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6.3. Evolution, state and trends of changes in the system of basic education in Ukraine

 6.3.1. General remarks and terminology

In Ukraine a school of the second level is called "basic school" and is a final level of the formal basic education. As it is known, in other countries it has different names - "low secondary school", "grammar school ", "college" and others.

This level is an important link in the continuous education system both in Ukraine and in the democratic countries of Europe and America. It is compulsory, free and aims to give further education, and also an basic vocational orientation to a child.

Duration of schooling at the basic school in Ukraine is five years, and therefore the total duration of formal basic education is eight years, if a pupil completed the course of the three-year elementary school, or nine years in the case of a four-year elementary school. The minimal age of the formal basic education completion is 14 years, maximal - 16 years.

All these variants correspond to the provisions of the educational Laws in Ukraine. The realization of one of them depends on the initial level of the child development before the beginning of the primary education, desire of his parents and school achievements of a child. The majority of pupils in Ukraine graduate the basic school in the age of 15.

Education, received at the basic school, has in Ukraine the official name "basic general secondary education ". This term might be translated in English as "formal basic education ", but in fact it is incomplete secondary education.

Certificate about successful completion of the basic school gives to the 14-15 year old teenagers the right to continue schooling both at the upper secondary school and at the higher education institutions of the I-II accreditation levels.

The Law on Education of 1996 determines "provision of the basic general secondary education " as the main task of the basic school, and the Law on General Secondary Education of 1998 in Article 9 gives such definition:

"Basic (secondary) school is a comprehensive school of the second level with education of a prevailing applied direction ".

Both laws emphasize, that this link is an integral part of the network of general educational institutions in Ukraine, which is created for provision to children of general secondary education (or formal basic education).

The Law of Ukraine "On General Secondary Education " envisages significant changes in the structure of secondary education. It determines a new duration of schooling at the basic school - five years with 190 school days a year (not taking into account the time on tests and final examinations, duration of which can not be more than three weeks).

At the same time the two mentioned Laws do not specify the structure and contents of education - the structure of the course of study and the choice of a complex of subjects, the amount of weekly class lessons for each of them and so forth. Such problems are solved at the Ministry of Education level, which annually in spring issues Regulations concerning curricula for the next year in accordance with the Law on Education.

6.3.2. Curricula of the basic school

According to the provisions of the "Law on Education" (1996) and the "Law on General Secondary Education", the Ministry of Education of Ukraine is responsible for the working out of the standard curricula for schools of different levels. These curricula are periodically updated. Long before the beginning of a school year they are published in mass educational newspapers and newsletters of the Ministry of Education. Schools receive them at the end of spring, and it enables the school authorities to plan activities of a school year.

For example, in Regulation N131 of the Minister of Education (April 3, 1998) "On the Standard Curricula of General Educational Institutions for 1998/1999 Academic Year" there are necessary explanations and seven additions with curricula for educational institutions of different types and appropriate languages of schooling, and also with a six-day time and five-day time mode of schooling.

" The Explanatory note" specifies the procedure of elaboration of the working curricula on the basis of the standard ones, and also their sanction by the appropriate bodies of authorities. In Tab. 10 there is a sample standard curriculum for schools with the Ukrainian language of teaching for 1998/1999 school year (only for basic school).

The Regulations concern up-to-date five years' basic school (the second level of compulsory education), that is 5-9 grades.

At the first glance, the standard curriculum seems to be rather homogeneous, with harmonious structure and with no "leaps" concerning complexity of the course of study and so forth. In fact the basic school is terminated in the eighth grade for the majority of subjects, and the ninth grade is the first year of the upper school and should be classified as a part of the third level of the compulsory education. In the ninth grade there begin the study of many subjects on a rather high level what is planned as training for further schooling in higher educational institutions.

 Table 10. Standard curriculum of a day-time general educational institution of the II level (basic schools) with the Ukrainian language of teaching

  

Subjects

Weekly school hours in grades 5-9

5

6

7

8

9

total

Compulsory subjects
1 Ukrainian language

5

4

4

3

2

18

2 Ukrainian literature

2

2

2

3

3

12

3 Foreign literature

2

2

2

2

2

10

4 Foreign language

4

3

3

3

2,5

15,5

5 Mathematics, foundations of informatics

4,5

4,5

4,5

4,5

4,5

22,5

6 History of Ukraine

1

 

1

2

2

6

7 World History  

2

1

1

1

5

8 Science of Law        

1,5

1,5

9 Geography  

2

2

2

2

8

10 Environment. Nature study

1

       

1

11 Biology  

2

2

2

2

8

12 Physics    

2

2

3

7

13 Chemistry      

2

2

4

14 Music, art

2

2

2

1

 

