From November 29th to December 6th the international volunteer program ‘Ambassadors of the Russian Language in the World’ will take place in Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 2016 an educational expedition is planned to the CIS, SCO, BRICS countries, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The program is being implemented by the A.S. Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language, while volunteer teams are formed by students of Russian universities which support the idea of promoting the Russian language, culture and literature, as well as the intercultural dialogue.
Benjamin Kaganov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, stated that several years ago the problem of the Russian language was quite difficult: “The Russian language has lost positions, especially in the post-Soviet countries, the reasons for this are clear. Many people who loved, knew and taught the Russian language, taught the Russian language, they simply moved to another age category. In many regions of the world, even if you want to learn Russian, there is simply no one who can do it. We were constantly accessed and still address the representatives of different countries with a request to send teachers, to send experts who will teach the Russian language. But it is absolutely clear that in order to maintain and restore this position, we need completely different technologies, not the kinds that were used in the last century, in the previous state, in the previous public relations.
Then there was repeated brainstorming, during which, with the participation of so many people, we were trying to develop different approaches. How to make sure that indeed, all those who would like, more and more people have access to education in Russian, and to study the Russian language. And then a decision was made and the Board of the Russian Language of the Russian Government was established. Priority projects were chosen among the projects, among them, in my view, was a wonderful project that is associated with a portal of open education in Russian. What are the specifics and features of this portal? A tutor comes and leaves. And then everything remains as it was before. A portal is always running, it develops all the time, and it is very adaptable to any country, to any situation, and this has allowed a new general approach to the processes of interaction,” Kaganov said.
However, according to him, “the living word, the living face, live energy is always needed, and in the course of various discussions, the idea of involving the promotion of the Russian language by young people who sincerely and lovingly refer to this language and can ignite others with this love. There was the project of Ambassadors of the Russian Language in the World to support student associations.
I met with representatives of the Russian-Armenian Slavic University, who responded to the program there, and they just told me the following: two students, our ambassadors came to the village, gathered children from five to seven years, settled, respectively, in their families. It is the characteristic that struck me most, when it came time to leave, not only was everyone crying, no one wanted to leave, the families and school principals and managers of these settlements, they came to the airport to say goodbye to our ambassadors. Indeed, it means that we hit the spot,” the Deputy Minister thinks.
Margarita Rusetskaya, Rector of the A.S. Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language, told Vestnik Kavkaza that “the growing generation is very correctly referring to a date, for which the foremost values are not material, but humanitarian ones. The Pushkin Institute is among the ten best universities in Russia on the average score of incoming students, and we are preparing only philologists. So we come to the best of the best. More than 86 points is the average score on the exam of our students. That is, these are children that are talented in the humanitarian sciences, children who chose their career, they know that their future profession will be associated with language, with Russian literature and the Russian language. It says that it is not just promising, it's interesting. So that means that humanitarian values come to the fore for our young people. We cannot make them do what they do not want to do, even coming from some pragmatic goals. The youth chooses what corresponds to the call of their soul.”
Rusetskaya thinks that young people are really happy today to participate in all projects related to general culture, with the possession of the Russian language, with a knowledge of Russian literature and world literature in general: “We are now experiencing a new flourishing of human values in education, and our ambassadors are an example of humanitarian values. For Russian education in Russia has always been about humanitarian values in the first place. So we are sure that this action is also a share of the world, and this action is an example that the young people are choosing the eternal values, selecting the communication, choosing the world, humanitarian values. And I'm sure that the Russian language will make its contribution to this.”
Dmitry Guzhelya, Deputy Head of Rossotrudnichestvo, told Vestnik Kavkaza that “youngsters not only promote the Russian language and are engaged in educational and scientific work, they form a circle of friends among various school and university students in different countries, which in future will show some interest in the Russian Federation, will arrive here and may learn, will participate in various events and just be good to the country, what we are actually standing for. But there should be more such actions in the country, there should be more actors of international activity on the part of the Russian Federation, who will try to do it in different ways, of course, in agreement with the general methodological line, respectively, with Rossotrudnichestvo, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation to promote the Russian language in various fields abroad. Undoubtedly, this is very important and necessary, and ‘’Ambassadors of the Russian Language" is a very good, bright example of our time that works very effectively in this direction.”