The article deals with the new educational policy of the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS) in the field of the adult education. The importance of education has been steadily increasing; it has become an important factor in the formation of a new quality of the economy and modern society. The article provides an analysis of the "educational service" concept, its qualitative characteristics, and the problem of educational services creating for the adult population, which is indispensable for the education resources development of the CIS countries. It has been noted that the new challenges of civilisation have a particularly significant impact on the education of the adult population. The learning society has been forming. In this society, education and labour take place in different social institutions in a parallel and interconnected way, i.e. formal and non-formal education are equal, and the outcomes of education, obtained in any form as a set of individual competencies, complement each other. The authors show examples of modern educational services and prospects for their development. Among them, a group of educational services for social learning has been recognised today as the largest one in Eurasia. The distance educational services have been characterised as a current priority form for the professional direction of adult education. The educational functions of the most popular social networking services have been presented. The problem of an adequate evaluation of the services offered to the adult population and youth within the Commonwealth countries has been indicated.
Keywords: Educational spacethe Internetdistance educationthe unity of the educational spaceeducational services
Today, the importance of education has been steadily increasing, which becomes an important factor in the formation of a new quality of the economy and modern society. The role of education has been changing along with the dynamics of human capital. Actually, to date, the change of educational paradigms has occurred: from the attitude to receive education in educational institutions to the idea that education and work activity are performed continuously, simultaneously, interconnected (Eddy et al., 1997; Berrnstain and Magnusson, 1993). The level of access, quality of results, relevance to the society and the labour market needs are going to become the targets of the education development, the effectiveness criteria of its updating (Hettinger, 1997).
The countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS) will lose the historical advantages of education, which are still preserved today in the educational space of the Commonwealth if the countries of the CIS do not coordinate the direction of the interstate educational policy, form the active position of each country in the educational space of the Commonwealth, update new educational resources, create new mechanisms for their effective use.
The new challenges of civilisation have a particularly significant impact on the education of the adult population (Schnider, 1998), its understanding of the education objectives and values. Requirements for the market economy development, the development of civil society and the rule of law have led to the transformation of adult education into an educational service, which is greatly affected by market laws (demand, supply, competition, marketing, etc.). Over the past 20-30 years, the services have become a major part of the economy of most developed countries (Crowley, 1997). Educational service at the present stage can be recognised as a significant, dynamic element of the social infrastructure of the CIS countries.
Purpose of the Study
Is to analyse the services for the adult population of the members of the CIS countries to provide scientific evidence and work out recommendations for the development of national resources for adult education.
The authors use the method of analysis and classification the results of national and regional educational services for adult education; the method of formalization, aimed at reflecting the results obtained by observation in the "educational services" concept; the method of reflection as a study of specific, relevant today, educational services; the method of projecting and forecasting prospective services.
It has been found from the analysis of the pedagogical materials that the "educational service" concept has come into common use of a modern person (Crowley, 1997; Eddy et al., 1997). The "service" term (from the English “service”) as a whole does not refer to humanitarian topics and, according to the literary sources, has many meanings. Karnaukhova, Krakovskaya, for example, include educational services with intellectual services and define their goals as "the satisfaction of speakers in the dialectical unity and interrelationship of the society interests (macro environments), the interests of classes and social groups (mesic environments) and the interests of a small social group (micro environments)" which is most often manifested through the activities of individuals who first represent the interests of a small group, and then their own interests (Karnaukhova, Krakovskaya, 2006). From the perspective of serviceology, the variation of needs and meanings in the sphere of educational services, which is explained by the "multiple individualities of society", also determines the multiplicity of service activity that actually has no boundaries and no social framework (Baker, Gloster, 1994; Chepesiuk, Gorman, 1998; Joseph, 2001). Educational service is defined in the literature as the satisfaction of the need for learning, acquisition of knowledge and skills, for enlightenment, for preserving the knowledge obtained for descendants. The educational service is aimed at the formation of survival methods in actors: adapting to the changing environment of life, which is peculiar to nature (adaptive management) and changing the habitat for their own changes, which is peculiar to society (constructive self-management). This concept content is revealed from the perspective of sociology through the definition of education as a social process of accumulating knowledge, skills, competencies and their learning by the younger generations. It is the broadest one, implies to an understanding of education as a process of reproduction of the personal and intellectual potential of the society. Education can also be defined as a professional activity for transferring the necessary knowledge, skills and habits from the teacher to the learner. Here education is a technological process of certain knowledge, skills and habits transferring to the user. It is advisable to consider adaptive self-management technologies as an essential component of the educational service, treating them as a way of situational management of the actor's resources. This is self-management of saving, economy, preserving, and rational use of the hyper-actor’s resource. The technology of the habitat modelling and management (including the internal environment), situational behaviour, tolerance, openness, intersubjectivity, creative attitude, horizontal career growth, readiness to self-determination, etc., scarcely mastered by the modern education system is another component. In the broadest sense, a service is an additional service provided to a client by an organisation to ensure the most effective use of something previously acquired. The characteristic of relations, such as duration, has been formalised in the notion, and the goal to derive the maximum benefit has been specified. The terminology of the network technologies adds an important nuance to the meaning: service – is the servicing process of various kinds of objects (systems, programs, users, etc.). In general, servicing is a special way to build relationships between the service provider and its recipient. Their essence is described by the "interaction" concept.
