Donna Welles is a student of Russian Language and keeps a blog on Russia. In her latest post, and on the similar topic to my previous one, she raises some interesting and even tragic points.
She thinks that despite its many flaws the former Soviet Union “enjoyed the human capital capable of putting Sputnik into space” and that today “a superpower such as Russia without quality education is a scary thing to think about. After all, the vast majority of their exports are raw materials instead of quality manufactured goods - these they get from Europe. The only mechanical things [manufactured pruducts] they still export are weapons”.
When I lived in Russia I lived with a host family and the father’s name was Alec. Alec was a scientist who helped design the part of the space ship that released fuel after takeoff. Now he works at a factory doing mindless work.>
His daughter, on the other hand, was studying the design of torpedoes. Her professor said in class one day how much money each grade would cost them. The family had to come up with the money or she would not have passed.
... Alec didn’t want to be a professor because he said that all of the students would drink during class.