FAST-TRACK teaching degrees are being introduced throughout Russia with British backing to combat the loss of trained linguists to the private sector.
Three-year teaching diplomas, developed at Tula State Pedagogical College near Moscow under a British Council English language training scheme, are now being offered at 17 institutions throughout Russia.
The specially-designed courses aim to train qualified teachers of English in three rather than five years, to meet classroom demand.
Students who complete the degrees can continue studying on distance-learning programmes after they start work to qualify for full Russian diplomas from state universities working with the scheme.
Simon Winetroube, English language officer with the British Council in Moscow, said that extremely strong demand for English skills in Russia combined with poor working conditions and salaries had led to an exodus of qualified teachers from schools. Getting teachers to the chalkface quickly was essential to prevent the collapse of English language teaching in some schools.
The fast-track scheme is modelled on similar schemes in Poland and Hungary.