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EkoNiva launches the first agriclass in Kursk oblast

Press-centre / News,

In the 2023/24 academic year, EkoNiva will open the first specialised class, so called agriclass, in the region together with Kursk State Agricultural University. High school students will be introduced to modern farming and trained to enter secondary vocational and higher education institutions.

The issue of staff shortage remains one of the central ones in the Russian farming sector. For several years now, EkoNiva Group's subdivisions have been co-operating with the country's leading agricultural universities, accepting students for internships and teaching them the ins and outs of the profession. Eight years ago, the holding started to involve schools in this work – its first agriclass appeared in a school in Maslyanino district, Novosibirsk oblast. Later, EkoNiva implemented the project in its other geographies in Voronezh, Ryazan and Kaluga oblasts. This year, Kursk has been added to the list.

A specialised class has been formed at the secondary school in Zashchitnoye, Shchigry district. The educational programme is designed for high school seniors pursuing a professional career in farming. The agriclass provides an in-depth study of natural sciences and humanities required for admission to agricultural universities. During practicals on EkoNiva’s farms, teenagers will learn in detail about applied aspects of crop production, engineering and cutting-edge technologies in the farming sector.

‘Kursk State Agricultural University has long-standing good relations with EkoNiva, one of its strategic partners. Our students do practical training and internships at the holding’s enterprises. A few years ago, we launched an industrial chair in applied plant breeding and seed growing, and now, an agriclass has also been established in Shchigry district under the auspices of EkoNiva. I am sure that this will contribute to the development of the community and the work of the university, at the same time covering the staffing needs of the company’, points out Aleksandr Musyal, Rector of Kursk State Agricultural University.

Studying in the agriclass, schoolchildren gain important specialist knowledge and can count on extra points to be added to the Unified State Exam results when entering the university. Among other benefits, open meetings with managers and employees of farming enterprises, professional coaching and workplaces for on-the-job training equipped with state-of-the-art technologies should be mentioned.

‘Thanks to the initiative, the university gets a skilled student, the student is provided with quality free education, and the company receives a local specialist. Our goal is to popularise agricultural and engineering professions, provide career guidance to schoolchildren and encourage them to live and work in rural areas’, emphasises Yuriy Vasyukov, Regional Director of EkoNiva Group’s Kursk subdivision.

The holding continues to pay special attention to social policy, supporting schools in the districts where its operations are located. Traditionally, on 1 September, employees in Voronezh, Kursk, Kaluga and Ryazan oblasts attended festive school assemblies, congratulated children on the Knowledge Day, presenting them with gifts and putting them in a good mood for the new academic year.