8. Fighting for markets
After the launch of the first artificial satellite by the Soviet Union, the developed countries of the West, and the United States in particular, embarked on deep structural and substantive reforms of education, putting it at the top of the list of their priorities.
It is no coincidence that the first U.S. response to the Soviet success in space was not an increase in NASA appropriations, but a multiple increase in appropriations for education and the adoption by Congress in 1958 of the National Defense Education Act.
It defined a special role of adult continuing education in strengthening the military-technical and scientific potential of the USA, measures to maintain the level of modern knowledge of educated (adult) specialists in engineering and natural sciences, as well as specialists with knowledge of foreign languages.
At the same time, a national policy on lifelong learning was being formulated. This policy was based on the principle of the priority of adult education and its exclusive role in ensuring the leading position of the United States in the world.
From Eisenhower to Bush Jr., education has been one of the top priorities in national security policy. Between 1993 and 2007, U.S. education spending, redistributed in favor of continuing education, nearly tripled to more than $500 billion, nearly twice the amount spent on defense. The percentage of people age 25 and older with a college degree rose from 7.7% in 1975 to 27.3% in 2007.
The world has calculated and realized that it is necessary to invest in adult education about 6% of the gross national product, allocating in each branch of the national economy (industry, agriculture, health, etc.) shares of its budget and .considering these expenses as an investment in production at each enterprise. The world’s best-known name companies work according to this scheme.
Advisory Committee on Industrial Research and Development of the European Union Commission on the basis of analysis of the qualification level of the European workforce in his report in the late 1980s, came to the conclusion that without a competitive adult education system can not be competitive workforce, and without the latter, there can not be a competitive economy.
The availability of such a labor force is a necessary prerequisite for survival in the fierce competition for export markets. Yugoslavia is a living example of the struggle for export markets (in this case the arms market), a “laboratory work” by the U.S. for the real demonstration destruction of an independent state. Examples of such a struggle are to be found practically in all the hot spots of the planet in recent decades.
The winners will be those who can more quickly invest the results of basic research in new technologies and begin producing high-quality goods and selling them at an affordable price. This is the ABC of modern economic science. But without education and, above all, without education of adults, it is impossible to master this alphabet.
According to the conclusions of the World Bank, the production component in the national wealth of any country, if we compare even the incommensurable United States and the Malagasy Republic (Madagascar), is an equally small amount – just over 16%. And more than 80% is the share of human resources.
9. Against the backdrop of mental retardation
Adult education is not part of the basic education received by the younger generation. Throughout life, it should be the main continuous activity of the entire adult population, combined with science, production, service sector.
Only by mixing and alternating throughout life education and work, and within these processes and periods of free time for our hobbies, family, social activities, we will become effective, durable and happy, necessary for each other, previous and future generations and the country, we will return the planet slipping into the abyss to a sustainable option of development.
Thus, adult education becomes a separate, independent superbranch in the life of human society, because it is well known that the crucial decisions of the development of society are the exclusive prerogative of the adult population.
In many countries of the world adult education has already become a new supranational industry, with international, European, Asian, African and other continental, national management and distribution structures.
Adult education is the only and most important sector, whose supranational superstatus in the world is beyond doubt. However, the fight against it traditional, rusted in the personal self-sufficiency of conservative forces of the official budget and constitutional educational community will not end soon. There is irreconcilable angry confrontation between state and private, nascent system of paid education. Unequal starting conditions, official leverage over opponents, and connections in the upper echelons of power nurtured by the old system of education are unfairly used here.
Hence, it follows that our society is a derivative of the self-expression of influential, empowered people who received an education once and, as a rule, quite a long time ago, which can be conventionally recognized as decent. At the same time, they ostentatiously demonstrate their progressiveness against the background of mental backwardness.
The budget-constitutional socialist system and the classroom-lesson form of education have created a deep rut from which many generations of people, governments and states cannot get out. Even the newest achievements of the modern world, like paper on a bureaucrat’s desk, lay in wait for the expertise and perception of the next new generations.
The conductors of the new, being outrages of habitual norms, attitudes and principles of life, stick out from the environment, causing its irritation and threatening fateful resistance to them.
