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How to enroll a child in first grade and why it is so difficult
How to enroll a child in first grade and why it is so difficult

Every year in early February, parents besiege schools in an attempt to enroll their children in first grade. We find out why this is happening and whether it can be avoided.

How to enroll a child in first grade and why it is so difficult
How to enroll a child in first grade and why it is so difficult

Why is it so hard to get to school

There are epoch-making events in the life of every parent. First step, first tooth, first word and … first class! Every year at the end of January, there is an unprecedented excitement on parental forums and on social networks. Parents decide which schools to apply to, because it is February 1 that the application deadline for the schools themselves begins.

In some cities, parents have to spend the night near schools in order to have time to sign up. Mothers are replaced by fathers, grandfathers - grandmothers, and all this for the sake of a cherished place in a good school. There are three main reasons for this.

The first is the lack of school places. In 2017, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Olga Golodets gave an assessment of Golodets: there are not enough 6 million places in Russian schools, there is a shortage of places for schoolchildren: 6 million. According to the official, this problem will only get worse in the future due to the demographic picture.

In 2014, 13 million children went to school (of which 1, 45 million are first graders), and in 2020 this number will grow to 20 million. And all this against the background of a decrease in the number of schools: in 2018 it was planned to close 3,639 schools and kindergartens in Russian villages by 2018, close 3,639 schools and kindergartens. And although there are no exact statistics at the moment, the facts are obvious - it is becoming more and more difficult to get into the chosen school.

In conditions of a shortage of school places, even a residence permit does not guarantee that you will get to the institution to which you are attached at the place of residence. The law "On Education" explicitly states that if there are not enough places, then you will be refused. And they will be sent to a school where there is space, even if it is far from home.

This problem is aggravated by the second - the attitude of the parents themselves. Soviet education has always been considered one of the best in the world, Russian education also remains at a high level. Here is what Sergei Guriev, chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said in an interview to the Vedomosti newspaper about Russian education in a recent interview:

Russia still has a very good education. And what is also important - there are more years of higher education per capita than in any other country. Even if we adjust for quality, Russia is still a much more educated country than countries with a comparable level of income.

The education of children has become for parents a hope for the best, almost the only working social elevator. Moms and dads really want their children to get everything they dreamed about themselves, but which they never achieved (for various reasons). Can you blame them for this? Of course not. Especially when the third problem also affects - the almost complete lack of information about schools.

There are hundreds of schools in large cities. But it is very difficult for parents to find objective information about them. Most school sites will not tell you anything about the enrollment system or the strengths and weaknesses of teachers. In small towns, there is even less reliable information. Hence the stereotypes about “good schools” that are passed down from generation to generation, the mantra “you should choose not a school, but a teacher” and queues at the fences of educational institutions.

Here's what How to choose a school for your child says. Alas, there are no instructions, editor-in-chief of the Mel education project, Nadezhda Papudoglo, who herself is looking for a school for her daughter:

I have watched the mesmerizing excitement surrounding preparatory courses for school 57. Applications were submitted there. They waited for nine in the morning and tried to be in time (they accepted only a thousand applications, they were submitted in 15 minutes, it seems). Those who did not have time desperately sobbed and asked if everything was lost, whether it was necessary to say goodbye to the dream.

Parents turn to the same mothers and fathers for help, but how many people, so many opinions. All this leads to the fact that one and the same school can be talked about with enthusiasm or mercilessly criticized it. The process of choosing an educational institution is overgrown with myths and turns into a real urban legend.

How the school enrollment system works

The Law "On Education" says Article 67. Organization of admission to study in basic general education programs that a child can be enrolled in school from 6, 5 to 8 years old. Perhaps earlier, but this requires the permission of a psychologist and an individual application.

In the Novgorod school # 33, parents who have queued up to enroll their children in first grade are not allowed to warm up in school

Today, the entire enrollment system is tied to the child's registration. A certain area is assigned to each school. This is done for safety reasons: it is believed that the child's journey from home to school should not take more than 15 minutes. There are even corresponding town planning norms: a school for 180 places should be built in the microdistrict for a thousand inhabitants.

