ELABUGA, Republic of Tatarstan, December 14, 2017 — The first stage of the project to introduce dual education system in specialized secondary educational institutions was completed in Tatarstan; Faculty staff of 8 leading specialized secondary educational institutions of the Republic of Tatarstan have undergone trainings on the application of the dual education principles as part of the project organized by one of the largest employers of the region, Ford Sollers. The knowledge they have obtained from world-class experts will help them in developing and implementing the curriculum for the promising new discipline of mechatronics. Students of this discipline will be able to undergo practical training at Ford Sollers plants in Tatarstan.
Training completion certificates were issued to 22 teachers of colleges and technical schools from Elabuga, Naberezhnye Chelny, Zelenodolsk, Almetyevsk, and Bugulma*. In the course of the three-day training, the representatives of specialized secondary educational institutions were acquainted with the principles of dual training combining on-campus academic studies with practical studies directly on-site, as well as already developed training modules in mechatronics for teaching based on the dual model.
Furthermore, jointly with the representatives of Ford Sollers and the international organization World Skills, the teachers developed recommendations for all interested parties concerning the introduction of the dual education system on mechatronics. In particular, the proposals envisage a reduction of the number of hours for teaching subjects of social and humanitarian cycle in specialized educational institutions and an increase in the number of hours for on-site practice, on the part of the plant — the revival of mentorship, assignment of employees for industrial training and scholarships paying for students’ on-site practice.
“Employers expect a highly qualified specialist with the exact set of skills they require. This is what we are doing for three days: we are looking for ways to solve this problem. The task is not simple, but it is urgent for our industry today,” said Denis Fefilov, Deputy Director of the Kamsk State Automotive Technical Secondary School (Naberezhnye Chelny), which hosted the project on the second day of the training.
Based on the results of the three-day work, a draft curriculum on mechatronics was developed. Specialists in mechatronics are engaged in maintenance, adjustment, repair and creation of mechatronic (computer-controlled and programmable) systems, including industrial robots and computer-controlled machines. According to the Council for professional qualifications in the automotive industry, mechatronics has the priority among the disciplines requiring updating of professional standards in 2017.
“This is only the first stage of the project which will surely help us advance the training of the workforce to a new level,” said Nadezhda Smolnik (Ford Sollers), manager of the project. “So far, we have focused our attention on the new discipline, mechatronics, where we think dual education can be a very promising method of teaching, since modern production based on knowledge in this field is an absolute synthesis of theory and practice.”
All participants of the trainings (100%) noted their benefits and plan to apply the knowledge obtained to their activities. 76% of respondents believe that it is possible to build a successful dual model of education in secondary professional education in Russia (18% chose the “other” option, explaining this by the need to consider the sector of the economy for which personnel is trained, revision of regulatory documents and other related factors). 65% of respondents will partially introduce the modules on mechatronics developed at the training sessions into their curricula, 35% will try to implement them completely, and 94% would like to participate in further trainings on dual training.
At the moment, there are several specialized secondary educational institutions in Tatarstan that are ready to teach students in mechatronics based on a dual system, with Ford Sollers taking over the position of the employing plant. Work towards implementing the second stage of the launch of dual education system in mechatronics will be continued, and the first pilot groups of students can be admitted for study already in the next academic year.
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* Full list of participants in the project of specialized secondary educational institutions of Tatarstan:
Elabuga Polytechnic College (Elabuga);
Nizhnekamsk Agro-Industrial College (Nizhnekamsk);
V.D. Potashov Technical College (Naberezhnye Chelny);
Kazan Aviation Technical College named after P. V. Dementyev (Kazan);
Bugulma Mechanical Engineering Technical School (Bugulma);
Zelenodolsk Mechanical College (Zelenodolsk);
Almetyevsk Professional College (Almetyevsk);
Kama State Automotive Technical School named after L.B. Vasilyev (Naberezhnye Chelny);
Volkhov Aluminium College (St. Pete region).