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    Дудина Светлана Владимировна

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    Дудина С.В.

    English Newspapers

    Part III

    Education

    УЧЕБНО-МЕТОДИЧЕСКОЕ ПОСОБИЕ

    Topical area: Education in Great Britain/ Changes in a basic pattern

    Newspaper Backup: The Times Friday, September 1, 2000

    Text: New timetable for A levels and start of term

    by John O'Leary    

    Pre-reading

    1. What do you know about school life in Great Britain?
    2. What are GCSE and A-level exams?

    New timetable for A levels and start of term

    by John O'Leary education Editor.

    The school year would begin in the middle of August with A levels in April under proposals to be published today for a radical change to the academic timetable.

    Plans put forward by a local government commission haired by Christopher Price, the former Labour MP and former vice-chancellor of Leeds' Metropolitan University, would double the number of terms to six and space holidays more evenly. Mr. Price said that the switch would make it possible for universities to admit students on the basis of A-level results rather than predictions. The Committee of -Vice-Chancellors and Principals is to hold talks on the feasibility of changing the applications process.  

    Other, proposals include a fixed two-week Easter-break, and moving the summer holiday forward to the beginning of July. The commission envisages the final term, as 'for cultural activities’ and a starting point for the next year's work.

    The blueprint would change a basic pattern established more than a century ago. Local authorities will consider the recommendations in a series of regional meeting's starting this month.

    The Department for Education and Employment said that the length of terms and timing of holidays would remain a matter for local determination. The Government was not seeking any change and would expect parents and governors to be consulted before the recommendations were adopted.

    The commission's report sees benefits for up to 1.8 million hay fever sufferers in shifting A-level and GCSE examinations to April arid May. It suggests that a applications' system after results are known would also, encourage students who did better than expected at A level to go on to higher education.

    Schools in different parts of England could start their summer holidays at   different times, helping the tourism industry, the report says. Teachers were divided on the proposals. John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said: "An examination of the school year is long overdue — the demands of modern schooling should not be based on the dates of religious festivals and the 19th-century agricultural calendar." Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that the plans would cause "great disruption for no. perceivable benefit".

    Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union-of Women Teachers was profoundly skeptical Half-term holidays in February. May and October mean the school year was already divided into six chunks, he said.

    Vocabulary

    Translate the list of the words below. Find the sentences with these words in the article and comment on the sentences.

    predictions (n)

    feasibility (n)

    envisage (v)

    blueprint (n)

    disruption (n)

    perceivable (a)

    Comprehension

    Based on the information in the text, mark the statements true or false:

    a)   The number of terms will be doubled to eight.

    b)   The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals are for fixed two-week Easter break.

    c)   Local authorities will decide for themselves the length of terms and time of holidays.

    d)   It is an advantage for students to know the results of A-level before going on to higher education.

    e)   The teachers support the changes.

    Discussion 

    a)   What would you say are the successes and failures of the changing in the pattern?

    b)   If you were a Principal (a British student) what timetable would you prefer for your school?


    Topical area: Education in Russia

    Newspaper Backup: The Russia Journal September 16-22, 2000

    Text: Microsoft sets plan to boost computer usage in regions

    By GERMAN ABAYEV

    Pre-reading

    1. What are the ways of improving the education system and of raising

    education standards in Russia?

    1. How do you see education system in future?

    Microsoft sets plan to boost computer usage in regions

    International software and Internet giant Microsoft Corp. announced the creation of a $265,000 project designed to help students in two remote areas improve their computer and Internet skills.

    Microsoft Moscow Managing Director Olga Dergunova said the project, targeting schools in the Western Siberian city of Tyumen and in the Lipetsk Oblast, seeks to help bridge the "digital divide" that limits much of the world population's access to the Internet and new sources of information that come with computer literacy.

    The two-year project, announced Thursday, will be conducted in cooperation with the New Perspectives Foundation, a local partner of the U.S.-based International Youth Foundation.

