School in Canada vs. Russia, differences

The Man

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My youngest niece has began high school back in Richmond/Vancouver area. I was recently Skyping with the lot of them back there, and she asked, not really sure how the conversation got there, but, about the differences between school here and back in our old original homeland. Sister says she'd asked her before too, she is curious, it seems. But she (sister) has only experienced school over there in late Soviet period (1980s, that is, yes, she is way older than me, two decades older, no joke, I am a late child lmao), so her info is waaaay outdated haha I possess a bit more modern knowledge, at least lol

I recalled what I could of my time back in Moscow, at least, the nicer, more kid-appropriate parts of it :D

But, the question got me myself curious about it. I researched it a bit, here is what I got. And some of this I likely have addressed in my previous threads too, I'm sure.

One can start with the simplest, most basic of things: what do anyone in Canada or the US expects to see in a school hallway? Lockers, yep


You would not see such locker-lined hallways in Russian schools


Over there, you just have a coat room, in the lobby, where you hang your stuff in the morning, typically enclosed in an imposing steel cage, to prevent theft and such

It is then locked up for the day, until classes end; and you usually need a note from a teacher to access it during the day.

This is not always a good thing; in fact, in the worse schools in less affluent neighborhoods, shall we say, the coat rooms often themselves become centers of various criminality and evil-doings in the school; they can be especially dangerous for the females. This site, for instance, has a security camera video, not very good one, but, it was caught on the camera nonetheless, of a girl aged 14 at the time, at being wrestled down into and behind a pile of jackets and coats by two boys of similar age, who then proceeded to sexually assault her: https://pikabu.ru/story/v_moskovskoy_shkole_podrostki_sovershili_nasilie_nad_sverstnitsey_3971673

After that incident was publicized by the girl's father demanding justice, at least seven (!) other girls at the school came forward and reported being similarly sexually victimized by those two male students, named by their surnames as Luzanov and Savchenko, mainly also ambushed in the coat room: https://pikabu.ru/story/v_moskovskoy_shkole_podrostki_sovershili_nasilie_nad_sverstnitsey_3971369

And I am told one can find such stories in plenty of school over there, unfortunately... :(

So, maybe the enclosed, isolated coat rooms really are a relic of the past that ought to go, for the sake of the girls, if nothing else...

Anyhow, another thing you would see here, but not over there: school sports teams


Russian schools have so-called "sport sections", where students can take up various athletic activities; it is mainly rhythmic gymnastics or dance or, in recent years, as its popularity has spread over there from America, believe it or not, cheer-leading, for the girls

and boxing and various martial arts for the boys


In many schools in Siberia, in the indigenous ethnic republics, you would also see a lot of kids doing archery at the schools too, it's a huge part of their culture over there


Teams sports for youth are more expensive over there, I think, and are rarely based at the schools; many are associated with adult leagues in the various sports and are fairly exclusive, with only the most talented kids, those who want to actually make a professional career for themselves in the sport, able to get in.

There are also very few teams or leagues for girls, especially in, for example, hockey, outside Moscow (which is both more progressive and much more affluent than the rest of the country); in most of Russia, a girl who wants to play hockey has to get herself into a boys' team and play against boys in their league, period


OTOH, a lot more schools over there, especially these days, I am told, have swimming pools

Reportedly, both Olga Vasilieva, the Minister of Education, and Putin himself believe that swimming is great for the young ones, for physical fitness, etc. These days, I hear, it is actually mandatory for any newly built school in Russia to include a pool, no joke!

This too, of course, has led to its share of screw ups over there lol

In 2016, for instance, there was a scandal in the city of Vladimir, where a school principal eventually lost her job, after it emerged that she had been earning herself extra cash, by illegally renting out her school's swimming pool to grown up "clients" for drunken parties with strippers, after hours

lmao Russia... :D

Another thing you might discover at a Russian school, typically in the basement, and likely wound never see here in Canada, is a shooting range

Various special courses in preparation for potential military draft are mandatory for boys Grade 9 and up, I believe; but girls can join in voluntarily too, just as they may also volunteer for the actual service when grow up (although there is no mandatory draft for females) :)

Another difference: I will admit this, when I moved from a Russian school to a Canadian one, if there was something I totally missed later, it was the cafeteria back in Moscow...

