"North Caucasus has an excellent knowledge of Russian"
The importance of the Russian language for the North Caucasus can not be overemphasized, because it is both the language of everyday communication, including interethnic communication, and the language of official state life in the North Caucasus Federal District, and an important part of workers' qualifications, opening the way to the best jobs in the country, the employees of North Caucasian and Moscow universities told the correspondents of Vestnik Kavkaza, commenting on Patriarch Kirill's statement about the poor teaching of the Russian language in the region.
Professor of the Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University, a member of the commission for migration issues of the Russian Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations, Maya Astvatsaturova, in the first place, drew attention to the fact that the use of the Russian language in the North Caucasus declined in the post-Soviet period for the simple reason - an outflow of the Russian and Russian-speaking population from the region. "In fact, the quality of knowledge of the Russian language has declined not only in the North Caucasus, but also in Russia as a whole," she noted.
At the same time, as the recent scientific studies of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science have shown in the North Caucasus, the need for quality teaching of the Russian language has increased. "The Russian language is the language of career growth and communication for the North Caucasus. And today it is necessary to find some optimal forms of meeting the population's requests for learning Russian and native languages, interest in which is also great. This requires new textbooks, new technologies and new techniques," the professor of the Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University said.
"I can say that our Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University attaches great importance to Russian language. Russian is taught both in specialized departments and special areas of training, as well as in many others, in addition, we have the Center for Russian Language and Culture," she noted.
"Russian language in the North Caucasus is the language of both state and interethnic communication. The life of civil society and the political sphere in the North Caucasus is mostly realized in Russian. That is, the Russian language is not only the language of familiarizing with the great Russian culture and everyday culture of the Russian people, but it is precisely the language of political socialization. In this sense, I think, the authorities, local governments and national cultural organizations should be interested in preserving the Russian language in our region, especially since schoolchildren demonstrate a high interest in learning it," Maya Astvatsaturova concluded.
Barasbi Karamurzov, the rector of Kabardino-Balkar State University, in turn, stressed that the everyday life level of knowledge of Russian in the North Caucasus remains very good, and all the catastrophic assessments are clearly exaggerated. "In fact, the quality of teaching all the disciplines is a little lower than we would like, and teaching Russian also requires improvements, but there is no catastrophe. The language of youth is significantly influenced by the Internet now and we certainly need to do something about it," the rector of Kabardino-Balkar State University said.
"I have always advocated the need to improve the teaching of Russian, since I always treated language as a means of forming and maintaining a common way of thinking. Russian language is the language of everyday communication in the North Caucasus, and there are no situations that the Russian language disappeared somewhere. The quality of teaching is about the same level as in Russia as a whole," Barasbi Karamurzov added.
Chief research associate, director of the Educational and Scientific Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical and Ethno-Cultural Processes of the Russian State University for the Humanities, Magomed Omarov, illustrated the relevance of Russian language on the example of Dagestan. "In Dagestan, where 32 indigenous people live and speak different languages, Russian is vital. Any communication, development of culture and art are simply impossible without it. Therefore, Russian was historically widespread in Dagestan and actively, at a good level, taught, including in rural mountain schools. The graduates of Caucasian rural schools enter Moscow and St. Petersburg universities, where they achieve real success in various fields, which is impossible without an excellent knowledge of Russian," he said.
"Perhaps, due to the Unified State Exam and the negative processes of the 1990s, there have been disruptions in the teaching of Russian. The decline in the number of schools as a result of optimization in certain regions could also affect it. But in general the residents of the North Caucasus have an excellent knowledge of Russian. The Ministry of Education and Science constantly changes the standards of teaching, but the Russian language is taught very well in the North Caucasus," Magomed Omarov said.
"Summing up, Russian language is both the language of interethnic communication in the North Caucasus, and the first, the main state language. If a person wants to achieve anything, he needs an excellent knowledge of Russian," the director of the Educational and Scientific Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical and Ethno-Cultural Processes of the Russian State University for the Humanities summarized.