First of all, children are enrolled in school with registration in a designated area. And only after that, if there are places left, they consider the applications of children from other regions. Parents, in turn, have the right to submit two more applications to schools that are not related to their place of residence. You cannot submit more than three applications.

For those parents who definitely want to send their child to school outside the place of registration, there are several options. For example, in Moscow, some schools are united in holdings with kindergartens. If your kid did not go to the kindergarten at the place of registration, you just need to write an application, and he must be taken to the school of the same holding. In this case, no other documents are required at all.

If such a system works in your area, you need to inquire with your local department of education. There you can also get information about which school your district is attached to.

If you do not have registration, you can apply for a temporary one at the MFC branch, but you should take care of this in advance.

How and when to submit documents in order to have time for everything

The law establishes four documents required for admission to the first grade:

  • an application for admission to the school, which is completed on the spot;
  • copy and original of the child's birth certificate;
  • passport of one of the parents or other document certifying relationship;
  • a copy and original of the child's registration certificate at the place of residence or at the place of stay.

All other documents are submitted by parents voluntarily. The school cannot refuse to accept a child if you have not attached a medical certificate, vaccination card or photo.

The easiest way to submit documents is through the "Gosuslugi" portal. In Moscow, you can also do this on the website.

Through "Gosuslugi" you can fill out an application and attach documents from December 15 in your personal account. In some regions, a time frame has been established: from December 15, applications for the enrollment of children of military and police officers are submitted, from January 20, applications are accepted at the place of registration, from July 1, all others can apply. You can find out the procedure for filing documents at your local department of education.

The problem is that not all regions can apply online. And even in those where there is such a function, parents do not trust her, fearing that the portal will not work. In this case, you can write an application in person at the school from February 1 to July 1, if you are attached to the institution at the place of registration, and from July 1 to September 5, if not.

Due to mistrust of the online service "Gosuslugi" or its poor performance, every year, on the night of February 1, queues are formed at the doors of schools throughout Russia. Often people take it for several days.

Traditionally, such queues appear. Enrollment in first grade: to stand for three days and three nights in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Barnaul, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Chelyabinsk and many other cities. Not without terrible conflicts. For example, in Nizhny Novgorod in 2017, a man with a temporary residence permit was beaten in a queue near one of the schools. Approximately 150 people were waiting for entries, while the school could only accept 75 first-graders.

Reception of applications through "State Services" opens long before February 1. Even if the portal does not work today, in a few days you will most likely be able to apply for school admission safely and without health risks. If you still want to do it personally, remember: priority is given to children at the place of registration. And even if you do not get to the attached school, you must be provided with a place in another. Avoid conflicts and take care of your nerves, because there are still 11 years of study ahead.

Separately, it should be said about interviews for admission to school. The law on education prohibits the Instruction for parents from the experts of the company "Garant" to admit children to the first grade based on the results of an interview.

All children must be enrolled in school, regardless of their developmental level.

The interview can only be for informational purposes: the teacher, in the presence of one of the parents, can talk to the child in order to get to know his abilities better. But do not make an admission decision. If this happened to you, ask for a reconsideration of the decision.

Do I need to apply at all

Parents may not enroll their child in school at all, but choose a family form of education. In this case, it is enough just to notify the local government about your decision. The child will need to pass several intermediate attestations in one of the schools (in person or remotely), as well as pass the OGE and the Unified State Exam.

The number and form of midterm assessments are chosen by the parents themselves in agreement with the management of the school attached to the place of residence.

There can be many reasons for choosing family education. Parents are increasingly taking their children out of public schools to study at home. Bullying at school, outdated methods, quality of education, lack of an individual approach, difficulties with adaptation - all this can push people towards a decision in favor of family education. As well as the annual queues at the doors of schools.

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