    "One of the reasons for the 'digital divide' is the lack of knowledge," said Dergunova. "So educational programs, like the ones we have started in Lipetsk and Tyumen, are of paramount importance. They will lead to better IT use in remote areas of Russia and allow today's school students to 'connect to the future.'

    A total of 30 computers, along with peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, scanners and modems, will be sent to several schools in the Lipetsk Oblast and Tyumen, the foundation said.

    Internet connection services, as well as maintenance support, will be covered by the grant for the first two years. The project will also entail Internet proficiency training for teachers from Tyumen and Lipetsk to be conducted in Moscow. After training, teachers will be expected to set up their own Internet and IT classes on return to their home areas.

    After two years, the schools will be expected to cover support and maintenance expenses on their own.

    Lipetsk Oblast and Tyumen were chosen because of their low levels of local educational budgetary resources and computer availability and their geographical remoteness. "We expect that these centers of 'computer culture' will serve as examples for other regions," said Nadezhda Seryakova, president of New Perspectives Foundation.

    Seryakova also said she had secured confirmation of support from the Russian Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, pledging discounts on Internet connections with the state-owned communications company in Lipetsk, and she said that local authorities were "extremely interested" in the effort.

    When asked about the possibility of grants being improperly used at local sites, Seryakova said the foundation has a vast experience in similar projects and has developed a triple-control system for fund use, consisting of school authorities, local authorities and foundation officials themselves.

    Microsoft, which stressed that it investigates possible grant recipients carefully, said that it has confidence that the New Perspectives Foundation will administer the project properly. The New Project Foundation said it also works with such foreign IT companies as Lucent Technologies, Cisco Systems, Inc. and Sun Microsystems.

    Dergunova said that Microsoft would welcome the idea of other foreign IT companies providing grants for similar programs. She added that the firm would not prohibit the use of non-Microsoft software on grant computers used on the current project.

    Apart from Russia, Microsoft carries out similar projects in cooperation with IYF in Poland, the Philippines and South Africa and operates programs of its own in Korea, India and Columbia.

    Dergunova also stressed the importance of the legal use of computer services and software. She said that illegal software is one of the major threats to the country's IT future.

    Skim and scan

    What is the total value of the project?

    What regions were chosen for conducting the project?

    Vocabulary

    Explain the meaning of the following words

    to boost                                       proficiency

    targeting                                         availability

    paramount                                     to pledge

    maintenance                                   to prohibit to entail

    Comprehension

    1 .What is the central message given by Olga Dergunova? Do you agree with it?

    2. Comment on the sentence: "...the project...seeks to help bridge the "digital divide" that limits much of the world population's access to the Internet and new sources of information that come with computer literacy.”

    3. Are the statements true or false?

    a) The project will be designed to help students in 2 central areas to improve their computer and Internet skills.

    b) One of the reasons for the "digital divide” is the lack of knowledge.

    c) Lipetsk Oblast and Tyumen were chosen because of the low educational standards.

    d) There will be no discounts on Internet connections with the state-owned communications company in Lipetsk.

    e) There will be a triple-control system for fund use.

    f) Microsoft carries out similar projects in other countries.

    Viewpoint

    1.  Does Russian Government support this project? Why? Why not?

    2.  Can projects of such kind improve the education system in Russia? Prove your opinion.

    3.  Do you consider Internet and IT classes useful for education?

    4.  Can they be efficient in Russian system of education? Why?Why not?


    Topical Area: Education in Great Britain

    Newspaper Backup: The Guardian Monday, September 4, 2000

    Text: A-level

    By Will Woodward

    Pre-reading

    What does "A-level" mean?

    A-level

    By Will Woodward, Education editor.

    We can’t have a situation where young people are kept for longer and longer at school, and at greater public expense, but who end up knowing no more than those in the past did who left. Chris Woodhead.

    A-levels should be made more difficult and preserved for the minority of students, according to the chief inspector of schools in England, Chris Woodhead.

    In an interview with the Guardian, Mr. Woodhead stokes the simmering row over examination standards by calling for a new investigation into "grade inflation".

