Studying at school: Moscow’s education system is one of the best in the world

Studying at school: Moscow’s education system is one of the best in the world
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Denis Grishkin
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin held a meeting with Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Andreas Schleicher to discuss the development of Moscow schools and their achievements.

During their meeting, Sergei Sobyanin and Andreas Schleicher discussed what promotes high educational results of Moscow school students.

“I am very interested in Moscow’s education system. It is one of the best in the world. I have discussed this with the Mayor. Another initiative that I consider very interesting is Moscow’s e-school,” Schleicher said.

He said it is necessary to think about the future of education now. It is important to develop social and emotional intellects and help school students improve their meta-subject knowledge.

“Physics and mathematics have always been major school subjects, but today creative and critical thinking, and the ability to work in a team and assume responsibility for the results of one’s work, is becoming very important in the world. During our discussion on education I realised that the Mayor understood this. He shares this position and also wants to work for the development of these skills,” Schleicher said.

The OECD official emphasised that education is a very conservative area that accepts change slowly. In his opinion, it is important to maintain consistent leadership that will allow teachers to be guided by new principles and introduce new methods. Only then will a system of this kind develop effectively.

The most literate readers and mathematicians

The PISA tests in 2016 (Programme for International Student Assessment) showed that Moscow students were among the world’s top six in reading and math. About 63 percent of Moscow students demonstrated results that were comparable to those of the world’s three top education systems. In all, over 42,000 students from 609 Moscow schools took the PISA tests. Their work was monitored by international observers, checked by independent experts and double-checked abroad.

PISA is a major international programme to assess educational attainment. Its tests help gauge performance of 15 year-old students in subjects like reading and math, as well as the natural sciences.

This programme has been carried out by the OECD since 2000 in 65 member and non-member countries. General testing of over 500,000 students is held once every three years.

OECD in education

The OECD is an international economic organisation that is primarily aimed at facilitating steady economic growth and inclusive development.

As a key OECD leader, Andreas Schleicher deals with issues of education and academic performance for all countries, and promotes cooperation both within the OECD and beyond. Apart from education reviews, the unit he heads conducts international studies on functional literacy (PISA), assesses the skills of adults (PIAAC), studies the Teaching and Learning International Survey — TALIS, and develops and analyses control indicators for educational systems (INES).