The effectiveness of the service as a way to establish two-way communication "teacher-student" has been proved by the history of market relations: the producer who cares about its goods after the transfer of the ownership to the purchaser will survive. its principles, arising from the specific features of the interaction have been specified in the modern theory of service: binding offer and optional use, convenience and maximum offer range (Avanesova, 2004). The data communication information with the client, which keeps it informed of innovations, plays a significant role here. In addition, in marketing, service is one of the levers of influence on the consumer. A "serviceman" - a specialist in the field of continued service (manager) has been introduced to the list of jobs. The tendency of active mastering of the service theory has been observed in the last decade in the adult education as well. The specificity of the organisation of activity that corresponds to the conditions of the information society is an aspect of the understanding of the service here. Constant technological renovation, changes in the socio-economic sphere, a transformation of adult preferences in different areas, associated with the individualization of the educational way require a continuous supplement of the educational support range. This requirement has been established in the concept of "educational service". The development of educational services in each of the areas of adult education has its own specifics. We are going to describe it.
Today, the market platform declares itself with the "service" and "customer" (client) terminology, and it is implemented mainly by the professional direction of the adult education, in which commercialization is increasing. An important feature of the service is the ability to join the basic process. In this context, education is considered a non-material service. Thus, GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) outlines blocks of educational services, as well as culture, leisure and sporting events. A similar approach has been applied in the All-Russian Classifier of Services Rendered to the Public, where the "services in the education system" item is available.
We have substantiated the revealed tendencies and forecasts of the of the educational policy development of the CIS member states in the field of adult education, national and regional educational services, which are factors of the adult education space development in the CIS countries. In the context of the theory of consumer services, educational ones, as well as others, are characterised for the recipient by a triad of indicators: price, availability and quality. The latter is especially important provided the offered market formation. With regard to the professional direction in adult education, this provision can be considered fulfilled. Therefore, today we are witnessing in the CIS the stage of the struggle for customers by forming a permanent client base. The two main types of its organisation in the educational service logic can be outlined. The first one is postgraduate professional education: the organisation where the higher education has been received provides the opportunity to use such a service as additional education (refresher courses, internships, etc.), taking into account the previous educational route. The second one is the direct use of the service as a way to establish mutually beneficial relations between the producer of educational services and their consumers. It can be observed today in non-state commercial educational organisations (NSCEOs), the target audience of which is enterprises with highly technological production. A successfully conducted refresher or retraining course (both employers themselves and their heads perform the assessment of the results) means the availability of subsequent orders, enhances the chance to obtain a service package of free consultations, tutoring, etc. An informal form of adult education has been identified in the special literature. In our opinion, the description of its practices with the help of "educational service" concept is rather problematic, since it does not have the characteristic of duration, and it is difficult to "materialize" its outcomes (if training did not take place within the corporate framework) beyond the validation procedure in career development and an employee’s salary increase.
The actual problems of the educational service sphere, which have been solved at the legislative level, include the formation of a modern system of continuing education and learning society, providing conditions for equal access to all types and levels of education of citizens, regardless of belonging to social strata and place of residence. In traditional society, which existed according to the principle: "education for life", education took place mainly within the walls of educational institutions in the formal education system, and the main sources of knowledge were books, textbooks and other printed (published) materials available in libraries. The learning society lives and develops in accordance with the concept of "education through the whole life" or "the lifelong learning", that is, the process of human education is not determined by any time intervals. The concept refers to the entire life cycle of a person (up to the retirement age) and implies to the person’s desire and opportunity to learn not only as may be necessary, for example, professionally, but also based on its civic position, the internal need for new knowledge, competences. In a learning society, learning and working activities occur in a parallel and interrelated way in different social institutions, i.e. formal and non-formal education are enjoying equal rights, and the results of education, obtained in any form as a set of individual competences, are not only taken into account, but also complement each other. The main sources of knowledge are e-learning resources, data and knowledge bases used in the educational, in real scientific and production activities which are centrally developed and freely accessible via the Internet. In a learning society, all educational institutions have been integrated into a single system and interrelated. Finally, here the success or failure of educational activity, the existence of a document on education at a certain stage ceases to be factors affecting the life activity of a person.