There is no dispute that, in the old days, the Soviet educational system was good and gave the world outstanding scientists and specialists. But many decades have passed since then, changing the world. its scientific perceptions and views on the future.
However, there are catalysts to help keep up with the rapidly changing world of knowledge. These catalysts are the latest modern technologies. And on the basis of remote space interactive communications. Until recently we could only read about them in science fiction, see them in movies about aliens, journeys to new distant worlds and galaxies. Even today, even very authoritative and powerful figures and organizers of science, education, culture are convinced carriers and supporters of yesterday’s conservative methods of knowledge dissemination.
Sometimes some of them, in the name of self-preservation, are direct antagonists of the introduction of everything new and cutting-edge in the real processes of society’s life, in social technology, to which our education directly belongs. The environment is literally swarming with subjects of resistance, resistance to everything that sticks out of it, moves faster than the “peleton. Among these subjects, we can find really influential people, still strong, but already outmoded structures and state apparatuses.
Such problems have common features both in Russia and in the CIS. They will exist as long as there is bias of the right holder, corruption, bribery and eyewashing, state and political unprofessionalism.
Well, society has always owed its development to contradictions. This is an indispensable condition of any development.
10. A super-perspective branch
We go on thinking that we manage society. But in reality we still manage the “digital” world which is almost beyond our control by means of prehistoric or, if you like, antique “analog” methods and solutions.
It is difficult to take note without a psychological shock that large-scale military operations, flight missions and routes of ultramodern flying nuclear missile carriers are still calculated on a logarithmic ruler.
It is no coincidence that the USSR superpower collapsed, and in its place on 1/6 of the planet’s landmass lie in a plaster sarcophagus, not coalescing, parts of a once mighty body. These supposedly independent states have pretended to proclaim a synthetic Commonwealth as a successful derivative of the continuing friendship of peoples who once proudly spoke the same language.
Having employed thousands of unfit for the future bureaucrats, living under the formula of bubbling idlers on a single quota budget of the CIS states, we intuitively, but “secretly” guess at our mental incompetence.
We fool each other, we hum the space age with steam train horns and we drive with the curtains closed on the unknown but the same direction.
And all this is ruled by an unconscious ignorance and a desire to be still a little while and keep others in ignorance of the obvious.
By boasting about 50 years of our best people in one factory and one workplace, we demonstrate and preach ignorance, primitivism and worldview backwardness.
The fine old educators of the “analog” last century are unacceptably backward in their modern knowledge. They no longer have anything to say even to their former “analog” but advanced students. For today’s young people with a born digital mindset, they are no longer educators. They are students at most, but who and how can teach them, given the global pedagogical deficit?
Adult education is the most promising industry on the planet. Only it has the power to change today’s dangerous trends on the geopolitical map of the world. Fortunately, adult education uses little or no money from the state budget. Nevertheless, its development is inconceivable without the participation of states, because it is ensured by the integration and interaction of public administration with non-governmental organizations.
The main task is to create conditions, prerequisites, laws that allow for continuous education:
– As a factor in increasing the duration of an active life of a human being;
– as a factor of maximum and effective use of human experience and intellect throughout his life;
– as a factor in eliminating the “sunset” philosophy of the older generation.
It is necessary to ensure the formation in the public consciousness of attitudes towards lifelong learning. It is necessary to constitutionally support the process that has begun of creating a legal framework that guarantees: – equality of all types of education before the law; – the right to education at any age.
It is important to encourage the developing network of non-state educational institutions and structures that accumulate funds to finance educational activities.
11. Creation of a CIS Interstate Committee
The above issues were discussed at the World Conference on Adult Education, held in July 1997 in Hamburg under the auspices of UNESCO.
The Forum was held under the motto: “Adult Education – the key to the XXI century!
Conference participants included education ministers from 74 countries, heads of major international and national public education associations.
Only Russia was absent.
Why? Ambitious fiscal self-preservative departmental opinion prevailed: we, they say, with adult education are all right.
But, as they say, ambition is not a position.
And a two-week refresher course is not adult education. It is a bureaucratic ignorant eyewash.
One of the main issues of the conference was funding adult education for the world’s adults. Conclusions: – a system of personal credit for adult learners must be created and brought to automatic application; – government and tax incentives must be provided to businesses that accumulate funds for adult education, as well as all adult education businesses, employers who provide lifelong adult education, businesses that have taken over the retirement benefits of their workers and employees.