Especially the pastries, my God, the pastries they serve over there

And yet, weirdly enough, you won't see a lot of fat kids in Russia...

Must be all the physical activities.

Over there, kids these days have physical exercises every day before start of classes and also breaks for more such exercises during the class too
One GOOD Soviet practice that Putin brought back, IMHO, one of few actually good ones...

And the gym classes there are a lot more intense than here too, in my opinion, lots of jogging and running around the gymnasium and such

What I recall in gym class here in Canada: they made us jog all the way around the whole block, the school and etc, all along the streets. Which is great, long distance jogging, sure. Problem is, there is one gym teacher, who, of course, cannot see and control all of us at such distances. Many people, I personally observed, who didn't give a shit, just walked most of the time, when were out of sight of the school lol It really was kind of a pointless thing, frankly... Whereas in Russian gym class, the running is indoors, where the instructor can always see you and come yell at you and in some schools even smack you around if you slack off haha

Another interesting thing, here in Canada, in my high school, we had student ID cards.

And in Russia, the "pupil card", provided by municipal authorities in most schools now, is a whole high tech system
As you see in the video, kids use their pupil card for transport, tap in (or just show to the driver, in some cases) as they get on the bus.

They also tap it through the turnstile at the security checkpoint, to get in and out of the school. And when they do so, the system sends a text message to their parents, notifying them their child has arrived to or departed the school.

The card is also used to get food at the cafeteria. It means kids don't carry cash around anymore, and the card comes with individual ID programmed in, including photo, so one kid can't use it for another. This has greatly decreased bullying and theft in the schools, apparently. The system also notifies parents when the balance on the card is too low, so they can transfer more money on it. And those kids (from large, low income families, orphans, disabled, etc) who get subsidized meals, those are input to their card too. Now they too can quietly order own meals, like any of their classmates. Makes it much more discrete than in my time, when it was just like, "Hey, subsidy kids, come to the cafeteria now for your free meals", on the PA system, and everyone could see who it was too, all lined up at the door, and AFTER all the rest of us had ate... How embarrassing that was for those kids...

Anyway, the system also connects to an individual "electronic cabinet" on the school website, where a parent can log in to see their child's grades, record of lates and absences, record of what he or she orders in the cafeteria, what books, if any, he or she takes out from the library, for which the card is also used btw, and any other notes and comments from teachers they feel need the parent's attention (including hints for bribes haha).

Perfect control system lol They say Chinese are helicopter parents... but Russians, in recent times, have really taken that to a whole other level...

And now, apparently, it's got even more high tech, over there, with schools around the country, pushed by SberBank (Russia's #1 financial institution, who handles vast majority of transactions over there and is very bigly into all kinds of innovations, they now have, for example, robots that can count money at many of their especially Moscow branches; etc lol) are adopting SberBank's "Ladoshki" ("Palms") system, where kids can order food, etc, without any card at all, by simply scanning their palms
Everyone thinks this is awesome, except, of course, the whackier of the Orthodox Christian believers, who grumble that it is satanic lmao ;)

Another thing: here, it is normal to see a table with computers in a school library (ANY library, really...)

Not in Russia, however; a Russian school might have a special computer room (it's size and quality of equipment would depend on the financial resources of the school) for "Informatics" classes (all computer related subjects) and, outside class time, for any students who need or want to do computer and internet stuff


The library, however, is for READING, of actual paper books, over there, and ONLY that, no computers there, except maybe one, which belongs to the librarian lol


What else... It is customary in Russia on September 1st, Day of Knowledge, first official day of the school year, for pupils to bring flowers for their teachers


There is also a ceremony, outside the building, where a little girl from the Junior Grades is carried around by a guy from Grade 11 and rings in the year's First Bell

There'd be a similar Last Bell ceremony at the end of the school year in June (days from now, actually).

These days, increasing number of schools also have priests from the Orthodox Church spray blessings on the kids with holy water lol

You can just see how they're enjoying that haha

I recall when I just arrived in Canada, on my first day of classes here, I too brought flowers for the teachers. They were shocked :D It's just NOT such a traditional and formal day here...

