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View Full Version : POLL: what type of school do your kids go to



sagareva
31-10-2004, 23:08
I know we've been over this. But I had to send my english-only speaking daughter to a Russian public school? and I am wondering whether I'mteh only idiot to have done this.
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I can't afford neither the BIS (she went there last year, but not anymore) nor the AAS, for now. Russian private schools, which are, on average, modestly priced, have all turned us down, although we've been to at least three dozen. The girls was bound for 4-5 grade age-wise but spoke not a word of Russian.
More like 5th, but that being middle school it was virtually impossible. In fact, not any private school would take us into any grade, when they realized Darya didn't speak what they called "ANY" Russian.

MOst public shools didn't want us either, but through family connections (which is the way everything in Russia is done) on Aug 31st we finally found one that did. It is a relatively decent school in downtown area, ironically, one in which they try to teach children English ("Specialized language school, as they call it). UNcussesfully, if you judge by most of the children. My daughter was placed into 4th grade and, although everyone is friendly to her, not a single child can maintain a conversation in English at all. She spent a period there, by now, and mostly doesn't understand anything that is going on.

I am posting this poll to see if we are the first ones to ever do it....


OS

Maine Surfer
01-11-2004, 12:40
Our daughter is 6 years old and has been attending detski sad for a year and started podgotovitel'ni klass last month. She couldn't speak a word of Russian at first and had a very hard time. A year later she speaks very well, enjoys sadik very much and has many friends.
The only difference is my daughter is a bit younger; it'll be more difficult for your kid, but I think it's a great deal for her.

I think it's quite smart to put your child into a Russian public school. While you are in Russia, there's a great opportunity for your child to learn Russian and live the culture. I think expats who give their kids to English speaking schools rob their kids of such unique opportunity (not even mentioning wasting money).

Myself attended a Russian public and a Western school. IMO, Russian schools are great, blow Western ones away.

I think you've made a very good choice.

ghost 6-3
01-11-2004, 15:31
I am always perplexed by the raves the Russian educational system receives.

We could always argue about this, but I think the best thing to do is to deal with reputable international studies. Maybe the best is the OECDs Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which is conducted every four (4) years in the OECD countries plus a couple of others (Brazil and Russia among them). The results (the Executive Summary) of PISA 2000 can be seen at http://www.pisa.oecd.org/Docs/Download/PISAExeSummary.pdf .

These results have invariable matched national results, and have proven very valuable for education policy makers. PISA 2000 emphasized reading (PISA 2004 maths). Results should be available soon.

Russia did terrible among the children tested (15 y.o. in each country). It ranked 26 out of 31 (ahead of Mexico and Brazil, but behind Portugal, Greece and Poland). Across the OECD 40% of 15 y.o. failed to meet functional literacy standards (this caused quite a stir in Germany American and Britain, with illiteracy rates in the 30s and 20s, respectively, were unsurprised). Russia was far below the OECD average.

I think this is because so many reading itroduction books emphasize Russian almost as a syllabary, like Japanese, as opposed to an alphabetic language.

At any rate, you can get a good education in Russian schools, but you need to be very careful (especially with literacy).

And before anyone starts ranting that I dont know what Im talking about, I spent six years in a Russian technical institute studying engineering. Good, yes. But MIT is not shaking.

uninformed
01-11-2004, 21:01
Originally posted by Maine Surfer
I think it's quite smart to put your child into a Russian public school. While you are in Russia, there's a great opportunity for your child to learn Russian and live the culture. I think expats who give their kids to English speaking schools rob their kids of such unique opportunity (not even mentioning wasting money).

Myself attended a Russian public and a Western school. IMO, Russian schools are great, blow Western ones away.

You're quite right about attending a Russian school being a rare opportunity to learn and live the culture. And many miss out on that opportunity.

But....it would be difficult to really argue that "Russian schools are great." This doesn't hold up under examination. (see other posting) Further, if you count Nobel prize winners, etc as one measure or even the state of the economy as reflective of the education and productivity of the citizenry Russia turns out even worse. How can a country with such a "great" educational system have such a puny economy - the US budget deficit is large the the entire GDP of the Russian Federation. The average male dies at 59. Smoking rates are 60% for men - how smart is that.