    The head of Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, said "nobody seems to know" whether exam standards have fallen since GCSEs were introduced.

    "We mustn’t ignore this, we mustn’t sweep it under the carpet. There is a danger that we get ourselves to a point where it's impossible to speak out because everybody wants to believe that things are getting better," said Mr. Woodhead.

    “The teachers obviously do, the government obviously does, and the exam boards have got a vested interest. You can see how the consensus emerges arid anybody who-dares to ask any questions is seen as a dissident, a 'traditionalist' used in a very pejorative way. But that is unhealthy because the currency has to be maintained if we ire to have the education system we must have for the new century and new millennium."

    He said the Department for Education and Employment, and the exams watchdog, the Qualifications and Curriculum a Authority (QCA), "really ought to focus on this energetically and see if we cannot come to clearer judgments as to what is happening".

    He had recorded improvements in teaching in schools over the last six years in his annual report. "Having said that I think we do need to be eternally vigilant... If we have a situation, and apparently we do, where 40% of 11-year-olds make either losses or no gains in their first three years at secondary school, it obviously raises a question about the 16-plus examinations and how do you tally those two truths.''

    His intervention will irritate ministers, the teaching unions and the examination boards who argue that exam standards are being maintained. But Ruth Lea, policy director at the Institute of Directors, last month condemned record A-level passes as "farcical".

    Mr. Woodhead said an inquiry, Standards Over Time, held four years ago, by Ofsted and the Schools "Curriculum and Assessment Authority, QCA's predecessor, had been wrongly interpreted to have "whitewashed" exam standards. The inquiry had been hampered because there were no exam scripts available from a decade or two decades before which could be compared, he said.

    The QCA does now keep examination scripts. A spokesman said: "There's no evidence that standards have fallen in the exams that we’ve looked at." Mr. Woodhead said the new emphasis on course-work and modular exams posed difficult questions. "For better or worse these changes in the identity of the exam are having an impact," Mr. Wood-head said.

    "We cannot have a situation where young people are kept for longer and longer at school, and at greater and greater public expanse, but who end up in fact knowing no more than people in the past did who left school younger. It is very important that we look very hard at what is happening, and QCA in the lead really take that as a major responsibility."

    He added: "We need A-levels that are as academically rigorous as they have ever been. Indeed I would like them to be more academically rigorous. As standards rise in schools then we ought, in our public examinations, to be looking to raise the level of demand at all levels as well.

    "Let's preserve A-levels that really do stretch the intellectually most able but let's recognize that such qualifications are only for a minority. And let's have a range of other qualifications post-16'that will interest, motivate, benefit the -other students who are not equipped to study A-levels."

    More than 270,000 people received A-level results last month, a rise on the year before, even though the number of 18-year-olds fell.

    Mr. Woodhead said: "We should raise our aspirations as to what an A involves, a B involves, a C involves. If kids are leaving primary school better equipped to deal with secondary school, brighter, more able to deal with the national curriculum, then for me it follows if you are interested in raising standards we've got to raise our expectations.

    "It's very difficult for a government to do because the government wants to demonstrate improved examination results... The currency of the examination grade is vitally important in terms of raising standards."

    Mr. Woodhead said less academically able students should be advised to take vocational qualifications. Nearly 90% of candidates achieved At E grades at A-level this year. He said: "An examination which doesn't involve failure is a very peculiar examination ... for me failure isn't a dirty word at all. An education system must involve failure. Life involves failure."

    Skim and scan:

    1.   What is QCA?

    2.   What do these numbers correspond to: 40%; 270,000; 90%?

    Vocabulary:

    Match the words from the left-hand column with their definitions:

    1. pejorative             A. ridiculous, satirical, absurd

    2. watchdog              B. at the boiling point

    3. vigilant                C. disparaging, having negative connotations

    4. to tally                 D. alertly watchful to avoid danger

    5. farcical                 E. general use or acceptance

    6. vested                  F. to correspond, to match

    7. currency               G. one that guards or protects

    8. simmering            H. fully guaranteed as a legal right.