One final difference I can think of is, there are only 11 Grades in Russia, no Grade 12, you graduate out of Grade 11. Also, most places there don't separate elementary and high schools. One school might have different floors for Junior (1-4), Middle (5-8), and Senior (9-11) Grades. If your family doesn't move around, you may spend your entire school life in the same building that way, and majority of Russians do :)

Yeah, that's about it. I'll see if there is anything I can add to that later lol
 

The Man

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Well, I did remember something else: gender segregated shop classes over there.

In schools back in Russia there are shop classes for boys and girls, only, the boys learn actual trades in their classes


while the girls learn how to make them (boys) sandwiches


lol

Only real "trade" the girls there learn at school, if it can be called that, is sewing


It's very different on this side of the pond


;)

It's funny, I actually remember myself, when I arrived here, and somehow or other ended up in a cooking class my first year here. That was awful lmao I never had any talent for cooking. Even today, I would not attempt anything more complex than a basic salad or an omelette haha Back then, I made a total mess of things... Thank God for this nice Korean girl, I forget her name now, who helped me constantly in there at the time... Pretty much carried me through that year, would have failed without her, no doubt...

I was utterly shocked when I even saw that one on my schedule, in those days. "Cooking?! I have to do a COOKING class??? But I'm a GUY!?" :D
 
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Would be fun to walk some of our PH "multiculturalism could never possibly work" crowd through Palmer Secondary on a normal school day, eh?

"Why is that Brazilian girl in the Muslim head scarf making out with that one-quarter_-black, one-quarter-Inuit Chinese girl with the Celtic tattoo, and no one else here seems to find it strange???"
 
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The Man

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Would be fun to walk some of our PH "multiculturalism could never possibly work" crowd through Palmer Secondary on a normal school day, eh?

"Why is that Brazilian girl in the Muslim head scarf making out with that one-quarter_-black, one-quarter-Inuit Chinese girl with the Celtic tattoo, and no one else here seems to find it strange???"
lol Tell me about it, that's MY school too, that's where I went, in Richmond :D

I told this story before, but, yeah, there was a bunch of us who got together at lunch break to play basketball on the court outside, and we sometimes called ourselves the "UN Crew" and such, because there were three Chinese kids, two Filipinos, an Indian, an Iranian, an Afghan, me from Russia, and a couple regular good old white Canadian kids. :D Good times...
 
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lol Tell me about it, that's MY school too, that's where I went, in Richmond :D

I told this story before, but, yeah, there was a bunch of us who got together at lunch break to play basketball on the court outside, and we sometimes called ourselves the "UN Crew" and such, because there were three Chinese kids, two Filipinos, an Indian, an Iranian, an Afghan, me from Russia, and a couple regular good old white Canadian kids. :D Good times...
Haha. Unfortunately a couple of guys the same age met in Surrey around the same time and called themselves "The UN Gang".

They had a good run but the HA always come out on top in the end.

You wouldn't know anything about that, would you? Hehe.
 
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The Man

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Haha. Unfortunately a couple of guys the same age met in Surrey around the same time and called themselves "The UN Gang".

They had a good run but the HA always come out on top in the end.

You wouldn't know anything about that, would you? Hehe.
Those notorious Bacon brothers were a big part of that, yes? Or, possibly, they were the enemy of those guys...? I think one of them is dead now, got killed in Kelowna or something. Hell Angel dude also was there and got shot along with him, I believe...
 
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The Bacons were with the Red Scorpions and formed exactly the same way as the UN Gang. Asian, indo and white young men in jail together. The two were natural rivals.

RS got in with the HA. UN thought they'd take on the whole country and start by eliminating the RS and force the big traditional mobs to deal with them. Didn't work so well for the UN.

Yeah. One Bacon was shot with a HA. Another just had his trial thrown out for the Surrey Six. And has to be re-done. He's been rotting in jail for years.

I forget where the third is.

Ah... Good times.

Sorry I derailed this thread.
 
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The Man

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The "diversity" of this pic is striking, zero blacks and a single white:eek:

It's a 70% Asian (mostly Chinese) town, what do you expect? lol

Black people are relatively few in that part of Canada, although they certainly exist over there too haha

Here in Toronto, there is a much bigger black population, whole neighborhoods of Jamaicans, Haitians, Somalis, etc.

