Specialists of Ukraine’s Center for economic and political research after Razumkov have studied the national doctrine for education system development and have come to a conclusion that the doctrine is a mere fantasy.
As of now, Ukraine’s budget designed for education makes up 6 billion hryvnas (a bit more than $1 billion), and the same amount is also required to implement the doctrine. The present-day degree of financing of the education system can not keep up prestige of Ukrainian teachers on a proper level. Teachers’ wages are lower than the living wage (it is twice as less than in the industry). Director of the Center for economic and political research Lyudmila Shangina says, the doctrine does not provide for great changes in the present-day situation, that is for sure to entail reduction of the teacher staff in the country.
Experts of the Center also doubt that the doctrine’s objective to completely computerize schools can be realized. According to the Center’s statistics, only 22,4% of Ukrainian pupils have got access to PC (12,1% - at home and 23,9% - at out-of-school institutions); even less pupils have got access to the Internet. As for teachers, the situation is even worse, that is explained with poverty and natural conservatism of teachers.
The system of pre-school education is practically destroyed in Ukraine: number of children attending kindergartens has reduced by 40% over the past years.
Results of sociological research reveal, educational problems are secondary, problems of low wages and pensions, high crime rate and unemployment are more important in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Minister of Education Vasily Kremen comments on the conclusions made by specialists of the Center for the Kievskiye Vedomosti newspaper. He admits, the problems in the education system are really very important, but at the same time disagrees that the doctrine is a fantasy. It was stressed at that, the doctrine provides for a 80-90% increase of teachers’ wages. The minister says, there is not enough financing for computerization of schools and adds that “if the problem is not worked on, it will never be settled.”
Experts of the Center, who know perfectly well the actual atmosphere in the society, are more pessimistic than the minister. Indeed, if the law “On education” is not carried into effect immediately (by the way, the law provides for financing of the education system at the rate of not less than 10% of GDP), not a single national doctrine, no matter feasible or fantastic will soon help Ukraine at all.
Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Maria Gousseva