7

15 Physical education

2

2

2

2

2

10

16 Working education

2

2

2

2

2

10

17 Health protection

0,5

0,5

0,5

0,5

0,5

4,5

Total

26

28

30

32

32

 

Variable part (options)

Optional subjects (Extra-lessons)

4

5

5

5

5

24

Permissible weekly amount of school hours

29

32

33

34

35

 
Total

30

33

35

37

37

172

 Initial acquaintance with these subjects is provided just at the basic school: teaching of the Ukrainian and foreign literature, history of Ukraine, foreign language begins from the 5-th grade, world history, geography and biology - from the 6-th, physics - from the 7-th, chemistry - from the 8-th grade.

6.3.3. General statistical data on the basic education

Though according to the mentioned Laws "On Education" and "On General Secondary Education" basic schools might exist as autonomous educational institutions, practically it happens very seldom. The statistical data in Ukraine testify that there are no such "autonomous" basic schools, which might have only 5-9 grades. Pupils of such age study in incomplete (of the I and II levels) or complete (of the I-III levels) general education institutions. The data on the amount of educational institutions of the secondary education in Ukraine, their differentiation by educational institutions of different types, enrolments of teachers and pupils for 1998-99 school year are given in the following Table.

 Table 11. Educational institutions of the secondary education in Ukraine (1998/99 school year)

  

Number of institutions

Number of teachers

Number of pupils

 

Total

Urban

Rural

Total

Urban

Rural

Total

Urban

Rural

Institutions of all types (total)

21903

6913

14990

568678

321126

247552

6876180

4642163

2234017

Among them: level

levels

levels Special institutions

3173

6492

11838

400

401

820

5391

301

2772

5672

6447

99

9854

99481

447942

11401

3351

16936

291650

9189

6503

82545

156292

2212

100926

769489

5938196

67569

43723

199857

4344710

53873

57203

569632

1593486

13696

Among institutions

Schools of the  level

2671

196

2475

7630

2051

5579

78062

27991

50071

Schools of the levels

6226

781

5445

95839

16384

79455

749447

197401

552046

Schools of the levels

11065

4772

6293

411896

259311

152585

5541893

3981281

1560612

Gymnasiums

243

241

2

12889

12815

74

143450

142903

547

Lyceums

268

254

14

11497

11092

405

109005

105329

3676

Complexes kindergarten-school

981

330

651

17019

9924

7095

186754

133385

53369

Sanatorium schools

49

38

11

507

360

147

 As Table 11 shows, most pupils receive formal basic education in three-level secondary schools, which have the complete set of grades - from the first up to the eleventh one.

In the Table S6 contain data on the total enrolments of the system of formal basic education in Ukraine - 5 963 761 students at the beginning of 1998-99 school year. As the enrolments of the comprehensive secondary educational institutions in Ukraine is 6876180 students (tab. 11), the enrolments of the formal basic education is about 86,7 per cent of all students of the system of compulsory education in Ukraine. According to the data of the State Committee of Statistics the total enrolments of the system of secondary education in Ukraine at the beginning of 1998/99 school year was 6 987 081 students [9], therefore the figure 85,35 per cent would be more correct.

After successful completion of the basic education and passing the final examinations, students of basic schools receive certificates about basic general secondary education

Such certificates give the right: to continue education in comprehensive schools of the III level; to continue education and to receive some profession in the basic vocational institutions; to enter the educational institutions of the I-st and 2-nd accreditation levels.

Such a variety of possibilities for young people after formal basic education give them the opportunity to select the most appropriate way. A lot of students prefer vocational training in the network of secondary or higher vocational institutions to precipitate going out on the labour market. A variety of choice causes the fact that the enrolments of upper secondary schools in Ukraine is more than twice as less of 15-17 years old age group. As the fifth column of the Table D7 shows, the enrolments of such educational institutions within all Ukraine are 39,8 per cent of this age group.

The minimal scope of young people by the comprehensive education is in Lugans'k oblast (33 per cent). Similar situation (about 35-37per cent) is in all oblasts (Donets'k, Odessa and others), where there are many secondary vocational institutions. The maximal enrolments in secondary comprehensive schools are in Chernigiv oblast (48,7 per cent). In perspective due to the increased amount of young people aged 18-23 who enters the higher education institutions, this figure might be about 50-60 per cent.

Much better is the situation with providing of formal basic education. As the Table D7 testifies, the scope of young people aged 10-14 by schooling in basic schools is in Ukraine about 96 per cent. Even higher parameters of scope of children and teenagers by schooling in basic schools are typical for oblasts of the Centre, for many oblasts of the West and North. The highest parameter for this educational level is in Vinnytsia - 99,8 per cent.

