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School Vs Life

Expert opinion
3 June 2019
Школа vs жизнь
Release date

Today, school leavers write codes for smart robots, know more about cyber security and Big Data than many of us, are familiar with modern technologies and solve practical business cases. It would seem they enjoy endless freedom of choice and options for development. Many of them are able to easily master new hard skills after leaving school. But is that enough to build your development pathway successfully? If the university you enrolled at has not met your expectations, dare to change your educational route. If you lack communication skills and confidence, look for social practices and projects where you can be useful. Don’t dwell on yourself, help others, share what you know. Even mature people often cannot boast such determination, thoughtfulness and criticality, and our children need it here and now.

The professional choice of today’s school leaver is likely to change over the course of their life but the core of their personality must be strong in the face of uncertainty and change.

What can a school do to prepare its smart and promising graduate for the realities of life? Apart from academic success, the necessary and important result of education is an ability to make choices, take decisions, assess oneself and the situation properly, and think broadly, creatively and dynamically. For successful self-realization in adult life, the key factors are personal resources accumulated at school, including value, intellectual, creative, emotional and physical skills. And, of course, the ability to collaborate effectively, work on a team and achieve results. The pedagogical mission of the school is fulfilled if these competencies are shaped in parallel with such values as respect for other people, for opinions and the space in which you live, from the local to the global, including development of empathy.

The school should motivate students to try themselves out on new projects

But that’s not all. A young person today knows, for example, that the scientist’s destiny is not unknown laboratories covered with dust but a public career and projects that can be commercialized. This requires not only research but also entrepreneurial competencies. A top manager of a leading IT corporation comes to your school: don’t be afraid, come and ask questions, make arrangements for an internship, get hired for a project, run a blog at the same time, participate in competitions and Olympiads, show up at conferences and meetings.

A young person today knows that the scientist’s destiny is not unknown laboratories covered with dust but a public career and projects that can be commercialized. This requires not only research but also entrepreneurial competencies

To think ‘outside the box’, a young person needs perspective. The modern school has no right to stew in its own juices, since so many external impulses affect it. Moreover, it generates them itself. And the result of education at school does not come down merely to exam results or victories in Olympiads. The school is especially important for its students when it is motivated itself and has an opportunity to expand its competencies, to cooperate not only with universities but also with research institutions, enterprises, projects that create new practices and new knowledge. The essence and meaning of profiling is not only in the number of hours spent studying profile subjects and interacting with the profile university. Personal, meaningful contacts and mentorship by professional practitioners are invaluable for adolescents. Yet the effectiveness of such communication depends on a very important condition: it must be in the language of teenagers, meaningful, inspiring and understandable.

Today’s students are better versed in technology than many adults

You will ask, why would a professional bother to do that? The motivation is not obvious but the professional community is aware that the type of personality and interest in the professional sphere are shaped precisely at school. There are projects, enterprises and corporations that, playing for the long term, begin to form human and personnel potential from the school desk. In the educational environment, more and more research and industrial communities are establishing their own schools or educational practices. The school has a great demand for such practices because, for us, it is an opportunity to develop dynamically, to have relevant content and to be truly effective.


The International Gymnasium of Skolkovo
was founded in 2015 by the Skolkovo Foundation in order to develop the infrastructure of the Skolkovo Innovation Center. The educational programmes and educational environment are developed on the basis of the unique Skolkovo community, its startups and partners, knowledge, competencies, and
research practices.

IB World School
The Russian state curriculum is the main curriculum, combined with the International Baccalaureate curriculum. IG Skolkovo is an IB World School and is authorized for the Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme. IG Skolkovo graduates receive the Russian high school diploma and IB international diploma that is valid for applying to leading international universities.

Teaching staff and enrollment
There are 170 educators currently employed and 530 students aged 2 through 17 enrolled at IG Skolkovo. All educators and students are involved in research. The enrollment will grow by 150 students by the start of the 2019–2020 academic year. Approximately 70% of the students are children of the Skolkovo ecosystem employees. The school is open to external applicants. 550 students aged 1.5 to 17 are enrolled on 50 programmes of extracurricular activities.

IG Skolkovo’s endowment was launched in 2018 and is currently the fourth largest school endowment in Russia. The objective of the fund is to provide for stable development of the school and its infrastructure, design of educational programmes, participation of teachers and students in international educational and professional activities.

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