Friday, October 9, 2009

Russian Schools

In Russia I attend two schools, Vyatka Humanitarian Gymnasium ВГГ, and Kirov Economics and Law Lyceum КЭПЛ. Both of these schools are considered to be among the best schools in Russia. ВГГ is a larger school with three buildings in one district of Kirov. Students of forms 1-11 attend this school. КЭПЛ is a much smaller school with only one building. Students of forms 5-11 may attend КЭПЛ. The schools operate from eight in the morning to about six at night six days a week. Students attend from either 8am-3pm or 11am-6pm.

There are many holidays at each school and so far I have been able to attend one of them. It was ВГГ's Birthday. Schools in Russia celebrate their birthdays, I guess, strange. It was a large ceremony at one of Kirov's theatres in which each form presented a song and dance routine about a country. The foreign exchange students had to sing Frere Jacques on the stage, it was nerve wracking. At the end of the ceremony a boy from the 11th form brought out a birthday cake for the school. We ate it the next day. It was delicious. In a few weeks it will be Lyceum's birthday. They are going to have a pageant, Miss Lyceum. A girl from each class is selected to participate in the pageant and the winner becomes Miss Lyceum for the year. In March or April there will be a Mr. Lyceum pageant. Every school has these contests. Schools also have academic completions, sporting completions, and days to honor alumni.

A major difference between U.S. and Russian schools is the teaching style. In most classes the teacher dictates a text and then the students must memorize it. A lot of Russian schooling is based on memorization. Another difference is the prevalence of cell phones in the classroom. Students text in class and sometimes leave in the middle of a lecture to take a call. It is very odd. The last major difference between American and Russian schools is how the classes operate from year to year. Each class has about 25 students that stay together every year. From 1st form to 4th form kids will be in class with the same 25 children. The same from 5th to 8th form and 9th to 11th. I am in class 10б.

Pictures: Top-ВГГ Birthday Cake Bottom-My Class at КЭПЛ.