Russians seem quite proud of their schools but it isn't apparent what these schools accomplish for Russians. Anecdotal and statistical evidence does not support your contention of "great"ness.

There are other reasons to send one's child to a Russian school but the educational process is not one of them.

Reverend
01-11-2004, 21:54
I sent my daughter to a Russian public school. She was treated terribly, teachers would never discuss any classroom activities - it was difficult to even get into the school except on the Day of Knowledge - the language used by other kids was crude, the director usually had alcohol on his breath, and so on.

A "great" tragedy is more like it.

She is now in Hinkson and is doing well and is happy - an important component to encouraging learning.

Fa-Q!
02-11-2004, 10:50
Well, I can tell you that, at my high school in Florida, there were tons of drugs and weapons. My classmate murdered another classmate. At least one of the guys I graduated with couldn't read. At least two teachers were fired for having affairs with students. There were heated racial tensions. Kids having sex all over the place. I don't think that kinda shit goes on here.

ghost 6-3
02-11-2004, 11:08
At the institute I attended (one of the best in its field) heroin was a big problem. Discarded needles in the bathroom, dealers (usually Chechen or Azerbaijani) in the corridors.

Most of the users were failed out, though.

Maine Surfer
02-11-2004, 11:12
I graduated from a Russian public school in 93. My memories of the school are great. The only problems I remember were occasional fistfights that I took active participation in :D Now I look at them more like good time as no one was ever hurt, just black eyes here and there. We had no drugs, guns, bad violence or public sex, unlike in the schools in Fl.

Our daughter is going to a public school as I said before. No problem with teachers whatsoever; they are bunch of individuals that are ready to answer questions and help and advice on our child's development.

Concerning level of education, I don't want to argue with you folks but rather share a personal experience. Graduated from high school in Russia, went to a Russian college, then an American school. Well, I took classes at the University in geography, astronomy and calculus that I didn't have to study for at all. They were the level of Russian 6th grade! Calculus 400, highest you can take for undergrad in the US, is a level of 11th grade algebra and trigonometry. What my University excelled at was business and economics, there isn't even a comparison. As for conventional science classes, most of University classes are at Russian high school level, circa 1993. My personal experience. Dont get me wrong, I loved my school in the US, just talking about educational level. Can compare too since Ive gone to a University in CA and one in ME.

As for Hinckson, very familiar with it and wouldnt let my daughter go there.

ghost 6-3
02-11-2004, 11:32
Russian science and math education (for those kids who learn how to read) is better than in the US. I don't dispute this. It should be interesting to see the PISA 2004 scores for Russia on this (keep in mind that this is a statistical sampling of all children - and you need to read to do your maths and sciences).

You can get an excellent education in Russian public schools, just as you can in many American public schools. But Russia, like America, is not as uniform in their quality as, say, France.

Keep in mind that there are thousands of US colleges/universities that people can compare to MGU or Baumenskaya - they will obviously not measure up. You should compare like with like: MGU with Harvard or Yale; Baumenskaya, MEPI and MAI with MIT and Stanford, and so on.

rdennis
02-11-2004, 17:52
Sounds like you're having a hard time. My wife and I are lucky I guess, because we have raised our children tri-lingually since they were born. That's why I'm thinking that getting our kids together to play could be an interesting proposition for you. My son is almost 6 and my daughter is almost 4. They go to French school at the French Embassy (because they were born in France) and my wife and I speak only Russian and English to them, respectively. I'm from the US and my wife is from Moldova.

All that to say that our kids could help your child learn Russian. While they speak well, we actively work with them writing, reading and the like.

Give me a call on 8 916 204 5982 if you're interested.

