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Indicative academic programmes of the discipline "Human Rights" have been developed and are being implemented in Russian universities

23 April 2018
Indicative academic programmes of the discipline "Human Rights" have been developed and are being implemented in Russian universities

On April 23, the meeting of the section on human rights education of the Expert Council under the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation was held for the first time this year.

The main topic of discussion was the development of the academic programmes of the discipline «Human Rights» for organizations in the higher education system and the implementation of these programmes in the educational process of universities.

High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova in conjunction with the representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the Federal Educational and Methodological Association in the system of higher education, the expert and scientific community discussed the issues and problems relating to the development of the educational programmes of the discipline «Human Rights» for bachelors and specialists as well as for lecturers within a special course.

‘This academic programme is being organized under the auspices of the High Commissioner, as we initiated it; the function of human rights education is assigned to the High Commissioner by legislation. There is a big creative team of specialists in this issue who take part in the development of the course regardless of their location. We want to aim at a certain module, a reference programme that everyone will be able to interpret later,’ said Tatiana Moskalkova, opening the meeting.

The indicative academic programme of the discipline for the specialist degree includes 11 thematic sections for 72 academic hours, typical practical and control tasks, a list of basic and additional educational materials. The bachelor’s degree programme contains 12 sections for 104 academic hours, as well as an indicative plan for practical classes, assignments for independent study, and a list of basic and additional educational materials

The High Commissioner also said that the special course for teachers had been developed in conjunction with Moscow State Pedagogical University stressing the great importance of implementing the developed programmes into the high education process.

‘After the implementation of the pilot project of the programmes, monitoring needs to be conducted in order to see the relevance of the programme, the interests of students in it, the challenges for lecturers and its intersection with other disciplines,’ said Tatiana Moskalkova.

In addition, the High Commissioner noted that the main disadvantage of the existing academic programmes concerning human rights was that they were too theoretical and duplicated other disciplines. ‘Our main task is to give practical skills in the protection of and respect for human rights, develop an awareness of the protection tools. It is necessary to trace how a person should protect his rights, where to appeal since the time of the violation of his rights (in his opinion) to the moment of the restoration,’ Tatiana Moskalkova explained the main concept of the programmes being developed.

Oleg Mironov, the member of the Expert Council, drew the expert’s attention to the fact that it was wrong to consider the discipline «Human Rights» only within the legal aspect.

‘«Human Rights» is after all a high moral, psychological category and it is impossible to assess it as a matter of competencies. It is necessary to teach people to respect their country, people, and history. Therefore, the moral, ethical aspect must be necessarily presented when teaching this discipline,’ said Oleg Mironov.

The experts are refining the academic module «Human Rights» in order to include it as a compulsory programme in the educational process of profile and non-core universities.

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