Contemporary Problems of Social Work


Actual socially – economic problems of the small and average cities of Russia

Автор/Author: Shimanskaya I.Yu., Kabanova E.E, Shalashnikova V.Yu., Verdyan N.G

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Список литературы/References:

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Содержание статьи/Article:

Development of the market relations, formation of new forms of managing proceed indissolubly with processes of transformation of the cities, city consciousness, city culture and creation of a specific urban environment. Not incidentally to research of social and economic development of the small and average cities keen interest of representatives of various scientific disciplines - geography, town planning, economy, history, sociology, ecology, etc. is shown now. It is caused by that the small and average cities do not only keep, but also continue to concentrate the economic, demographic, financial, intellectual, cultural potential of society [3, P. 965]. Essential changes in connection with transition to the market relations are defined by economic and social characteristics as regions and areas, and municipalities. Most these changes concerned the small and average cities where decentralization of management of social and economic processes had the most serious consequences. In modern conditions activization of a role of the small and average cities in regional development gains key value. In this category of the cities both positive, and negative consequences of carrying out social and economic reforms are most sharply shown. Development of the small and average cities more causes further social and economic development of regions and the country in general. In this regard, problems of social and economic development of the small and average cities and strategic management of this development gain the special importance [5, P. 28].

The small and average cities, carrying out social, economic, geographically - population distribution functions, provide integrity of the country. Therefore effective use of their resources, and, first of all, the population, is a huge value for Russia. 

The problem of complex development of the small and average cities of Russia is one of actual as in the scientific and practical plan. The region level of development in general, social and economic wellbeing of his citizens in many respects is defined by development of small and average cities. During the difficult period of transition of the country to life in new economic and social conditions average and small cities were almost defenseless. Their inhabitants more than someone, felt decline in production, closing sometimes of the only plant in the city, a delay of payments of the earned payment, etc.

During crisis of world economic system of the industry town suffered more strongly, than other territories of Russia. Owing to narrowness of labor market crises of the city-forming enterprises cause large-scale and long-term local unemployment. Unemployment in the small and average cities has negative consequences not only for these settlements (decrease in taxable base, dependence on subsidies of budgets, rise in crime, etc.), but also bears threat of social and political stability nationally.

 It is possible to tell that the vulnerability of single-industry economy to the crisis – one of its main features. Diversification makes development of industry towns steadier, development of other branches, besides city-forming, and decrease in dependence of the city on work of the city-forming enterprises can. One of such branches the industry of tourism can become as the prevailing part of the small and average cities of Russia possesses huge potential for development of cultural and informative tourism, being a historical basis of the Russian statehood, national culture and national traditions [2, P. 1445].

The small and average city has certain properties which form bases of social and economic stability, cultural standards and traditions; are the mechanism of the self-organizing interaction of sociocultural spaces of social communities; define conditions for development of the operating city communities on self-organization bases.

The small and average cities is a special link in structure of internal and entrance tourism of any country.

One of the major problems socially — economic development of tourism in small and the average cities is ensuring sustained economic growth and increase on this basis of a standard of living of the population.

Tourism for the periphery is the most serious, and sometimes and the only source of economic development.

The Russian province is a real "pot of gold" for tourism development: the most beautiful landscapes, unique historical monuments, the cities which kept the originality. But, unfortunately, this tourist potential is used not at full capacity.

Each municipality looks for own ways of travel business, but all small cities face identical problems. The main common problem — is insufficiently developed infrastructure and low level of service. Improvement of the small and average cities doesn't meet the modern requirements, the city-forming base of the cities is destroyed, and new productions are practically not created. From here high unemployment, low level of the income of the population, social tension, is observed intensive outflow of the population, migration. The lowest level of local taxes, absence of investment projects, insufficient legislative base aggravate this situation [1]. And, at last, professional personnel is not less important problem. In the small and average city it is felt especially sharply: there are no the people who are professionally prepared and in tourist industry, in services industry.

Tourism acts not only as an economic resource, but also as an important component of public and economic life of the cities and society therefore its development will provide necessary support in development of a number of regions and the historical cities. And processes of the increasing urbanization of the cities and areas lead to search of new types of tourism in the direction of ecological, rural, informative, cultural and short-term rest is closer to the nature.

Russia possesses huge potential for development practically of all types of tourism, especially culturally – informative, cruise, event, ecological, rural, has a large number of cultural, historical, architectural monuments, natural and recreational sights. The complex solution of problems of development of tourist activity will allow to create a positive image of the country favorable for visit, to keep an originality of the architectural and spatial environment and cultural heritage of historical settlements and to provide their rational use both for tourists, and for inhabitants [4].