    Comprehension:

    1.   What is the central message of Chris Woodhead given in the article?

    2.    Decide whether the following statements are true or false.

    a)   The exams standards have fallen.

    b)   A-levels should be preserved for the majority of students.

    c)   The QCA doesn't keep examination scripts.

    d)   Less academically able students should leave school.

    e)   A-levels must be academically rigorous.

    f)    An education system must involve failure.

    3.  Comment on the sentence:

    “There is a danger that we get ourselves to a point where it's impossible to speak out because everybody wants to believe that things are getting better."

    Viewpoint:

    Do you approve or disapprove of Mr. Woodhead's policy?


    Topical Area: Education in Russia.

    Newspaper Backup: The Moscow Times, 28 May, 2000

    Text: Revolutionizing Education

    Pre-reading Task

    Everybody knows that under-funding is the main headache for the country's education system. Is the adequate level of financing the only solution for the problems in education?

    Revolutionizing Education

    As education minister, Vladimir Filippov is responsible for, some 39 million students a year. Since his appointment in September 1998, he has worked 16-hour days, seven days a week in order to keep up with the rigors of his post. But Filippov, who earned his doctorate in physics and mathematics and has authored 138 Scientific monographs, does hot let this responsibility overwhelm him. He is an energetic bureaucrat who harbors visions of revolutionizing the country's education system. Among his top priorities are establishing a standardized system of nationwide testing to battle the corrupt system of university entrance exams and setting up committees through which parents can have a voice in their children's education. Max Ognev spoke with Filippov about his ambitious plans.

    Q: What are the biggest problems in education today?

    A: The biggest problem is financing, and it has been for several years. Higher education receives only 30 percent of the funding it needs from the budget. This situation has forced our universities to become more capitalistic than they are in the West—even compared to American universities! Russian universities earn 50 percent of their operating budgets on their own, while the so-called state universities in the United States, for example, earn only 30 percent. Another important problem is our aging teaching staff. Young people are not going into teaching be-'cause of the salaries and (heir delays. We also lack computer equipment and information technology education in both schools and universities.

    Q: Do you recognize the problem of bribing officials, which high-school students face when trying to pass university entrance exams?

    A: I know about this and I think it is a problem. To tell the truth, the problem is not as widespread as they say it is. This mostly takes place in the big cities, and more often in the economic, juridical and medical faculties. But there is a problem, and together with the union of rectors we are planning how to struggle against it. I personally called the prosecutor general.

    But I think that we have to cope with this problem not by prohibitive means, but by [introducing] methods that will eradicate the problem altogether. We are going to cancel individual entrance exams at all universities, and in three years we are going to set up a centralized system of testing like they nave in America, this way, [graduating] high-school students throughout the country can take one test and send those test results to the five or six universities [to which they want to apply]. The best [universities] will choose the best students, while the average schools will choose the average students. It will be both objective and fair.'

    Q: In this testing system going to be computerized?

    A: Of course. We have already launched a trial system [last year], and 350,000 pupils participated. This is not very many because we need to create a computer network that will accommodate 2 million.

    Q: What is the ratio of those who study in state institutions and those who study in private colleges and universities?

    A: We have 570 state [free] universities and up to 400 commercial ones. But as few as 7 percent of all university-level students arc studying in commercial institutes. These universities offer a handful of specializations — mostly economics, law and management — while the total number of fields offered in government universities exceeds 400. I think that in the future, the number of commercial universities will decrease, but the number of students studying on a commercial basis at government schools will increase. Our budget simply will not be able to provide [free] higher education for everyone. This can only occur in a system of highly developed socialism or capitalism. As we have neither, we need to find a compromise.                        

    Q: Did you support the rise of private institutions?

    A: We made a strategic mistake in 1991 and 1992 when we introduced education for a fee in the private sector and made restrictions on paid education in state universities. I think there should only be state universities, and that each faculty or small university should have its own unit for paying students. If we did this we would solve two problems at once. First of all, we would attract money to the state sys-; tern instead of it going into private hands. And second, we could guarantee the quality of education — we cannot do that in fledgling and unknown commercial universities.