Lower in comparison with average for Ukraine is the scope of youth by basic education in industrial oblasts of the East - Donets'k (91,5 per cent), Lugans'k (92,3 per cent), Kharkiv (95,6 per cent).

The analysis of parameters of children scope of 10-14 years old age group by schooling in 1990-1998 testifies, that for all Ukraine they remained approximately constant and were about 96-98 per cent. Taking into account very difficult conditions, in which now Ukraine is, it is necessary to recognize that such a high scope is a certain achievement of the system of education in Ukraine.

It is very important that in the period of an economic crisis and significant reduction of education financing Ukraine succeeded to keep practically total children scope of 7-14 years old age group by the basic education. And basic education is, as earlier, education for all.

6.4. Financing of education for all in Ukraine

6.4.1. Educational budget

Period of disintegration of the country and transition from the centrally planned economy to the market one is not the best time for statistical services.

The most part of the Ukrainian economy in the 90s have been in a "shadow sector", therefore the correct measuring of the total volume of output and income distribution is not available. The accessible sources of data draw unequal conclusions concerning the ratio of two kinds of gross national output - "visible" (covered by state statistical and tax services) and "real".

It is evident, that it concerns also expenditures on education. There is an example of such divergences in Tab. 12.

 Table 12. Public expenditures on education in Ukraine in 1990-1997 (in percent to GNP)

  

Year

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Expenditures on education as part of gross national product (%) [11]

 

7

6,7

6,5

6

5,5

5

4

Expenditures on education in percents of gross national product (data of the Ministry of Finance)

   

4,6

   

5,4

4,9

5,4

Generalized data on state expenditures on education in per cents of gross national product (data of the Ministry of education)

3.5

4.5

4.6

4.4

5.2

5.4

4.9

5.3

 At the beginning of the 90s statistical services and the Ministry of Education did not attached much importance to the exact data on distribution of expenditures by different sectors and educational levels - elementary school, basic and upper secondary schools, basic vocational education and so forth. The data of that time are very approximate and contradictory. The situation has improved since the middle of the 90s, when the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education have begun to collect and to use the similar data. An example there is in Table 13. The source of the data is the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine.

 Table 13. Current budget expenditures on education in Ukraine

 Year

 

Total

Expenditures on different levels of education

Pre-school

General secondary

Vocational-technical

Higher

Other institutions and activity

1992

Budget expenditures (milliards UAH)

232

33

97,1

26,6

52,1

23,2

Share of gross national product (%)

4.6

0.7

1.9

0.5

1.0

0.5

Share of all expenditures on education (%)

100

15.21

41.3

10.87

21.74

10.87

Share of associated budget (%)

12.1

1.7

5.1

1.4

2.7

1.2

Share of associated budget expenditures of Ukraine

100

14.05

42.15

11.57

22.31

9.92

1995

Budget expenditures (milliards UAH)

2932

475.3

1383.8

193

522.7

357

Share of gross national product (%)

5.4

0.9

2.5

0.4

1.0

0.7

Share of all expenditures on education (%)

100

16.67

46.3

7.41

18.5

12.96

Share of associated budget (%)

12.1

2.0

5.7

0.8

2.2

1.5

Share of associated budget expenditures of Ukraine

100

16.53

47.1

6.6

18.18

12.4

1996

Budget expenditures (milliards UAH)

4007

580.1

1890.4

308.9

769.7

457.6

Share of gross national product (%)

4.9

0.7

2.3

0.4

0.9

0.6

Share of all expenditures on education (%)

100

14.3

46.7

8.2

18.4

12.2

Share of associated budget (%)

11.7

1.7

5.5

0.9

2.3

1.3

Share of associated budget expenditures of Ukraine

100

14.3

47.0

7.7

19.7

11.1

1997

Budget expenditures (milliards UAH)

5034

744.9

2528.0

298.9

903.3

558.6

Share of gross national product (%)

5.4

0.8

2.7

0.3

1.0

0.6

Share of all expenditures on education (%)

100

14.8

50.0

5.5

18.5

11.1

Share of associated budget (%)

14.7

2.2

7.4

0.9

2.6

1.6

Share of associated budget expenditures of Ukraine

100

15.0

50.3

6.1

17.7

10.9

 Hence, expenditures’ distribution by different types of education in Ukraine (in percent of GNP) is as follows:

Pre-school education - 0.8 per cent of a gross national product (about 15 per cent of all expenditures on education);

General secondary education (primary, basic and upper secondary level) - 2.6 per cent (approximately 48 per cent of all expenditures on education);

Basic vocational education - 0.35 per cent (about 6 per cent of all expenditures on education);

Higher education - 1 per cent (18 per cent of all expenditures on education);

Other educational institutions and educational arrangements (special education, scientific researches, in-service training and so forth).

