Students Workers Brigade

For the past few years the «Students Workers Brigade» has been functioning in full swing in the Belgorod Technological University. The university authorities decided to resuscitate the good old tradition adopted during the Soviet period to organise cheap youth labour to help and engage them in the development process of the national economy.

Today though the principles of the organisation are still maintained, there is a clear difference between the old and the new systems of organisation of the youth in the brigades. Those differences are clearly obvious for everyone.

The main differences are: one the material impetus attached to the participation in these brigades; making it more attractive to the youth. The second difference is that the «obligatory (compulsory) voluntary» concept that used to be part of the organisation of these brigades in the communist times has been scraped totally.

The idea of reorganisation of the «Students Workers Brigade» is a positive step in the modern and current era because of the demographic problems and the lack of unqualified and middle level scale workers in the Russian Federation. Though it is not the solution to all these problems, it is believed that the summer active participation of the youth in the country building makes them ready and prepared for their future professions and the challenges awaiting them after their education.

The third difference is that individual Russian not tailored and selected persons only can go travel abroad for rest or on similar «Russian Students Workers Brigade» programmes like «Work and Travel», «Support Staffs» for camps in different countries. This alone is encouraging the Russian students who may wish to participate in such programmes to take their foreign language courses more seriously at the university.

 

 

One very important aspect of this revived tradition is that foreign students have not been left out of the process. Though it is difficult to obtain working permit for foreign students in the Russian Federation, the university authorities are doing everything possible to include them in the programme and slowly integrate them into the Russian society.

For the first time, this summer, fifteen (15) foreign students obtained an opportunity to participate in the «Students Workers Brigade» organised by the Belgorod State Technological University after which they received their first official pay slip in the Russian Federation. It is believed that this step is just the beginning of a good tradition. It is hoped that it would help solve certain problems among the local and foreign students like racial misunderstanding, idleness of the foreign students who don't travel to their home country or to relatives abroad and involve them in gainful employment. It is also expected that this would encourage tolerance between the Russian and foreign student community.

Written by Ray M. K. Atitsogbui
6th September 2004.

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