    Q: Do you think the state will be able to provide ah adequate level of education in Chechnya soon?

    A: In recent years, the republic has fallen 10 years behind in education because most schoolchildren have been absent for the (past four years, and those who were going to school were forced to pay.

    The going rate was 50 rubles a month, 100 rubles for those in the 10th and 11th classes. And this is in Chechnya, where the population had no money at all! Last year, we set aside 350 university Slots for Chechen pupils, but only14 students opted to enroll. The rest turned put to be unprepared to study. That is a tragedy for the [Chechen] people. But parents there understand that a future for their kids is impossible without an education, and they ire frying to support the schools.  

     We have prepared a detailed program to revive the whole system of education in Chechnya. Now almost 200 of Chechnya's 350 schools are operating, but Sept. 1 all of them will open. In September, we will also open three universities, including the Oil Institute, Grozny University and the Grozny Teaching University. The money for this project is already in the budget, and we have found the buildings and a means of accepting students.

    Q: What about the brain-drain problem? Does this still exist for Russia?

    A: There is a joke that an American university is where Russian professors teach Chinese students. But this is a problem more for the scientific schools than for the humanities.

    Q: What can you say about the new president and his attitude to ward education?          

    A: The government has been waiting for this moment for the past several years. At last we have a certain period of political stability for the years ahead. Now that the Duma and presidential elections are over the time for creativity has begun. One can work on programs looking ahead two or three years and not expect the government to change within six months. I am very happy about that. As for [President Vladimir] Putin, I can say that just one day after the State Duma confirmed him as prime minister last. August he had arranged for a report on assistance to state education.

    Last August, he became the chairman of the committee to develop the national education doctrine. Putin is pragmatic, and this is very good.

    Q: What is the education doctrine?

    A: The doctrine has been in the works for the past two years, and it was approved by the government last February. It foresees an educational strategy for the next decade, including the introduction of more extracurricular studies, and a guarantee of free higher education for 50 percent of all graduating high school students.

    The doctrine also calls for two important goals - to attract nonbudgetary means to support education and to establish parent-teacher councils at every educational Institute. This way, parents will have more control over how the school's, budget funds are spent and the content of their children’s education.

    Vocabulary & reading comprehension

    1. Translate and explain the following words and word combinations.

    Prosecutor general                       to exceed

    to cope with                                   fledgling (adj.)      

    to eradicate                              ward (adj.)                                    

    to launch a trial system                brain-drain

    ratio                                         goal

    2. Are the statements true or false? Prove or correct them.

    a)  Among the top priorities are establishing a centralized system of nationwide testing to battle the corrupt system of University entrance exams and setting up committees through which parents can have more control over how the school's budget funds are spent and the content of their children's education.    

    b)  Another important problem is our inexperienced teaching staff.

    c) Young people are not going into teaching because of lack of computer equipment and information technologies.

    d)  We cannot provide free higher education for everyone in the post-Soviet reality.

    e)  Last year only 14 Chechen students opted to enroll. The rest totally lacked basic standards of literacy and numeracy.

    f) The national education doctrine includes the introduction of more extracurricular studies and a guarantee of employment for 50 per cent of all graduating high school students.

    Discussion

    Speak on the problems, which Filippov touched upon. Find in the text or (if you have another opinion) give your own solution for the following points:

    -    financing

    -    bribing

    -    quality & quantity of education in commercial Universities

    -    the Chechen school situation

    -    the brain - drain problem

    -    the president's attitude to the subject

    Topical area: Education in Great Britain/ Society and Education

    Newspaper Backup:  The Newsweek Saturday, August 17, 1999

    Text: British teachers threatened with a pay rise

    Pre-reading

    1. How much are the standards of education dependent on the national economy?
    2. Does the rate of teacher's salaries influentence on the educational standard?