Anyhow, to get back to our topic at hand, couple other things came to my mind, which one would see over there, but definitely not here.

Russian kids do lots of actual work in their schools.

Kids there can volunteer to clean the building after classes (and also, for instance, rake the leaves outside, in the fall, and shovel the snow in winter; lots of schools encourage this, it saves them money on hiring actual janitors and groundskeepers ;) hehe)


They might help out at the cafeteria too


And, of course, there are the Red Armbands, older kids, Grade 9 and up, Seniors, whose job it is to maintain order and discipline in the hallways

Honestly, from what I know, plenty join this one just to get out of classes lol And, frankly, kids policing other kids often backfires too. This is supposed to help fight bullying, but the Red Armbands, with their new authority and seeming impunity, often turn into the worst damn bullies around... Plenty of such pricks go into grown up law enforcement afterwards too haha

Frankly, lots of nefarious shit goes on with and around this stuff.

Back in 2016 in Volzhsky, for example, a suburb of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), this 15 year old boy kept volunteering for the after hours clean up duty. Teachers and his parents thought it was wonderful of him, couldn't praise him enough for it.

How could they know he simply needed the excuse to stay in the school after hours and go down to the Junior (Grade 1-4) floor, where he was having a very passionate affair with a grown up woman, a teacher, right in her office


:D

Eventually, his parents discovered very intimate photos of the lady on their boy's phone and the whole thing was exposed lmao Huge scandal, it was...

Anyways, another thing over there is, religious classes.

Russian schools have classes like "Basics of Orthodox Christian Culture", taught by priests, in the Slav-majority regions


And the Muslims also have own classes, with imams, in their traditional regions


And the Buddhists in Siberia too


I have read of one case, in Moscow, where atheist parents successfully battled the education authorities for their kids to be excused from the religious classes and be allowed to take a secular ethics course instead. That's rare though, and, again, that's Moscow. Much more progressive than Russia proper, as I previously said...
 
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The Man

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Something else, right now, over last couple weeks, thousands of Grade 11 students in Russia have sat down to write the national EGE (Unified State Exam)

Your EGE result determines what kind of universities you are able to get into. Kinda like SATs in America, I suppose. Not sure if we have an equivalent to that in Canada (I recall we wrote something call "Provincial Exam", I believe, in various subject, not sure if that's a similar thing or not, @BarKnuckles might know better...

As always happens at EGE time over there, schools turn into miniature police states.

Students have to walk into through checkpoints manned by police or private security guards who go over them with metal detectors and search their bags and such, for any sort of cheating devices and such


They might even make you take your shoes off!


Some young ladies previously would hide cheat sheets in... ekhm... places, shall we say where the modest male guards would no wish to look on them ;)

which is why they now have female cops or guards as well, in most places hehe


They must also present their passports for inspection at the door to the exam room (this is because previously certain wealthier parents of dumbass kids actually paid smarter students to take the exam FOR their kid, in the kid's place, no joke haha)



Cameras are set up to monitor all the exam rooms and surrounding areas


and devices are also activates which jam all cellular and WiFi signals in the building (although I have also read accounts from reporters covering the EGE, who swore that the jammers don't actually work lol)


If a student asks to go to the bathroom during an EGE exam, a staffer (of same gender lmao but, still...) will escort them; in the city of Penza this year there was some outrage, when students filmed a bathroom in one of the schools there, which had all the doors on the stalls removed, apparently in preparation for EGE, so the escorts could actually watch what they do in the bathroom too lmao


Last year in Naberezhnye Chelny, in Tatarstan, there was also an anonymous post online

It alleged that her 17 year old sister was forced by security staff at her EGE to take off her bra, and walk into the classroom where the exam was to be held in just her tight white blouse, through which her naked breasts could be seen, under the eyes of the two male security guards, not to mention lots of other males, students, etc. "You can imagine how she felt, and how she was supposed to write her exam in such state??" Apparently, it drove the girl to "hysteria", to the point that they had to call a doctor for her.

EGE is crazy time over there... haha
 
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