Robert

candi
03-11-2004, 10:25
Sagareve - try the INDIAN school. It's in the english language and also is simmilar to the british curriculum.

sagareva
05-11-2004, 00:21
Thanks RDENNIS,

Sounds like you've done a great job educating your kids to be tri-lingual. Something I could have done, since I am bilingual myself, but failed to -- I lived in the US, where my knowledge of Russian was preceived by most people as an oddity for which there will hardly be any use, ever. I simply did not want to infict it on the kids any more that one would want their offspring to inherit laarge ears or something. I sent my daughter to a German immersion school (no use, 1st grade) and to French camp (a bit more use, 2nd grade), passionately trying to get her to learn SOME second language. I never thought o teaching her Russian...

It is a nice idea to get together, although my daughter being 10, I doubt she'll get that much social experience with a 6-year old... My younger daughter would, in turn - she is 5. But ironicaly, it is her who we sent to a Russian preschool and she seems to be losing her English already, despite the fact that it is the ony language spoken at home (school is where she spends more time awake and deals with more extensive vocabulary). My little one's language problem is just the opposite of the older one's. I don't know how to help the older one acquire Russian, and I don';t know how to stop the little one from losing English....

And of course, there is that issue of both o them leanring French. (Sigh).


AND - CANDI

THanks for the note about the INdian school. I've hear there was one, but I have never seen anyone whose kids actually went there, or who's even been there.... I wasn't sure it was even real. Do you know more?! Particularly -- what about a non-INdian citizen going there, and what are the rates....

pengwn9
05-11-2004, 11:25
I've been to the Indian school. Cost is the lowest in Moscow for a school teaching in "English". About $5,500 a year. But, you get what you pay for.....

I found it grim and depressing, on the 5th or 6th floor of a run down building. My son is 16, and most of the kids I saw there were much younger, although they claim to educate through high school. Before we even got to the office to talk with an administrator, we turned and fled the premises. This is NOT an appealing place.

I'd be doubtful about their teaching in "English" as well. I heard very little of it while I was there. Mostly Hindi.

Reverend
05-11-2004, 16:44
The Indian School is behind the diplomatic apartments on Kutuzovsky Prospect.

Reverend
05-11-2004, 16:46
Originally posted by Fa-Q!
I don't think that kinda shit goes on here. Then you don't pay attention.

sedrak
18-11-2004, 09:46
3 years ago, hen I was in Russia, and we purposly put our 10 and 11 olds in Russian school. And even English instruction was horoble( it was specialized english school), everything else was a great experience. They dramaticaly improved their russian command, and math and sience was much better than in any american school( even private). We also hired a tutor for russian to help them accomodate language barier.
You've done a right move- congratulation! You can pm me id you have any questions...

Ruby
01-10-2007, 21:22
Hello,

Don't go to Indian school. Its really horrible. They don't have enough indoor/outdoor playground. They don't follow British curriculam but the CBSE (Indian Syllabus). The teacher are really useless only 1 or 2 seems to be good. I haven't heard a good word about the Indian school. They charge 350$ per month.

Bels
01-10-2007, 22:02
I'd go for selecting a good Russian state school. The education is good in other subjects apart from English. I speak for Russians and Native English Expats. I personally am limited in choice, I live in a village in the Western region of Moscow. However the school is good and has many wealthy parents from Rublievskie shosse area who send their children there.

I have doubts about the British International schools. I have investigated. I don't believe they are enforced to employ the appropriate qualified teachers. Many may well not be familiar with the British National curriculum as advertised. They should have been working in the UK for several years and have completed their PGCE. Unlike schools in the UK, the International schools are not regulated by government departments, they have no power in Russia. The schools can do what they want. It is probable that they have unqualified teachers who have none or insufficient knowledge of the British national curriculum. So why pay so much money for nothing.

Get your child into a good Russian school where it's regulated and then get a native English speaking teacher to keep your childs level of English up to native standards.So that if you decide to come back to England or USA your child will be able to cope in that country.

My 10 year old Russian step son is doing well. He is fluent in English from 8 years old and will cope well in a British school when we decide to live there.

My baby 18 months. I believe he will be bi-lingual and is already communicating in both languages. He will do very well also. A russian state school for him also if we are still here.

lew
02-10-2007, 09:59
We tried our son in the new International school. For a day.

The director is hillarious. It was the first time my 3 yr old had ever been alone in a classrooom for a 'trial period' as they called it.