    British teachers threatened with a pay rise

    Spring has finally arrived, said Melanie Phillips in The Sunday Times. Flowers are budding, lambs are gambolling and Britain's teachers are threatening to go on strike. The scenes of discontent at this year's teachers' union conferences were even more "bizarre" than usual. Unlike most people who strike, teachers are not being "threatened with a loss of earnings or livelihood". Far from it. The Government is promising to "throw no less than £l billion at them in pay rises". Under Labour's plans to introduce performance-related pay, no teacher will be a penny worse off; they will retain their jobs for life, and many will gain thousands of pounds in salary. The sole objective is to reward excellent teaching. Yet the unions have denounced this "large carrot with jam on it" as a "tyranny", and David Blunkett has been booed and heckled.

    Such "visceral resistance to anything designed to improve teaching" can only further damage the profession - and the future of our children. If we are to raise standards, high-quality graduates must be lured into teaching. Better pay is crucial, with a financial structure which allows teachers to progress up the ranks. The teachers' unions should be ashamed of their "asinine" whingeing. It's time they grew up and showed some dignity.

    Alas, we teachers are much misunderstood, said Michael McMahon in the New Statesman. Performance-related pay is a fact of life for most working people, so they find our resistance to it baffling. But we have our reasons, the most important of which is philosophical. "Teachers reject such a system because it requires them to be what the majority of them are not: self-seeking careerists." Most teachers do their jobs out of a sense of vocation, not for the money. They would rather support their colleagues than compete against them. More specifically, they object to the "pen-pushing" inherent in Blunkett's plan. In order to be assessed for a pay rise, teachers will have to maintain a dossier of their own achievements through the year. The kind of teacher who excels at such self promoting paperwork is not usually the best in the classroom. Under Labour's proposal, it will be "the likes of them" who flourish, not the "inspirational and charismatic heroes" that this country's schools so badly need.

    Skim and scan

    1. How much money does the Government promise to invest?
    2. Does M. McMahon support the Labour's plan?

    Vocabulary

    1. Look at the words in the left-hand column, which are taken from the text. Match them with words from the right-hand column.

    bud

    strange and unusual

    gambol

    to criticize strongly and publicly

    strike

    being the only, single, also means that the only one person or organization is involved in an activity

    bizarre

    a small part of a plant which sticks out from a branch or stem and will develop into a flower or leaf

    sole

    to grow or develop successfully

    lure

    to cause to be completely unable to understand or explain smth

    denounce

    the quality or power that smth or someone has that makes       them attractive

    maintain

    to continue to have, to keep in good condition, to provide with food

    whatever necessary, to express firmly your belief that smth is true

    baffle

    to refuse to continue working because of an argument with an employer about working conditions, pay levels or job losses

    flourish

    to run or to jump happily and playfully

     

    2. The following words have the second meaning. Try to guess their definitions. Bud, strike, sole, flourish.

    1. to move smth in your hand in order to make people look at it.

    2. a flat round fish which eaten as food.    

    3. to discover (oil, gas or gold) underground.          

    4. a way of addressing a man, sometimes used to show anger.        

    Comprehension

    1. What is the central message of Michel McMahon given at the article?

    2. Based on the information in the text, say whether the following statement are true or false.

    a) Teachers are threatened with a loss of earning and livelihood.  

    b) The Labour Party tries to "throw no less than 1 billion of pounds" in pay rises.

    c) The Government understand the position of teacher's union, said M. McMahon.

    d) The teachers are not the self-seeking careerist.

    e) The country's schools are in extremely need of teachers.

    3.  Comment on the sentence:

    Yet the unions have denounced this "large carrot with a jam on it" as a "tyranny", and David Blunkett has been booed and heckled.

    4. Complete these sentences by filling in the blanks according to the text:

    a) Teachers will __________ their jobs for life, and will gain thousands of pounds in salary.

    b) The teacher's union should be ashamed of their __________ whingeing.

    c)  It's time to grow up and show some ___________.

    Viewpoint

    Now that you have read the article try to answer the questions:

    1. Does Russian Government try to fund the educational sphere?
    2. How do our teachers fancy their future?
    3. Is the situation in Britain and Russia similar?
    4. Does a radio or TV broadcast covering British and Russian educational funding?

