Polylingual Education in the Republic of Tatarstan

Since 2019, the Republic of Tatarstan has been working on a unique project to provide competitive education in the Russian, Tatar and English languages. The Adymnar polylingual educational complexes aim to become a model for modern multilingual schools.

The Adymnar project was initiated by the first President of the Republic of Tatarstan, State Counselor of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and supported by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.
The concept of polylingual education was developed taking into consideration the national, ethnocultural needs of the multinational population of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation, the best national and foreign educational practices, and global trends in the development of education based on the experience of the national education system in the Republic of Tatarstan.
What distinguishes the educational project of the Adymnar polylingual complex are the unique ideas used to organize the educational process. Among them:

  • The establishment of modern educational infrastructure, non-standard educational spaces;
  • The close cooperation of the family and the teaching staff in the process of raising and teaching children at school;
  • The integration of language into the educational process through the educational activities in the languages taught at school;
  • The option to choose the direction of the child’s education (polylingual school, bilingual school).
  • The consideration of the individual educational needs of the child and family (individual curriculum);
  • The integration of the cultural, historical heritage of the peoples of the Republic into the educational process and space of the school;
  • The cultivation of interethnic and interfaith mutual respect among children.

The main idea of polylingual education is to create equality of teaching in several languages, to help children adapt to the cultural wealth of Russia’s multinational population through the languages they study, to introduce children to the achievements of world culture, and to educate them in the spirit of tolerance and interethnic agreement.
“Adymnar” in the Tatar language translates as “steps”. This name itself contains the philosophy of the polylingual school: the path to knowledge and agreement. In Tatarstan, where representatives of many nationalities live side by side, it is extremely important to preserve and develop interethnic and intercultural agreement in society, to educate the young generation to be open to the diversity of languages and cultures, and to provide an opportunity to receive quality education and a comprehensive upbringing.
In polylingual educational complexes, parents are given three options for the educational direction of their children:
Polylingual: an in-depth study of the Tatar, Russian and English languages, providing classes in these languages for children who know the Tatar language at the time of their admission to school;
Bilingual: a mandatory study of the Tatar language, an in-depth study of the English language, providing classes in three languages. For children who do not have in-depth knowledge of the Tatar language when entering school;
Monolingual: this assumes that Russian is the student’s native language, Colloquial Tatar is used only in extracurricular activities.
The educational model described will be presented in the Republic of Tatarstan through a network of the complexes of this type, which will start working in 2024.
On September 1, 2020, the first two polylingual complexes opened their doors: the state autonomous educational institution called the polylingual complex “Adymnar — the path to knowledge and agreement” in Kazan and the municipal autonomous educational institution called the polylingual educational complex “Adymnar — Alabuga” in the Yelabuga municipal district of the Republic of Tatarstan.
These models of polylingual education will work under the same concept. At the same time, each complex will have its own infrastructure and innovative approaches to the organization of educational processes. Using our experience and competence, we strive to create truly respectable conditions for the education of children, and, of course, for the life and work of the teachers as well. In general, we are talking about creating modern educational organizations that will contribute to the goal of achieving a level of quality of general education, will introduce digital opportunities, that will expand and complement traditional classes, and will present educational programs that meet the demands of the current times. I am convinced that our initiative will serve the important task of spreading the ideas of tolerance and interethnic agreement in society through language and cultural diversity following the guiding principles of UNESCO:

  • learning to know;
  • learning to do;
  • learning to be;
  • learning to live together.

Source: shaimiev.tatarstan.ru
Photographs from the visit of Rustam Minnikhanov and Mintimer Shaimiev to the Adymnar complex