As Kommersant has learned, Russian schools have received new recommendations on conducting special lessons amid a “special military operation” in Ukraine. This time, teachers should organize classes for students in grades 5-9 and 10-11 in the topic “Anti-Russian sanctions and their impact on the domestic economy.” In the methodology, this “impact” is rather positive – students will be told about the growing share of Russian products in several areas, and then asked to assess which countries will suffer large economic losses from sanctions. Economists interviewed by Kommersant point out the mistakes of the authors of the manual and warn that Russian schoolchildren will soon see the effect of sanctions themselves.
Materials for the “sanctions” lesson were handed over to Kommersant by a teacher near Moscow. Kommersant found reports of such lessons on the websites of a number of schools in the Moscow region, Orel and Samara regions. According to the manual, the teacher must “show Russia’s ability to overcome the negative effects of Western sanctions on the economic sphere of our society, to give an idea of the main directions of anti-sanctions policy in Russia.” Classes should be part of a school course in social studies.
At the beginning of the lesson, the teacher should quote President Vladimir Putin as saying that “Russia is under unprecedented external pressure.” After that, it is necessary to ask schoolchildren if they know “what are the priority measures of the anti-sanctions policy of our state.”
Only then should the educator explain what sanctions are: “Restrictions designed to” punish “a country for its actions.” Here it is necessary to clarify what “actions” are meant – “Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, caused by the need to protect the population of Donbass.” Examples of sanctions include the freezing of assets of state corporations and banks, as well as part of Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves. Another example is the departure of foreign companies.
After that, the teacher should say that Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin “named the protection of the domestic market and maintaining the employment of the working population as the most important areas of anti-sanctions policy.” And students need to answer, “why these areas are a priority.”
The manual also contains a link to a video about the benefits of import substitution.
Its authors tell schoolchildren that in the 1990s and early 2000s, imported products prevailed over domestic ones. “Active advertising of foreign goods” was carried out, as well as “the idea of the superiority of any imported product and the inability of Russian producers to introduce their counterparts was introduced.” But by 2022, the situation has changed dramatically, says the voice-over: the share of Russian products has grown in food engineering (from 12% to 45%), agricultural machinery (from 24% to 55%) and machine tool (from 18% to 38%). It is also suggested to show a lesson with data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. It follows that since 2014, the share of Russian goods in the entire civilian range has increased many times in the field of mechanical engineering.
“The teacher together with students concludes that economic policy in recent years has been aimed at increasing the security of domestic producers, ensuring its sustainability in external crises,” – said in the lesson script. Here, students in grades 5-9 should list a set of measures to support the Russian economy and citizens in the “increased sanctions pressure.” And high school students – to describe the expected effect of them.
At the end, students must fill out a “feedback” form. They will have to answer the questions: “Are sanctions against Russia fair?”, “Will sanctions strengthen Russia’s economy?”, “Who will suffer great economic losses?”
There are three possible answers to the last question: Russia, NATO countries, all countries of the world.
The Ministry of Education confirmed to Kommersant that it had sent methodological recommendations to schools. They were developed by the Institute for Educational Development Strategy, which reports to the Ministry. The agency noted that “third-party leading experts” from various industries participated in the development of the lesson scenario. The lesson materials invite schoolchildren to get acquainted with the measures taken by the president and the government to counter sanctions from unfriendly countries, Kommersant’s Ministry of Education told Kommersant. years. The lesson involves the active activity of students in working with documents, interactive materials containing important information about the achievements of the Russian economy in various industries, its readiness to resist sanctions.
Teachers from schools in Crimea and Sevastopol confirmed to Kommersant that they will hold such a lesson. At the same time, Kommersant’s interlocutors refused to give a personal assessment of this occupation, explaining that they feared violating the laws on disrespect for the government and on discrediting the armed forces. The Ministry of Education of the Irkutsk region said that lessons on import substitution have already been held (in the format of extracurricular activities) in 154 schools for 85 thousand. students. “Children in general are interested and respond positively to information,” they said.
Kommersant asked economists to comment on the method. Natalia Zubarevich, a specialist in the field of socio-economic development of the regions, refused to study it. “Why should I read these manuals? And it is so clear that we will lose the most advanced technological industries, she told Kommersant. In the summer or certainly in the fall, the children will come home and see for themselves that there is no money in the family, that there is no opportunity to buy any goods. “
The expert language of the manuals is too complicated for both schoolchildren and teachers, says Vladimir Salnikov, an expert at the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting.
“Many theses (methodical.— Kommersant“At the qualitative level, they are quite true, but some figures can be argued,” says the expert. Kommersant) ». Mr. Salnikov considers it a wrong decision to present mechanical engineering as a good example of import substitution. “It went much better in the food industry, in chemistry in a number of segments. And somewhere, even in light industry, it is very good, – says the expert. – But in mechanical engineering, progress has been worse.
The presentation states that the “share of Russian goods in the automotive industry” increased from 7% in 2014 to 86.3% in 2020. Kommersant sources in the automotive industry admit that they do not understand the nature of the emergence of such calculations: “Probably, the estimate for 2020 means all Russian car production, regardless of location. But in this case, the goods can not be called one hundred percent domestic. It is still unclear why the authors of the manual talk about 7% in 2014. In fact, at that time the share of Russian production in the car market was about 75%. It’s annoying that schoolchildren will receive distorted information. ” In addition, Kommersant’s interlocutors reminded that only the GAZ, UAZ and KAMAZ plants, as well as Mazda Sollers and Chinese Haval, currently operate in the Russian car industry. The rest are idle due to sanctions.
It will be recalled that in early March, the Ministry of Education recommended that schools hold a special history lesson (see Kommersant, March 2, 2022). Its goal is to “form” among high school students “an adequate position on the issue of conducting a special peacekeeping operation by the armed forces.” Then there were classes in schools about fakes, where students were urged not to believe the reports of the Ukrainian authorities about the number of Russian soldiers killed (see Kommersant, March 11, 2022). And in the lesson “Brotherhood of Slavic Peoples” students were told about the closeness of the cultures of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, “which today must remain a united people and not succumb to the provocations of those who try to divide them.”