The Conference in its Declaration recommended that governments of all countries to consider adult education as a priority of public policy, and to ensure that every citizen has the opportunity to use one hour of working time a day to improve their education. Naturally, without legal and fiscal support of employers by the state this will not happen.
As for the CIS countries, we must recognize: a new, modern adult education system is only emerging. The desire of Russia and other CIS countries to accelerate the democratic transformation of society and market relations in the economy is at odds with the pace of change in the spiritual sphere.
Historical experience shows that the success of any country in overcoming critical situations is determined primarily by the extent to which public consciousness was receptive to the achievements of world civilization. Only this can ensure an evolutionary, non-violent process of transformation.
The main tool to provide the necessary changes in spiritual life is undoubtedly a system of continuous lifelong education of the population.
A major step in the creation of such a system in the Commonwealth was the “Agreement on cooperation in the field of dissemination of knowledge and adult education.
In January 1997, it was signed by the heads of the governments of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus. Belarus. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova. Russia and Tajikistan. A year and a half later Georgia and then Ukraine joined the agreement.
To implement this agreement the Interstate Committee of the CIS on the dissemination of knowledge and adult education was formed. The idea of creating such a structure belongs to the International Association “Znanie”, which is represented in the Interstate Committee on an equal basis with the participating states.
One of the most important tasks of the committee is the transformation of educational and training activities, as well as coordination of the preparation of laws on adult education in the CIS countries. In this we lag behind and will long remain behind the more prosperous states.
12. Together with the International Association “Znanie”.
Today adult education is the most valuable resource and asset of man in the face of an uncertain future.
Growing competition in the labor market, structural and industrial changes associated with the elimination of entire industries and the closure of a large number of enterprises, the military reform, as a result of which a huge number of military personnel are forced to acquire a new profession, the most adverse effect on the fate of people, leading to increased social tensions and instability in society.
No social payments, severance pay, no matter how great they may be, can give a person the most important thing – confidence in the future. It is necessary to create an opportunity for everyone to realize the talents and inclinations inherent in their nature.
It is impossible to imagine pictures of the future without computers and communications. They have greatly increased access to information sources. The task is to bring them into every home, classroom, business and, most importantly, into every hospital, so that the bedridden sick child or adult can remain in contact with school, institute, colleagues, family and friends.
Among other critical tasks of the CIS Interstate Committee and the International Knowledge Association are:
– Providing a wide range of information services;
– creation of a technical base and network of distance education for adults;
– creation and development of information and methodological base of adult education system;
– creation of a system of training teaching staff for the system of adult education;
– creating a scientific base of andragogy and valeology.
Any human society in its development depends on the amount of knowledge, and the ability to select the necessary information from the huge flow. Global computer networks contain an ocean of information. Even a well-trained and knowledgeable specialist who knows English (the language of the Web) needs a lot of time to find exactly what he needs.
It is necessary to create special information agencies, which would undertake the search, processing and electronic delivery to the consumer of the information he or she needs. The Interstate Committee and MA Znanie also consider the creation of such agencies to be their most important task. In the future, they will probably replace libraries.
Just as it is impossible to stabilize the economy without integration into the world market, which will ultimately lead to the financial collapse of the state, so it is impossible to ensure sustainable development without integration into the world information space.
Common sense people should in every way to promote the birth of adult education in Russia and other CIS countries, as well as the integration of this industry in the European and world community.
The basis of sustainable development of the planet will undoubtedly become a pan-European and global educational space atlantes of the Earth – adults.
Guided by the declaration “On the main directions of development of the CIS”, signed by the Heads of State of the CIS, the Interstate Committee has prepared a new program of its activities and made its proposals in the CIS Development Program.
Together with the International Association “Znanie” the committee prepared and sent for introduction to the Council of Heads of States and Council of Heads of Governments the following issues:
– “On changing the concept of education in line with global trends at the threshold of the XXI century:
– “On the division of powers, tasks and responsibilities between the systems of basic education and adult education, as well as cooperation between them.”
– “On opening the doors of schools, colleges, universities, universities to use as a training base of adult education:
– “On Crediting Adult Continuing Education.”
