28 Dec 2007
Their future before them, their parents beside them and carrying bright bouquets of flowers for their teachers, these students are ready for classes to begin on this first day of September 2007.
The bright sunshine of this early morning event is accentuated with the smartly dressed girls and boys eager to begin the new year of building their future place in the life of Bashkortostan, Russia.
The kids, excited to greet their friends and teachers, talk among themselves as the P.A. system broadcasts the latest musical beat. The focus quickly changes, however, as the Russian national anthem is played followed by the Bashkortostan anthem.
Russian national anthem - on screen:
Russia - our
Overlay: Bashkortostan Anthem
The school director gives a short speech emphasizing the importance of education to the children. As the students, along with their teachers, proudly enter the school building, we are reminded of the emphasis always placed on education by the Russia of today as well as the Soviet Union of yesterday.
The bright and cheerful classroom dιcor matches that of the students awaiting the start of their classes but on this beginning of the opening day, the center of attention was the unexpected guests as we visited several of the classes. This short time with the students and teachers provided a rare opportunity for us to learn about them. The questions from the students demonstrated a strong desire to learn more about our country and about us.
Questions in the classrooms:
1. Is it beautiful in America?
2. How many many schools in London?
3. Where is your country?
4. What is your name?
5. What do you do?
6. What is your name? (English)
7. Is it clean in America?
8. Are there forests in America?
9. Are the cities large?
10. What subjects do they learn at school?
11. What languages do you learn in America?
12. Are your schools free?
13. What city are you from?
14. What about vacations?
15. Do the pupils study on Saturdays?
16. How old is America?
17. What is your name? (English)
18. When do children start to school?
19. Why do students wear uniforms in private schools but not in public schools?
20. What about Russian language in America?
21. Is Russian language difficult to learn?
22. How many lessons in a day?
23. Is our education better than in America?
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