The director asked me to leave him alone for a moment...when I did he started crying which the director described as a 'overly strong reaction for a 3 yr old'.

Imagine a 3 yr old crying on his first day of school????? Give me a break.

This guy must have gone to some strict english boarding school when he was a child and must not have any children of his own.

They are making alot of money there, but obviously that's all it is about.

Does anyone else know of a good pre school for english speaking kids in the centre?

hka
03-10-2007, 11:07
Have you been to EIS? Although not in the centre, it is EXCELLENT.

Ruby
03-10-2007, 20:26
Quotes of LEW

Is it The International School of Moscow. The director is a lady not a man. I think she is a very good lady who takes care of kids. I don't think that the kid will be alone in the classroom. Please clear this.....

Bels
03-10-2007, 22:07
We tried our son in the new International school. For a day.

The director is hillarious. It was the first time my 3 yr old had ever been alone in a classrooom for a 'trial period' as they called it.

The director asked me to leave him alone for a moment...when I did he started crying which the director described as a 'overly strong reaction for a 3 yr old'.

Imagine a 3 yr old crying on his first day of school????? Give me a break.

This guy must have gone to some strict english boarding school when he was a child and must not have any children of his own.

They are making alot of money there, but obviously that's all it is about.

Does anyone else know of a good pre school for english speaking kids in the centre?


I think its dreadful that who is considered to be the most experienced person is so out of touch with children. But I am just wondering why you find it so necessary to put such a young child with an International school. I am sure there must be some very good bi-lingual nurseries around without going to newly established international schools.

Bels
03-10-2007, 22:09
Hello,

Don't go to Indian school. Its really horrible. They don't have enough indoor/outdoor playground. They don't follow British curriculam but the CBSE (Indian Syllabus). The teacher are really useless only 1 or 2 seems to be good. I haven't heard a good word about the Indian school. They charge 350$ per month.

The name would put me off.

markusha
04-10-2007, 13:05
I suppose the "hilarious director" refers to English International School - also relatively new. A nice man and a professional. Every school I have ever known seems to have taken a pride in NOT letting doting/interfering/perfectly normal parents into a classroom with their children during a trial. It must be golden rule number 1 in the "dealing with prospective parents" manual.

Bels
04-10-2007, 21:07
I'm not sure what you mean. Can you clarify on this. I get what you mean on the Hilarious director. And as Directors mean Headmaster or Headmistresses in Russia. It's a disgrace that such an experienced person is so much out of touch with children.

lew
05-10-2007, 07:05
I think the director is professional in his approach to squeezing a few more kids into classes to maximize profits.

But no one just drops their kid at the door and runs as he would have had us do.

Not any thinking parent does that to a little boy/girl.

But again, maybe thats how they do it in strict British schools in the Oliver Twist world.

3 year olds cry on their first day of school. Parents need to ease them into the first day. Not crash them into so they have a traumatic afternoon.

I wouldn't recommend that English School to anyone now. And the director should go for retraining or at least pretend he cares.

And for the person who said it's standard to leave your kids at the door. You obviously work at that school. Another reason for people not to send their kids there!!!!!!!!

lew
05-10-2007, 07:16
And markusha i see your from Hong Kong and originally from the UK.

Obviously connected to bad ass nasty english boarding schools which have a history of nice uniforms but for wacking kids into submission.

Not my kid!

And you probably want to be spanked yourself! Bad boy. Bad administrator.

hka
05-10-2007, 15:42
a

winterland
06-10-2007, 00:10
a! Completely overwhelmed!

My child is still little but I am deeply concerned after reading all these. Does anyone have an up-to-date list of all the international schools/preschools in Moscow (Tel and Add please)? Feel have to do my homework early. But so many of them like the buzz words "English", "international", I'm already lost early into my research... Millions of thanks!

Also, does anyone have experience with American Embassy Playgroup? After searching around Moscow, they seem to be the only one currently willing to accept 1.5yr old.

elis
06-10-2007, 00:39
I think sending your children to a local school is a wonderful idea--and will benefit you kids immensely in the long run. If they are young enough to be able to pick up the language, I would certainly do it! My step-daughter is 14, so we'll need to send her to an English speaking school when we get to Moscow--but if she were in elementary school I would certainly try to send her to a local Russian school.

