That was very touching when Vladislav Totrov, deputy minister of education and science of North Ossetia, and Ismail Tankiev, minister of education of Ingushetia, came up together to express their gratitude to Sir Michael Barber for the work done in the frame of the Russian-British project “Educational Initiative in North Caucasus”. Three years ago it was impossible even to imagine friendly handshaking by representatives of North Ossetia and Ingushetia, as it seemed that the conflict between the two Republics had created eternal hostility between the neighbors. And now they were standing together.
And 15 December, the last day of the conference organized by British Council (Director James Kennedy), the participants of the project, which had lasted for three years, could not believe they were parting because the work by British Council had been suspended.
And the work by the teachers of the North Caucasus has been suspended too. The project was designed by Sir Michael Barber. It appeared as the reaction to Beslan’s events. In further course the project was joined by Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and North Ossetia. And inclusion of Chechnya and Dagestan was in the immediate plans for the future.
The strategy of the educational program is forming tolerance with the younger generation.
It has been created the new model of advanced training for teachers. The main topics are children at risk, ways of settlement of conflict situations, child in the poly-cultural environment, children with special needs (disability, posttraumatic syndrome caused by terrorist act etc.).
All topics, formed as separate projects, have their own experts and consultants. The teachers, who have had three-year training, make up the teams that propose the most topical and urgent problems they deal with at their schools. Some projects have been elaborated in details up to 2011.
Rita Barsukova (the settlement of Zalukokoazhe, Kabardino-Balkaria): “We have already had the experience of living together of the children of various ethnicities. This work mustn’t be stopped”.
Fatima Tankieva, the principle at the school of the city of Malgobek: “We know now how to extend a hand of friendship to each other and to overcome prejudices that seemed to us to be eternal”.
Hedi Medova (Ingushetia): “I can’t imagine further work without consultations done by our experts. My major acquirement is not only trainings but also real communication with teachers from all over the Caucasus.”
The work by the Russian-British project was arranged so that the experience obtained in the regions has a trend of becoming a packet. That means the real positive experience gets turned into a technology and so it becomes passable. The teacher, included in the project, starts to see oneself as a personality able to influence the social policy. That was said by Rimma Nagoeva, the principle of School 4 at Nalchik City.
The Program “Aid to Beslan” takes the special place within the project. Lyudmila Dzutseva, the principle at the Beslan School, speaks with concern about the outcomes. Undoubtedly, there have been positive results. But with time new issues appear being the echo of the events of 1 September 2004. The work in the project addresses the triangle: teacher-pupil-parents. The program by Andrei Pechnikov (CAF-Russia) turned out to be most optimal for the Beslan School as it takes into consideration that it’s the whole triangle that was damaged.
Best experimental pedagogic groups were involved by British Council as consultants, experts and managers of creative workshops. The project is very mobile: at any moment a consultant-supervisor can be sent to any region.
Unfortunately, now it seems we only can speak about projects and programs by British Council as about past things.
The closure of the Russian –British project touches first of all at the ordinary teacher who has just got to believe that there is the mechanism of elimination of inter-ethnic conflicts and he or she can master this mechanism as a tool.