Thus, development of tourist branch in the Russian Federation is closely connected with active policy of preservation of cultural heritage of the people of our country which acts as a significant economic resource. Orientation to historical and cultural wealth becomes one of real opportunities of perspective social and economic development of a number of regions and cities of the country. The complex of cultural and historical heritage is a specific and very important economic resource of the region, it can and has to become one of the perspective directions of realization of social policy and development of local economy, an important factor of spiritual life.

More and more fixed is an interest in objects culturally – historical heritage in the different cities of the country which are unique values for citizens of the Russian Federation, form image of each city and country in general. This interest is shown as the power structures which are looking for opportunities to declare the territory in regional and federal scale in search of competitive advantages, and simple residents of the cities and villages who in cultural richness of the earth look for psychological and economic stability.

However the current state of culture is characterized by a number of negative tendencies: deterioration of a material condition of objects of culture, absence in them the necessary equipment, deterioration of a condition of safety of immovable historical and cultural monuments. The cultural heritage of the people of Russia is in a serious condition, especially in the small and average cities of Russia. Today destruction of historical and cultural monuments is observed; only an about 35% are in a good or satisfactory condition [9, P. 298]. In this regard there is a problem as preservations of cultural heritage, and its demand and updating. All this conducts to loss of cultural interaction between generations and destruction of national culture.

Indicators of obvious trouble in the field of culture is deliberate destruction of monuments or their physical destruction owing to lack of elementary leaving, inadmissible use, modern buildings leads to loss for centuries of the developing originality of the historical cities, settlements. The reason of it in many respects consisted in the current legislation, to be exact in its gaps. Responsible for destructions of cultural heritage remained unpunished, it in turn resulted in immorality, to losses of historical memory, traditions, cultures. Also discrepancy of scale of a problem to those means and levers of influence which are available at the disposal of the organizations and institutions dealing with issues of protection and restoration of historical and cultural monuments remains.

Historical heritage, falling of level of culture of the population of the country is one more fact which confirms need of preservation and updating of objects culturally. It is confirmed by reduction of volume of knowledge in the field of literature, art, music, and more at youth, and also lack of careful attitude to objects of cultural and historical heritage speaks about falling of moral at teenagers.

The effective solution of these problems in the sphere of culture requires is an attraction as business structures, and the public. Specialized exhibitions on protection of objects culturally – historical heritage, professional competitions, and also various projects by means of which promoting of objects culturally – historical heritage will be carried out have to become such mechanisms of attraction.

Carrying out regular monitoring about a condition of objects culturally – historical heritage and sociological polls of the population about the provided services in the sphere of culture, will help to increase interest and level of knowledge at residents of each city.

Also the role of the state in the sphere of culture changes. If earlier it carried out mainly financing of this branch, now it becomes one of participants of realization of cultural policy and creates favorable conditions for all subjects. Thus the system of financing becomes more complicated: along with the state subsidies, there are private deposits, own income of the organizations of culture. The sphere of culture is already perceived as a resource of social and economic development of the territory. In this regard, various regions in realization of the cultural policy have to be guided first of all by the mechanism of social partnership which will allow to combine efforts of government institutions and the private sector, applying various forms of public-private partnership (for example, such as concession, special economic zones, investment fund, rent (leasing), the production sharing agreement, the state contracts, joint ventures, infrastructure bonds) that will allow to solve problems of the welfare sphere more effectively and in a complex.

Positive examples of practice of social partnership in the sphere of culture are and abroad, and in our country which show that cooperation of the state and private sector yields impressive results. Also this type of partnership is capable to solve also the problems concerning development of infrastructure of the small and average cities.

Passing to features of a structure of infrastructure of the small cities, it should be noted that for each subject the individual approach to classification depending on climatic, historical, social and economic and other factors is inherent. But in the generalized component feature of infrastructure of the small cities is defined by the following factors:

• transport availability;

• availability of all necessary services and services, beginning with the state services and finishing with trade services;

• existence of enough public spaces [10].

The infrastructure of the small cities is the base of level and quality of life of the population. Dependence of development of infrastructure and life of the population gains directly proportional character today. On an infrastructure level of development which decides on the help of the sociological analysis, it is possible to judge degree of satisfaction of requirements of the population, to requirements of a modern civilization. So, for example, during the conducted research in the small city of  Kyakhta (number about 18 000 people). More than a half of respondents had the higher education, permanent job and a family, but at a question estimate the level of your life – 58% specified "low", and from 112 respondents the high standard of living wasn't specified by anybody. And this phenomenon is directly connected with that in an assessment of functioning of spheres, the population most of all chose an assessment "well" - 60% of total number of the chosen categories. Therefore the tendency "The low level of functioning of infrastructure a low level of quality of life of the population" is natural.