    Topical Area: Education in Great Britain / Society and Education

    Newspaper Backup: The Times Saturday" August 25 1990, London

    Text: Letters to the Editor. Raising standards of education

    Pre-reading

    1. How much are the standards of education dependent, on the national economy?
    2. Is a country's economy dependent on the standards of education?

    Letters to the Editor. Raising standards of education

    From the General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers.

    Sir, Your leader of August 21 on the excellent speech by Sir Claus Moser about the state of British education was less than generous in its praise as well as making some highly questionable assertions.

    First, you took issue with Sir Claus when he said that Britain did not care about education as much as other countries; yet the evidence clearly supports Sir Claus's theory. For instance we suffer from the most appalling staying-on rates at 16-plus principally because too many parents and pupils simply do not understand the need to acquire better qualifications, a lack of understanding which would totally bemuse people in most of our competitor countries.

    Secondly, you link '.he abolition of selective education and new attitudes to teaching as the cause of an increase in the number of ill-educated children who lack basic standards of literacy and numeracy. There are thousands of examples of schools which pursue the policy of achieving the highest possible academic standards for every pupil in accordance with his or her ability.

    The undoubted need to raise standards of literacy and numeracy would be better pursued by changing teacher attitudes where they are deficient, and in particular by raising their levels of expectation. Teacher, who continue to fail in this respect ultimately must be removed.

    Thirdly, you challenge the assertion by Sir Claus that the education system is under-funded. Nobody could seek to argue that we should not deploy current resources to best effect, but the evidence of under-funding by any set of comparators is so overwhelming that I am surprised that you should try to brush it on one side.

    It would be highly imprudent for anybody concerned with education to ignore Sir Claus's central message that this country is unprepared educationally to a dangerous degree as we rapidly approach 1992 and beyond, and the fierce international competition which will come in its wake.

    Yours sincerely, DAVID HART, General Secretary, National Association of Head Teachers, I Heath Square, Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex. August 22.

    From Mr. Jim Slather.

    Sir, I read with interest Sir Claus Moscr's evaluation of British education as being one of the worst in Europe. I note that he calls for more resources and raised salaries for teachers. Even adequate levels of funding for education are proving difficult with the pressures that charge-capped authorities are experiencing.

    Sir Claus, teachers, parents and charge-capped authorities will no doubt feel greatly encouraged by John MacGregor's scheme to solve the deepening crisis of teacher shortage whereby local authorities are free to find the extra money required to attract teachers to certain areas and to shortage subjects.

    It seems clear that until the Government takes on complete responsibility for me funding of education, we will never have consistent and reasonable levels of provision in all authorities. It is important that children have the same opportunities wherever they live.

    Yours, JIM STATHER, 46 Kevington Drive, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk. August 21.

    From the Principal of Wakefield District College.

    Sir, The call by the President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for a royal commission of education, is not new but it is timely, should be welcomed and immediately pursued.

    However, can we make sure that it is manned and chaired by people who actually use the state education system or its products and can identify with the real world of business, industry and the professions rather than that of academia? Can we have a group of practitioners, rather than theoreticians, with considerable research support, a specific brief and a tight time limit?

    Above all, if the findings indicate that there is no decline in standards, or even that they have improved, may we have a commitment by the Government that the report will not be rubbished, shelved or black-papered into obscurity? We all have too much to lose.

    Yours sincerely, K. W. KUDDIMAN, Principal, Wakefield District College, Margaret Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. August 21.

    From Mr. D. V. Q. Henriques.

    Sir, In your leader you dispute Sir Claus Moser's statement that Britain "does not care as much about education as other countries". However, in the same issue you report the results of a survey on why people prefer to live in certain parts of  the country. Amongst the five most important factors quoted —  schools  and education did not figure.

    Yours faithfully, D. V. Q. HENRIQUES, Oat Furlong, Winson, Cirencester, Gloucestershire. August 21.