Quite different situation concerns distribution of the "central" budget (budget of the Cabinet of Ministers). In Table 14 there are data, concerning transferring of financing of the lower educational levels (pre-school and general secondary one) to the local budgets.

 Table 14. Distribution of central budget expenditures on education (1998)

 

 

Per cent budget expenditures on education

1

Pre-school education

4.31

2

Secondary education

0.62

3

Institutions for children with special needs

0,46

4

Out-of-school education

2.16

5

Vocational education

21.03

6

Higher education

61.09

7

Post-graduate education

3.13

8

Other educational institutions

7.20

 

TOTAL

100.0

 According to the data of the Ministry of Finance the budget expenditures on education in 1998 was planned at the level of 4,1 milliards UAH (about 1,9 milliards USD), of which 1,5 milliards is from the central budget, 2,6 milliards - from the local ones. But in reality this sum was much less - about 75-80 per cent is more possible. This is true also for 1999 - the planned educational budget was about 4 milliard UAH., the expected one - 75 per cent of this sum.

And still education is not in the worst situation among all the budget recipients. If to take into account public and local budget expenditures on pre-school, secondary and vocational education, it will appear, that the sphere of education, where about 7 per cent of all active population is engaged, receives almost 12 per cent of the budgets of all kinds. It concedes only to the expenditures on pension (21 per cent) and social protection of population (also about 21 per cent).

The annual relative expenditures on education in the 90s were more or less stable (according to the data of the Ministry of Finance they were from 4,6 per cent up to 5,4 per cent GNP and from 12 per cent up to 15 per cent of the unified budget) but the absolute volume due to the economic crises, deepening from year to year, decreases. In the open sources there are no detailed data concerning distribution of expenditures on educators' wages, management, didactic materials, equipment, capital investments and so on. In different sources there are contradictory data concerning expenditures on wages, but in general they agree that for different educational levels it is on the average from half up to two thirds of all expenditures.

In Table S8 there are data, closest to indicators 7 and 8. Unfortunately, in Ukraine there are no data of the 90s concerning indicator 7? UNESCO (expenditures on primary education as percent of GNP), and concerning indicator 7? (expenditures per pupil of the system of primary education as percent of GNP per one citizen of Ukraine). There exist some reasons, we consider two of them:

Lack of reliable data in real terms for a total national product and its share per one resident;

Involving of elementary schools into the structure of several levels' schools, that causes the impossibility of reliable division of expenditures by primary (I - IV grades) and secondary (basic school and upper secondary school) levels of education. In Ukraine, as Tables 13 and S8 show, there exist only data concerning expenditures on all the system of secondary education without differentiation of these expenditures by the three levels of education.

For the similar reasons it is impossible to estimate precisely current public expenditures on primary education as percent to all public expenditures on education (indicator 8 UNESCO), because in Ukraine only data on expenditures on the whole system of secondary education are available. As Tables 13 and S8 testify, in the 90s on the average they were about 46 per cent of all public (budget) expenditures on education. It should be mentioned, that this parameter does not take into account expenditures of private persons (parents, teachers and so forth) on secondary education.

Private sector of the system of secondary education in Ukraine is very insignificant - at the beginning of 1998/99 school year there were 187 secondary education institutions with 16 244 (0.23per cent of total) pupils and 3979 teachers. It is evident, that such an insignificant addition to the public system of secondary education has a little influence on the data of Tables 13 and S8.

At last, it is impossible to estimate precisely all the parameters concerning expenditures on primary and basic education - both separately, and together. As a result, the expenditures on all formal basic education in Ukraine can be estimated quite approximately if to use the data concerning the enrolments of primary (I-IV grades), basic (V-IX grades) and upper secondary (X-XI grades) levels of compulsory education in Ukraine.

As it was mentioned (Tab. S6), in 1998/99 school year the enrolments of the formal basic education in Ukraine was 5 963 761 - 85,35 per cent of all students (6 987 081). Under the condition of equal expenses per each student, regardless of his age, formal basic education would absorb 85,35 per cent of all expenditures on the secondary education, hence, about 39.2 per cent of all public expenditures on the education in Ukraine.

In fact, as well as in other countries, the expenditures per student of the upper secondary school are higher, than of those of the basic or elementary school. Taking into account this fact we may state, that the formal basic education in Ukraine receives a little bit more than one third of those public funds, which are spent for all the sphere of education.