Today, the overall picture of a condition of the small cities is in social, economic, spiritual desolation. Results of the conducted research in Kyakhta the Republics of Buryatia stood the extremely negative on hind legs, functioning of all spheres of activity, and from it and dissatisfaction of needs of inhabitants. So functioning of the sphere (on the greatest selection) housing and communal services received an assessment "badly" - 36%, "Utilities" - it is "bad" - 35%; also to an assessment such spheres as "leisure" (40%), "culture and art" (39%) "badly" corresponded; "well" "transport" (42%), "the consumer market" (57%), "safety" (50%), "communication" (51), "a construction complex" (41%), "education" (45%), "health care" (62%), "physical culture" (47%), "social protection" (43%) estimated. And it should be noted that any sphere on the frequency of selection isn't characterized by an affirmative answer – "well" or "perfectly".

This research showed that the infrastructure and its functioning doesn't give due return for the population of the city. This research gives not only "overall picture" of a condition of the city, but also helps to establish the reasons and mechanisms of elimination of the presented problems. Finding out relationship of cause and effect of this situation it is possible to adduce a set of arguments which are clear to each citizen of the country today: imperfection of the federal and regional legislation, corruption of officials, insolvency of system of the power in the country, the region and the small city including.

Within research respondents answered the question "That, in Your Opinion, Will Be Able to Make Social Infrastructure of the City more qualitative and better" the following: "To carry out repair of roads and sidewalks; quality control of products; to adjust work of housing and communal services; work of bodies of Gossanepidnadzor up to standard; increase of salaries; to reduce the prices; to replace deputies; replacement of the head of the area; to increase pensions; affordable housing; to lower tariffs for the electric power; to open Recreation center; to improve education; to build more; to reconsider aspects of a development of the city and the area; control over officials; to the city comfort and coziness; to improve education; quality of services of health care; to increase city budget; to be kinder; competence of civil servants". Of course, it is obvious that these recommendations revealed by respondents have local character. For the solution of these problems the integrated approach is necessary. Therefore, it is necessary to allocate the concrete fundamental mechanism for the solution of problems of the small cities.

For elimination of problems of the small cities which are generally caused by an insufficient level of development and a bad condition of infrastructure (in a functioning assessment the population most of all chose an assessment "well" - 60% of total number of the chosen categories), it is necessary to conduct in each region of the small cities to the research centers (scientific research institute of regions) these researches, and the obtained empirical data have to be used as a basis for formation of forecasts of development of the small cities (so in research among the population of the city of Kyakhta the negative perception of the population was felt by work of local authorities – 30% pointed to that, change of the head and deputy corps can influence improvement of life). But those data which will be obtained during research, has to become the base for development of documents of municipalities of social and economic development, concepts and so on. Thus, administrations of municipalities will be able to attract almost necessary information material in development of development of municipality, within dialogue between local authorities and society that will be able to satisfy interests of the last. And besides will increase prestige of work of a city administration. And it is especially important point. Professionalism of municipal employees in modern conditions, irrespective of an essence of the future reforms, was, is and will be invariable criterion of success of reforming of local government [8, P.10].

Realizations of the idea will not only qualitative result for small towns, but also for the subject of the Russian Federation, in general. Besides, these norms, have to be reflected and enshrined in normative legal acts of subjects and the small cities. As the offer for improvement of this problem, I see expedient, within conceptual approach for the government of the Russian Federation it is necessary to enter the trial program for an experimental platform of certain territorial subjects of the Russian Federation. In foresight of development of this norm, it is quite real and possible to bring it in the concept of the project "The federal target program of social and economic development of the small and average cities of the Russian Federation for 2009-2012 and till 2017" in point No. 12 of "the offer on the mechanism of formation of actions of the target program" in the block of regional events.

 At realization of this norm in a positive context, it is possible and it is necessary to fix in the Decree of the Russian President on April 28, 2008 No. 607 "About an assessment of efficiency of activity of local governments of city districts and municipal areas" (in an edition. The decree of the Russian President of 13.05.2010 No. 579) which submits the list of indicators of an assessment of efficiency. At positive development of experience further to enshrine this norm and in the Federal Law No. 131-FL of 06.10.2003. "About the general principles of the organization of local government in the Russian Federation". As the initiator of this idea the union of the small cities of Russia as one of institutes of democratic society can act. It is also necessary to note the mechanism of control which can assume the union of the small cities or subjects of public control. This mechanism is conceptual, far-sighted and focused on improvement of social and economic welfare of the population of the country, and it is one of the priority purposes for the state.

Throughout the part concerning the priority directions the state is also more whole, it is possible to allocate such indicator as an education system.

Education level of development is one of the most significant conditions of social stability of society. Problems of education are especially actual for modern Russia as it is the main property of the nation. The right for education, perhaps, should be put at once after the right for life. Anything so doesn't guarantee strong situation in life, as education. It can be given, but to deprive of it is already impossible. Today at the state level education is declared by one of the main priorities of the Government of the Russian Federation.

