Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Russia's wealth is gifted children

I am absolutely sure that gifted children should be the object of national interest of any state. In my opinion, the main mission of the state should be identifying and supporting talented children, regardless of their social status and material resources of the family.

Currently, the problem of identifying and supporting talented children is becoming more and more urgent, which, in my opinion, is directly related to the future of Russia. We all want to see it as great and prosperous meeting all the challenges of our time. We need new thinkers, creators and geniuses! And they already exist, they just need to be found and be supported.


Perhaps the new Russian Lomonosov is not yet seven years old, and the new Mendeleev is just three years old today. But, unfortunately, in our country so far there is no built-up system for the search and development of talented children and youth. Many experts admit that there is no institution to identify gifted children and work with them. And what will our descendants say about us if we, absorbed in worries about daily bread, struggling with bureaucracy and other everyday problems will ignore these still rough diamonds?

Naturally, not one, even the most successful state, is able to find and develop all potential talents. Perhaps this will become a reality in the near future, but now we need to strive to maximize the percentage of revealing young talents and geniuses. Right now, our entire society must provide them with all possible assistance in revealing and enhancing the talents laid down by nature.
There is no doubt that our state has done a lot in this direction in recent years. A lot of effort is focused on the development of the younger generation and the identification of gifted children. But here is the paradox: despite all the efforts of teachers and officials, there is no certainty about possibility of identifying all the talented children. Moreover, many of those who were identified as talented  at an early age may not be able to develop their talents to the required level.
What is the way out? First of all, ​​the need for focused efforts to find and support talented children is obvious.
Talent is a gift of God, and therefore requires a special attitude. Talented people are called gifted. The very word "gift" suggests that it is something that we received from the outside. Just like a birthday present.
A talented child does not choose parents. It could be born in any family, regardless of well-being and money. Talented children are often born in poverty or in families where parents drink or get sick. They can be born in a capital or a distant village, where money are tight. The talent inherent in the child must be noticed in time. The main question is that the mere presence of giftedness does not yet ensure complete success: natural abilities need to be seen, supported in time, and then developed and honed. In a well-to-do family, parents can pay due attention and help child’s development. Children from a low-income family, with disabilities or orphans need help from outside. Are we paying enough attention to such children?
True, a number of social programmes have recently appeared, the purpose of which is to support talented and gifted children, including orphans and children in difficult living conditions. There are creative contests and festivals organized especially for such children. On the one hand, it’s good. But after all, all these events, in fact, are only bright events, competitions ending with gifts and prizes. What's next?
There is a danger that adults will use gifted child’s talent for their own gain. All kinds of gala concerts followed by tours around the country, television shows and other show events have nothing to do with the support and development of the child’s talent. The worst thing is that this often ends tragically, and we know a lot of examples when young talents were mentally exhausted by the age of twenty.
Experts say that in order to fully reveal the child’s talent, it is needed to create conditions for learning. But that is not all. He needs the best educational institutions, the best and most experienced teachers. For a child from a wealthy family with sufficient resources, everything is much simpler: parents will find a proper educational institution for him, and not necessarily in Russia. There are no borders for big money. And what about talented orphans, children from low-income and large families? Are you sure that they will be found in the Russian outback and will be given a ticket to life? I am not.
As I said, the big problem is that we have practically no organized systematic and comprehensive search and identification of gifted children. Sometimes,  I read that some TV channel is organizing a contest for talented children. What do you think, how great are the chances of getting into such a competition for a child brought up in an incomplete family, where his mother works at two jobs in order to somehow make ends meet, where money is enough only for food. Such a child has practically no chances. And can he win such a competition? Or will they give the victory to someone whose parents will be able to buy it? I don’t have to go far for examples, many remember the scandal that ended the 6th season of “Voice. Children".
Therefore, the search and identification of gifted children is the main task, I would say it is a matter of national importance. Charitable foundations, public non-profit organizations acting as guides and intermediaries between the state and society join here.
Recently, in Russia, experts have noted the growth of private foundation. They say that their number will grow. And this is encouraging. I believe that this will help to solve the problem of searching support for talented orphans and children from low-income and large families.
Moreover, the range of directions should be as wide as possible so as not to miss a young Repin or Tchaikovsky, to notice new Einstein or Mendeleev or a modern Lomonosov in time. Let’s start sending expeditions to all corners of our country to find the gifted children. We will hold regional Olympiads and festivals. Let teachers from the farthest villages talk about their students with outstanding abilities. We must go to such villages. It is necessary to reach everyone and not to miss or lose anyone! We call gifted children the wealth of Russia, so each of them requires a lot of work from a professional master cutter in order to become a brilliant diamond in the future.
A diamond will never turn into a faceted diamond on its own. So a gifted child needs support, approval and, most importantly, professional assistance for development of his talent. Let schools for gifted children be created in each region. I believe this task is quite within our power.
Today, the children of our officials often receive brilliant education outside our great homeland. What will this give Russia? More literate and dodgy bureaucrats of the new generation? However,  I'm not sure about that. But the little Aivazovsky or the little Chaliapin stay home because their parents did not have money for this. Let's stop in our crazy run for good luck and think about it: is it not our fault that the future is foggy and the prospects are blurred?
I am sure that people who are ready to provide assistance in this important matter will join the work to identify Russian talents.
"First luck." In my opinion, it is a great name for such a private foundation, the main activity of which will be the search and support of talented children from low-income and large families as well as disabled children and orphans.