The sphere of educational services is characterized by specific features: the diversity of content, types, forms, methods of learning; a greater degree of "openness", autonomy, independence, that is, free choice of level, place, time, cost, terms, content, forms, methods of teaching; orientation to the needs of consumers, when they do not adapt to existing educational services, but create educational services that are necessary for the consumer; competition between different types of services. The sphere of educational services has been transformed into a social organisation that operates for customers: distinct individuals, social groups, and social institutions, including states and societies as a whole. Consequently, the main change in the role of education in the life of a man and society is its turning from being a social institution as part of a state system dictating its principles and will, to increasing evolving as a sphere of educational services, operating on request of the actors of social development. The main consumer of the modern learning society, on which the sphere of educational services is oriented, is a person with its individual educational needs. The learning society requires a system of continuous education in connection with the fact that the information, knowledge, motivation for their constant updating and the skills required for this, become a decisive factor in the society development and are in its demand. A powerful motive for the education of citizens - are the competitiveness and effective employment requirements.
Modern understanding of the educational service phenomenon is due to the information technology age. It is their development that causes the rapid growth of the service sector as a whole. Specificity of the information technology allows performing consulting activity, supporting of any kind of activity, implementing the network's potential. The quality of life of a modern person is directly connected with the creation of favourable conditions that promote health, prolongation of life, creative abilities development and self-realization. Model conditions are oriented toward spiritual and physical self-improvement of residents, which directly stimulates the educational services development. An effective way of their implementation is remote ability, which allows solving the problem of lack of time, optimisation of its use.
Razomasova provides the evidence for the urgent need for distant educational services (Razomassova, 2010). The opportunity to improve oneself professionally using a flexible schedule makes distant learning a popular method. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of an information technology, but not in order to "equip" traditional education but to develop new education systems. An important aspect of the organisation of modern continuous professional education is giving up our common class and lesson system of education of the industrial model, the transition to the strategy for the change agents’ experience updating - employees with a high level of competence. There is a return to mentoring, mutual learning, and the practice of the experience exchange between employees of different levels. Analysis of the experience of developed European countries in the organisation of continuous education of professional direction led to the following conclusion: the functions of organisations providing educational services have been changing; their task now is the development of methodological materials, techniques for transferring skills, knowledge, etc. (Bondarenko, 2015). The arrangement of educational services should take into account the transformation of the industrial management itself: from the usual hierarchies to the network form (horizontal corporations); from subordinate relationships to a cooperation of management and performers, from narrow specialisation to a multifunctional workforce. Request for polyfunctional training, learning on how to be involved in the team management, self-organizing skills, monitoring the quality of the relationship with the consumer has matured (Starey, 1998). Particular attention is paid to maintaining the information awareness of the employee about the status of its professional scope. All of the above forms a request for the individualization of the educational route. The trend is currently observed in the CIS countries. Educational service is recognised as an effective way to solve the tasks. The use of information technologies for individualization and for the teamwork skills training, aimed at social development, is the overarching goal of the modern educational system.
The most demanded subject areas of the professional direction of adult education, according to the employers’ opinion, are determined by the need to improve in the employees the following comprehensive skills: teamwork skills, capacity to study, quick mastering of various innovations, independent articulation of tasks and argumentation of ways to solve them (Office of the European Union, 2013). In this case, 30% of Russian employers consider the general culture development of employees to be an important characteristic necessary for the production, particularly innovative, high-tech one (Krasilnikova, Bondarenko, 2014).
Currently, educational programs include exchange programs for students and teachers of the Commonwealth countries. The programs, supported by grants, cover almost all the specialities, which are taught in the Commonwealth countries, in all universities and institutes. Within the education system and professional development of the adult population, the folk high schools act as services. Municipalities establish evening schools for adults who do not have secondary education. Various vocational schools organise course preparation and retraining of workers in the most popular jobs. A specialised training for disabled people is in demand. The original service for adults, formed in the twentieth century, is the tradition of group reading. The traditional value of reading can be transferred from the older generation to the younger (children and youth) in different age communities.
In recent years, the need for the educational service for the continuous education of business managers has been identified. The overwhelming majority of top and middle managers are aware of its necessity. On average, 60% of respondents noted that in the terms of permanent non-standard situations in business and management, they need information about innovations in the field of their activity and educational services and retraining. 40% of respondents point to the continued use of non-formal education and put it in the second place after the higher professional one. Seminars, conferences, internships, mini-trainings, intensive modules - that is, practice-oriented forms that solve "hot" problems and meet the time-saving parameters are also popular (Konovalova, 2008). Another type of the knowledge replenishment is self-education, but it is exercised in case of hindered access to educational services.
Thus, distant educational services are today a priority form of the professional direction of adult education. They solve the tasks of time management, individualization, maintaining the quality of the educational product in the strategy of ongoing consulting, tutoring (Barket and Holley, 1996).