From the ratio of elementary and basic schools' enrolments and possibility of differences in the cost of schooling, it might be stated very approximately, that the funds' distribution ratio between elementary and basic schools is equal to 1:2. Hence, the possible expenditures on elementary schools are 11per cent of all expenditures on the basic school - 23 per cent, and, as a result, for all the formal basic education - 34 per cent.

Total expenditures on education in Ukraine at the late 90s are very low - at the level of many countries of the Third World. Using the data of Table S8, we come to a conclusion, that on the average in 1997 there were 275 UAH (approximately 140 USD) per one student of the system of formal basic education. In 1998 this figure owing to depreciation of UAH was even lower.

And still we should note, that the system of formal basic education in Ukraine gets the greatest possible financing - more than one third of all expenditures on education.

6.5. Teachers and students in the system of basic education for all

6.5.1. General remarks

Profession of a teacher in Ukraine is held in respect, though his wage, as that of other employees' one of the budget sector, is very low.

Teacher is supported and protected by the legislation of Ukraine. For example, Article 57 of the "Law on Education" [2] reads:

" 1. The state provides to educators and scholars:

Appropriate conditions of labour, life, rest, health services;

in-service training not rare than once in five years;

Legal, social, professional protection;

Legally prescribed indemnification in a case of loss of job, of changes in organization of activities

Granting and payment of pensions according to the current legislation;

Granting of increased salaries for scientific degrees and scientific ranks;

Monthly long-service bonuses to educators and scholars in percentage to their salaries and according to the length of pedagogical service: more than 3 years - 10 percents, more than 10 years - 20 percents, more than 20 years - 30 percents;

Providing educators with annual money compensation up to one salary for diligent work;

Providing educators and scholars with the pecuniary aids (of monthly salary degree) for improving their health during annual holidays;

Granting of average wages to educators of higher educational institutions of the third and fourth accreditation levels which are equal to the double average wages of industrial workers;

Granting of the average salaries to professors of higher educational institutions of the first and second accreditation levels, which are not lower than the average wages of the industrial workers.

The revision of professors and scholars' salaries is carried out twice a year with quarterly indexing in view of the inflation rate.

Granting of the salary circuit to educators and scholars and increasing (indexing) of their salaries are being carried out by the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

2. The state provides:

- Granting of additional payments to the specialists, engaged in the educational system, at the degree of monthly average wages of the workers of the national economy as a whole… "...

Unfortunately, state authorities have no necessary funds to carry out provisions of the Law on Education fully.

Providing of educational institutions with the staff is one of the priorities of the leaders of the educational system in Ukraine. In the country there exists a developed network of pedagogical institutions. As it is shown on Chart 3, its structure includes specialized higher educational institutions of the I and II accreditation levels, which accept graduates of the basic school (they complete long courses of study), and also those who has received complete secondary education (their courses are shorter). The educational institutions of these types train mainly tutors of pre-schools and teachers of elementary schools. They are subordinated not to the Ministry of Education, but to local governments.

Most teachers of the system of secondary education (who are able to teach two or three subjects) and teachers for higher educational institutions are trained in pedagogical educational institutions of III and IV accreditation levels - pedagogical institutes and universities. The smaller amount of teachers is trained in classical universities and other educational institutions (Chart 3).

All these educational institutions are subordinated to the Ministry of Education. The scientific and methodical support of educational process is carried out by the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, which includes several research institutes. In Ukraine there is also a network of in-service training institutions.

Practically all teachers are trained in state educational institutions, future teachers’ enrolment of private institutions is about 1 per cent. The Ministry of Education determines entrants' quota in pedagogical educational institutions. In 1998 it was 14 200 entrants for a day time form of training and 3 900 - by correspondence. In total in 1997/98 academic year 92490 students (52900 from them - by correspondence) studied at pedagogical universities and institutes. In the last two years enrolments of pedagogical institutions tend to the slow growth. During 1991-1994 the situation was quite opposite.

Training profiles and qualifying requirements to teachers are determined in state standards. Higher educational institutions have the right to modify some part of the standard curricula approved by the Ministry of Education, and also to provide some additional training. National universities have the highest autonomy.

Curricula and syllabuses for different levels of educational institutions determine the nomenclature of pedagogical specialities. The growth of the autonomy enables higher schools to use up to third of educational time on options.

The Ministry of Education of Ukraine includes in the list of the main specialities twenty of them - History, Ukrainian language and literature, social pedagogics and others. The basic specialities, as a rule, are united with additional ones that enable teachers to get a necessary amount of week lessons at incomplete or small schools.


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