– “On amendments to the Constitutions and laws of the CIS countries”, which guarantee the equality of all types of education before the law and the right of citizens to receive any type of education throughout life without limitation of age.
At the third meeting the committee considered a draft model law “On Adult Education. For the CIS countries we are discussing a fundamentally different, non-traditional concept of education under the formula: “Education never ends.
After all, behind the shoulders of adults is a happy union of three things – experience, learning and the world.
13. The most profitable investments
Adults are mediators between the past, the present and the future. Having failed to find common ground with the young because of different starting conditions in education and informational tools, older generations leave, taking the whole library with each person.
Literacy and competence must be integrated into all efforts of states to confront problems.
From the experience of rebuilding societies devastated by conflict, the UN has learned that peace requires much more than the absence of war.
The roots of conflict lie in inadequate understanding and capacity. The seeds of war mature from uneven and unequal development. Preventing hatred is in education and knowledge.
The first ingredient of political stability is an informed citizenry.
The first ingredient of economic progress is a qualified worker.
The first ingredient of social justice is an enlightened society.
Education is peace-building. It is also the most effective form of defending it.
Investing in education yields a far greater return than in any other field.
A global family of educated and learning adults will not make strategic, fateful mistakes.
Unconscious ignorance and incompetence rule the world today, so the traditional principles of education need to be replaced.
The task is not to speed up, supplement, tweak, or adjust the educational system.
The task is to fundamentally change the attitudes that underpin humanity’s sustainable development.
We do not have enough knowledge for a lifetime, and there are no pipelines of knowledge through a lifetime.
At the same time, in the struggle for a place under the sun, it is not customary to admit the lack of knowledge. So we fool each other and society, replacing deep, objective, modern, retrospective knowledge with subjective experience, intuition and emotions. And these, as it is known, are only accompanying tools of development.
And if we add that often our activities are in some way different from what our basic professional education has prepared us for, it is not surprising that we live in a society where, like in a madhouse, the stairs start to be cleaned from the bottom rung.
In this way, by eating into the lives of the mature, creative generation, we create attitudes toward the sufficiency of secondary or even higher education in the younger generation, which, when it grows up, is immediately doomed to wither away.
14. Ending Poverty by Jumping on the Knowledge Train
The train of knowledge rushes through space and time. And for every generation of people, for every generation of governments on its way there is a platform and a sufficient historical moment to consciously get on this train.
But no, we, generation after generation, miss our chance, we don’t get on it. Creating petty affairs, petty laws and ideological constitutions, we focus on superficial, tentative questions of keeping afloat, missing out on the deep retrospective knowledge that accumulates with the speed of the geological process.
We traditionally, like moths beating on an incandescent lamp, run not inside a train swallowing miles of Knowledge. We run parallel along the platform – until it runs out.
The train is leaving, picking up speed, and we are…
We are the nations and governments. We ingloriously end our run in the milky cosmic dust, each with our own country, with our own imperfect knowledge of the world.
It is ignorance that has made the planet weaker than the contradictions that tear it apart.
We know much about the little things, but very little about the big things.
What is needed is a reassessment of values, not at the local domestic level, but at the planetary level.
We are people of the earth, not just ambitious regional societies.
The UN, its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), UNESCO and other institutions must move beyond long bureaucratic mileage, turn quickly to innovate and innovators.
In the face of the destructive role of rising unemployment, poverty, poverty and poorly managed migration, development and governance tools are needed to avoid even more neglected problems and crises.
Adult education is the most important tool, the rod that will stop the outstretched hand of poverty, create jobs, minimize chaotic migration. And these processes will run reliably and fundamentally, layering positive historical results, like a geological process.
The Cologne Charter, signed in 1999 by the leaders of the G8 countries, in which the problem of adult education is designated as the number one problem, is aimed at redressing the situation.
If we can cope with changes in educational attitudes, there is hope to cope with the karmic predictions of Nostradamus and other futurologists about the coming end of the world.
The inseparability and interdependence of the world around us are beautifully described by Rasul Gamzatov:
Our world is a ship and it is getting weaker, Suddenly squall is coming. And the ship is carrying women and children, And most of those cannot swim. And if hostility flares up onboard, And if sailors start a fight. What is left for those who cannot swim… What can they expect?