The general cultural direction of adult education deals with the key concepts of "personality", "self-realization". Its practices are minimally commercialised, the material side of the organisation does not come first for them because of the updating of the social self-organization resource. Educational service in the general cultural direction is understood as educational support for a person in need of new knowledge, skills, and competencies at different stages of life. This way the principle of the education continuity manifests itself. The appearance of the "humanitarian service" term indicates the comprehension of the essence of services in the sphere of personal development. It describes an individual approach, non-standard proposals for the satisfaction of leisure, a wide range of educational and cultural requests.
The general cultural direction of adult education uses a distance-based format not least. This fact is explained by modern ideas about the openness of the educational space. The possibilities of distance education implement the activity aspect of the education phenomenon, highlighting the subjectivity of a learner and a tutor. This is indeed the aspect of the distinction between extramural and distance education. To achieve the object in view, the trainee needs a special position, which makes it possible to search, evaluate and, on its basis, select the available resources. The tutor cannot perform its functions outside the atmosphere of trust, partnership, - all that which is called the pedagogical principles of the educational process organisation. In our opinion, this is the reason for the wide spread of the distance form of education in the general cultural direction, which has been implementing the potential of social self-organization.
The addressing to the general cultural direction of supplementary adult education begins with a complete lack of state support. That which is happening in this area is activated mainly through the social self-organization, involving a resource of social innovation, which directly links to the development of civil society. Social innovations imply the definition proposed by Krasopolskaya and Mersianova based on the analysis of existing definitions. This is "new solutions that meet social needs and at the same time create new or improved systems of cooperation, contribute to the efficient use of resources and the expansion of social opportunities” (Krasnopolskaya, Mersiyanova, 2014). The satisfaction of educational needs within the framework of social innovations refers them to service innovations.
In this regard, the role of NSCEOs is increasing, that are viewed as specific accumulators of requests, needs of different groups of the population, especially the unprotected ones. The positive experience accumulated by NSCEOs for any kind of activity becomes a resource for synergies and interacting with state structures and is aimed at transforming and improving the social sphere. NSCEOs accumulate the resources of the network organisation, the line of horizontal links, which establishes productive relations between different social actors. They actively use volunteering, which in itself transforms the life of society, engage specialists, rely on the needs of the local community, supporting its core values. Today in Russia there is the underdevelopment of the so-called "the third sector", but the expectation of changes is noted. 86% of the heads of existing NSCEOs see their role in uniting efforts to solve the problems in the field of education, 79% of citizens have the same opinion (Project 2014 of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector of the National Research University “Higher School of Economics”. The network services establishment on the Internet actually records, according to A.Yu. Vinokurov, the emergence of a new approach to the network modelling. As a key advantage of the network service, researchers state a change in the role of the user who has become an actor. The groups of educational functions of social networking services can be identified. Social functions: the function of actors’ social interaction (communication) providing, communicative (information exchange), interactive (interaction), perceptual (understanding and evaluation). Communication means a special case of communication, associated with the information exchange. A comprehensive approach to the analysis of the social interaction (communication) essence (the idea of A.V. Petrovskiy) allows us to assert that the content of a social function is to cover all the components of communication. Due to social interaction (communication), arranged in the Internet network, the function of the actor’s social adaptation and its integration into society is implemented.
The activity of each actor and the society in which it finds itself, actively change their boundaries. They are mobile and can be easily expanded if desired by the user. Any person as a network user is immersed in the network social activity and is mastering its new kinds. In this connection, an Internet network with the multiple service providers can be considered as an infrastructure of the information and educational space that allows its users to create additional conditions for education and adaptation to the society.
The group of educational services for social learning has been recognised today as the largest in the CIS countries and wider, in Eurasia. The basis of this service is the idea of the knowledge sharing between students from different countries. This service is intended for schoolchildren, teachers, parents and all other participants in educational relations who are interested in learning new sources of knowledge with the use of modern technologies. Such educational service provides users, for example, with the opportunity to obtain additional information, other information on any discipline or course at any stage of the training.
A modern educational network that broadcasts diverse and sometimes controversial information challenges a network user to select and evaluate information identified through educational services. In this regard, the formation of a value-based attitude to information among the users of the Internet is a complex, multilevel task that updates today the need to use and evaluate services offered to the adult population and youth within the countries of the Commonwealth, as well as the services of the information, educational space of the CIS countries.
The study has been performed within the framework of the State Assignment No. 27.9426.2017/BCh.
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21 August 2017
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Education, educational equipment, educational technology, computer-aided learning (CAL), study skills, learning skills, ICT
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Ilakavichus, M. R., & Yakushkina, M. S. (2017). The Educational Services For The Adult Education Development In The CIS. In & S. K. Lo (Ed.), Education Environment for the Information Age, vol 28. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 321-329). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.08.39