Of course innovative development of regional economy depends from quality education not only the highest, but also an average professional. This development is naturally possible only on the basis of ensuring the modern production creating a material basis for all regional population and these are undoubtedly perfectly prepared, qualified personnel.

Secondary professional education is the certain level of system of professional education taking an important place in satisfaction of educational needs of the personality and society.

The system of secondary professional education is included into open spaces of new century not in the best light, not in its best form. The reasons, undoubtedly, both demographic recession, and expansion of availability of higher education were. Actions for that period of employers who even in the presence of opportunities, didn't try to increase and increase quality of education, to improve working conditions can't remain unaddressed and saved on a salary. To this fact there is an explanation if to go deep a little into history, the state after crisis in 1998 ceased to give support to secondary professional education therefore heads had to squeeze out independently and they took extreme measures. However now it became obvious to creation of innovative market economy that highly qualified personnel in system of secondary professional education is necessary. The Russian Federation on indicators of preparation of such shots considerably concedes many to the developed countries. The Russian President V. V. Putin showed that shortage of highly qualified personnel came out on top, having overtaken on value other serious problems of society.

Training of skilled workers and mid-level professionals is an integral part of education and one an important component of sustainable and effective development of human capital and socio-economic development of the Russian Federation as a whole.

The domestic sphere of primary and secondary professional education and preparation passed a difficult historical way of formation – from separate workshops and craft schools to a network of factory schools and further, to full-fledged system of technical training colleges and technical schools. Thus at all stages of the development the system of primary professional and secondary professional education was formed according to a social and economic situation in the country, providing during various periods of historical development of the state by skilled workers with shots and experts of an average link real sector of economy and the social sphere.

Bases of current system of primary professional and secondary professional education in the Russian Federation are put in the middle of the last century when in an education system at first were allocated, and then initial and average levels of professional education are organizationally issued [7].

Undoubtedly, there are positive sides and tendencies of development of system of secondary professional education, but these positive processes don't speak about lack of serious problems in training of skilled workers and experts.

The first it should be noted that demand advances the offer. Domestic productions need highly qualified specialists of an average link, but the personnel reserve doesn't satisfy requirement of the enterprises.

Secondly, the problem of updating and development of fixed assets is an actual. This decision is slowed down by insufficient investments and volumes of the budgetary financing (in comparison with other education levels) and absence of economic incentives for investments of employers into establishments of primary professional education and secondary professional education. If situation does not change, programs of construction and reconstruction of educational buildings and hostels can be curtailed. The considerable part of the equipment used in educational institutions doesn't correspond to modern level in technical, production and scientific plans. It isn't enough residual resource to provide a necessary level of quality of professional education, and it means that in the long term the country won't receive necessary quantity of the shots demanded by economy. Textbooks and manuals on technical specialties not fully correspond to problems of modernization of economy [11].

Thirdly, it’s an economic component of educational institutions. This aspect is the main brake in development of teaching and educational process. Level of a salary of teachers leaves much to be desired, in system of secondary professional education compensation – the lowest. Besides, it is necessary to develop and improve the legislative and standard bases regulating activity of educational institutions. And then their independence will extend, off-budget activity will improve, conditions for transition to a new organizational form – autonomous establishment will be created.

Important aspect of innovative development of the secondary professional education acting as the practice-oriented training is its integration with the production sphere. It is a factor of adequacy of results of system of secondary professional education to needs of production, training process rapprochement to inquiries of various branches of economy and specific employers, ensuring communication of training of students with future work at the enterprises [6].

The citizen, having graduated from establishment of secondary professional education has to possess that set of skills and competences which will provide availability for service in the conditions of an economic situation. In this regard, on production the status of the young specialists having secondary professional education has to be more accurately defined, and schools were configured not only to the solution of problems of higher educational institutions, but also remembered that the economy more needs shots of an average link.

The general result of existence of the called problems: last year reception in technical schools and colleges only on technical specialties on the budgetary basis was reduced almost by 10%, and on the paid – for 30%. Without solution of a number of the above problems in the future, – today's deficiency of students will become deficiency of production shots.

Summing up the result of all above, it is possible to allocate the main socially – economic problems which are an actual for the small and average cities now:

• low level socially – economic development which can be solved by means of development of tourist appeal of the small and average cities;

• preservation and updating of objects culturally – historical heritage will help to solve problems both in economic, and in the social sphere, will raise the level of spirituality, moral of the population;

• the underdeveloped infrastructure is one more factor of lag in development of the small and average cities;

• the system of vocational education and the level of training of qualified personnel is in decline.

The solution of these problems will promote recovery from the crisis of the small and average cities, overcoming of lag from the leading regions, and also to their more effective development, involvement of tourists, a raising of their spiritual, moral culture, and also increase the level of education and qualification of personnel.

Ключевые слова/Tags1: complex development, tourism, infrastructure, culturally – historical heritage, secondary vocational education, qualification.