I lived overseas when I was younger and my mother made sure that I attended local schools (in Italy--she made sure to get me Italian lessons over a summer, but then it was just a question of integrating and picking the language up). When I returned to the States toward the end of high school, I found that my education was far superior.

Also, although I never took English classes per se, we still spoke English at home and I was also an avid reader. When we did return to the US and had to take English classes in order to graduate, I had absolutely no problems--learning grammar, etc., in other languages still helps you understand your own native tongue.

Hope this helps.

Bels
06-10-2007, 12:38
a! Completely overwhelmed!

My child is still little but I am deeply concerned after reading all these. Does anyone have an up-to-date list of all the international schools/preschools in Moscow (Tel and Add please)? Feel have to do my homework early. But so many of them like the buzz words "English", "international", I'm already lost early into my research... Millions of thanks!

Also, does anyone have experience with American Embassy Playgroup? After searching around Moscow, they seem to be the only one currently willing to accept 1.5yr old.

I have a son similar age. I have no doubts that my child will benefit by going to a local Russian school Nursery and then to his local primary school. I have no problems in believing that he will keep both languages as bi-lingual. My 10 year old son most has no problems. He will blend into a school in Russia or the UK quite easily, as he is already bi-lingual. I think it's great my children that my children speak both Russian and English and it will be of great advantage when they get older. I also believe that it is more likely that a Russian school is better at teaching Maths and Science as against the UK.

Choose a school local to you. Why not try a directory web-site like (http://www.mbtg.ru)

English language Moscow Business Telephone Guide (http://www.mbtg.ru/index.php?language=en)

Bels
06-10-2007, 15:52
But, yes the English lessons are likely to be dreadful and probably probably a joke for either a native child or a child who has developed a good sense of English from a native speaking teacher for example.

However, it's obvious the child will speak English at home or will go to extra private English classes to keep the childs level of English ahead ready for the possibility of returning to UK school. I am aware that many children for example are from mixed nationality marriages. (Like myself, British Father, Russian Mother). But we speak mainly English at home.

winterland
07-10-2007, 13:55
Out of curiocity, if asking people to compare the style/teaching methodologies employed by the standard American, British and Russian schools, which one normally encourages more creativity, thinking-out-of-box problem solving approach, and proactiveness? And which one maybe more like information dumping?

Bels
11-10-2007, 22:34
For me personally, I'd go for the state schools in that particular country. Where they are vetted and controlled. I have my suspicions of international schools which are out to simply make a profit without control.

I'm happy to to see that Russian public schools have won on the poll. And listening to Russians I recommend looking for good Gymnasium schools. That is schools that are specialist in certain subjects. They may be free or you may have to pay, but they won't be the extortionate fees that yould pay for an international school.

paco
12-10-2007, 11:01
Is there anywhere we can get a list for names of Gymnasium schools ? And anyone have any idea what kind of specialised programs do these gymnasium schools offer ?

Would be nice to hear some feedback from parents who have sent their kids to these specialise gymnasium schools.

Bels
20-10-2007, 20:32
Is there anywhere we can get a list for names of Gymnasium schools ? And anyone have any idea what kind of specialised programs do these gymnasium schools offer ?

Would be nice to hear some feedback from parents who have sent their kids to these specialise gymnasium schools.

I can't go into detail, as every gymnasium is different. they all have specialised subejects graded by the government. It may be English, science and history. They are all different.

For finding them I would first investigate by word of mouth of what's convenient for you in your area . There are directories, and I saw a list of schools, many stated as gymnasiums in (http://www.mbtg.ru)

However I can't find it now, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong area, or perhaps they have decided to remove the list. This one is in English and Russian which makes it popular.

Are there other directory recommendations.

I've got my son in our local village school, so I can't comment. I do have parents of the children I teach English,and for their age they seem pretty good already. The parents speak well of these schools.