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Part III PROSPECTS

11. Future political developments

The majority of issues concerning evolution of formal basic education for all in Ukraine – political context, stages of the evolution of the system of education, quantitative and qualitative indicators – were analyzed in the National Report "Education for All. 2000".

In Ukraine the period of transformation of the planned and centralized economy into a market one, denationalization of means of production is very difficult. In the sphere of education the main problems are caused by the situation that cut of the resources of the state budget and amount of GNP, shortcomings of the inherited system joined the new ones under conditions of the economic crisis.

The Constitution of Ukraine guarantees the free of charge secondary education for all citizens of the country (Article 53) and the top officials do their best to implement these provisions into life. The leadership of Ukraine and the main political forces of the country realize the necessity of state and public support of the system of education, ensuring of wide enrolment of pre-schoolers by pre-school education and total granting of qualitative general education to all age group of 6-18 years old. Active reforming of high school, particularly, widening access to higher education, establishment of new institutions and increase of training of specialists in law, banking, management and business are in the process of implementation.

It should be stressed that in Ukraine there exists the political consensus concerning the importance of the development of education. Different political parties, presidential aspirants pay much attention to the analysis of the state of secondary and higher education, proposals of various means for solving urgent problems. That is why, the system of education will remain the priority issue of attention and support irrespectively of the result of the future presidential elections.

The leadership of Ukraine made a lot for the development of education for all. In particular, the State Program "A Teacher" was worked out on the initiative of the President of Ukraine after the important meeting dedicated to the problems of protection of children and ensuring their development and education. The draft of the Program was elaborated by the Ministry of Education and adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers in 1997. It envisages co-ordinated efforts for improvement of quality of teachers training in the system of pedagogical education of Ukraine and effectiveness of their work at schools; working out and adoption of new standards of training of teachers. A great attention is paid to vocational orientation of students, who are interested in a profession of a teacher. The Program stipulates the working out of the improved variant of the content of teacher training programs in higher educational institutions (pedagogical colleges, technical schools, institutes and universities) by the research institutions of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine. Several ministries are to develop the network of educational institutions and to raise its effectiveness and the Government is to improve the social protection of teachers, provide them with material and informational assistance. In 1998-1999 the plans of the State Program "A Teacher" were implemented very successfully, except those which envisaged attraction of substantial additional finances.

The Program "A Child" and other programs of effective assistance of family and pre-school education were worked out analogously the Program " A Teacher". There exist complex programs which pay attention to different educational aspects, for example the Program on reduction of the level of criminality of teenagers in Ukraine, assistance in solving their social problems, in getting education and mastering a profession by them (1993). In 1995 the Government approved the complex Program on development of legal education of the whole population. Inclusion of the new compulsory subject "Jurisprudence" into curricula of secondary schools was among important elements of this Program.

Within the framework of this process the Supreme Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine adopted the Law "On organization of Service in Juvenile Cases and Special Institutions for Juveniles". It should be stressed that all these efforts not at once but gradually resulted in certain decrease of the level of law infringements among students.

The Decree of the President of Ukraine "On Preparation for the New School Year" (August 6, 1999) envisages mobilization of all possible additional resources and co-ordination of activities of the state bodies. The mobilized funds are planned to use for edition of the necessary amount of textbooks for schools, for assistance in purchase of school uniform and didactic materials for low income families.

The strategy of activities of the Supreme Rada, the President, the Government and top officials of the educational bodies in the sphere of education are in completion of creation of a legal field and development of preconditions for deepening and continuation of reforms of the system of education. For this reason the laws of direct effect are being elaborated on the basis of principles and approaches of the Constitution and the "Law on Education". These laws are to regulate the activities at all levels of the system of education – beginning from pre-school education to adults training and upgrading of qualification level of all active population.

The problems of ensuring possibilities of education and improving its quality are examined by the "Law on General Secondary Education" (adopted in June 1999). It underlines the importance of co-ordination of interests of the society and the state and interests of students and their parents.

The "Law on General Secondary Education (1999) envisages increasing of the nomenclature of pre-school and compulsory educational institutions, types of subordination. Implementation of the Law provisions will promote improvement of quality of education, autonomy of educational institutions and possibilities for their development.

Within the structure and the content of general secondary education the new Law stipulates transition for the recognized European and world standards. The three level structure is to take into account the three successive stages of the development of a child personality.

The first stage – the elementary school – will include 4 years of studying. It will enable to relieve students and give teachers the opportunity to achieve success in improving basic knowledge and skills in Mathematics, Language, Valeology and environmental subject.

The second stage of the compulsory secondary education will comprise the modified 5 years basic school, where students will get knowledge and skills in science and humanitarian subjects, mother tongue and foreign languages. It will ease to make choice for each individual for further education. The first and the second stages will form the formal basic education for all with 9 years of duration.

The third state will last three years in institutions of general education and in the system of professional training. At this stage thorough study of the limited group of subjects, which will be chosen by students for their further studying (in universities, institutes and academies), is envisaged. The youth will get specialities and opportunities to enter the labour market, studying in institutions of vocational training.

The "Law on General Secondary Education" introduces not only the European standard of duration of studying (12 years) but also the appropriate standards of school years duration (190 working days), intensity of weekly education, current and final examination of students progress and a lot of other forms of experience of the European and American democratic countries.

Analogous positive changes in activities of the system of education will be stipulated by other Laws – On Pre-school education, On Higher Education and so on.

The speed of the progress of the system of education for all in Ukraine will depend upon deepening of economy reforming, increasing of GNP amount, improvement of financial maintenance of pre-school and school institutions. Work of hundreds of thousands of teachers of schools and tens of thousands of professors of high educational institutions in direction of new approaches to training of students, preparation them for life and activities in a democratic, legal and European state – independent Ukraine – will promote acceleration of this process.

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