    Skim and scan

    1. Is the abolition of selective education in Great Britain linked with an increase In the number of ill-educated children?
    2. How is John MacGregor's scheme supposed to solve the deepening crisis of teacher shortage?

    Comprehension

    1. What is the central message given by the British Association for the Advancement of Science In the call of its President for a royal commission of education?

    2. There mentioned different attitudes to the statement that Britain "does not care as much about education as other countries". List them.

    3. Finish the following statement with the best ending according to the text: "Ill-educated children lack basic standards of literacy and numeracy because of:

    a) the abolition of selective education and new attitudes to teaching;

    b) teacher shortage and low expectation;

    с) hinder-funding;

    d) the fierce international competition

    4. Dо the following statements contradict or complete each other?

    a) ”...local authorities are free to find the extra money required to attract teachers to certain areas and to shortage subjects";

    b) "It seems clear that until the Government takes on complete responsibility for the funding of education, we will never have consistent and reasonable levels of provision In all authorities."

    Vocabulary

    1. Look at the words in the left-hand column, which are taken from the text. Match them with words from the right-hand column.

    qualification  

    ability to count numbers

    literacy

    ability to read and write

    numeracy      

    leading article

    leader                          

    degree, diploma

    scheme

    person having power or right to give orders and make others obey

    issue                            

    strong statement

    assertion                  

    anything that gives reason for believing smth that makes clear and proves smth

    evidence                          

    pl an or design

    authority            

    shock deeply

    question that arises for discussion

    2. Explain the meaning of the metaphorically-used adjectives in word-combinations:

    appalling (staying-on rates)

    overwhelming (evidence)

    fierce (international competition)

    charge-capped

    rubbished, shelved and black-papered into obscurity (The report won't be)

    3. Explain the meaning of the metaphorically-used verb "to brush" In its sentence.

    4. Practice back translation:

    получать документы об образовании

    to acquire qualifications

    ужасающая неуспеваемость                            

    the appalling staying-on rates

    отмена отборочных экзаменов                    

    the abolition of selective education

    новые подходы к образованию                    

    new attitudes to teaching

    но иметь базовых знаний, навыков           письма, чтения и счета                                  

    to lack basic standards of literacy and numeracy

    добиваться самого высокого уровня      

    знаний

    to pursue the policy of achieving the highest possible academic standards

    недофинансирование                                        

    under-funding

    требовать выделения больших денежных ресурсов и повышения зарплаты учителям

    размещать имеющиеся денежные средства наилучшим образом

    необходимый уровень финансиро-вания образования

    call for more resources and raised salaries for teachers

    to deploy current resources to best effect

    adequate levels of funding for education

    нехватка учителей                                          

    teacher shortage

    дополнительные денежные средства      

    the extra money

    полностью отвечать за финансиро-вание образования

    take on complete, responsibility for                                           the funding of education

    иметь равные возможности                          

    have the same opportunities

           

    5. Trace points of difference between the verbs "to acquire", "to achieve" and "to get":        

    to acquire qualifications

    to achieve academic standards

    to get evidence

    6. Pick out word-combinations used In the text with the words:

    standards(n),

    pursue(v),

    lack(v, n).

    7. Find Passive voice-sentences and do them into Russian.

    8. Render in English.

    Viewpoint

    1. Imagine as if you were taking an interview with one of the letter-writers on the problem of raising standards of education. Write the interview and stage it with your partner in class.

    2. Imagine as if you were invited to participate in a joint Russian-British conference to discuss the state of education in the two countries.

    3. Write your summary or précis of the letters to the editor.

    4. Your topical area is education. Write your essay headlined "We all have too much to lose". Support or contradict the statements In terms of your country:

    a)  This country is unprepared educationally to a dangerous degree as we rapidly approach 1999 and beyond, and the fierce International competition which will come In Its wake.

    b) To solve the deepening crisis of education, it is necessary that the Government take on complete responsibility for the funding of education.

    c) It is important that children have the same opportunities wherever they live.

    5. Make a report contributing to your seminar in education.


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