Taras Sitenko: A regulation of the Ministry of Education might void the parental right in schools

Last year, Ukrainian parliament adopted the law “On Education”. Among other important things, this law did away with the monopoly of officials in the appointment of school principals; it provided the most interested participants in the educational process – the parents of students –with the right to vote.

However, the quality implementation of this right is under threat because of the Regulation on the competition for the position of school principal developed by the Ministry of Education, on the basis of which the founders of schools get the right develop and approve their own selection rules.

“This document defines the general principles of the competition, but it does not clearly define the mechanism for the formation of competitive commissions. This may result in the situations when the results of the competitions will be appealed in courts,” said Taras Sitenko, chairman of the Samopomich faction in the Kharkiv city council during the session.

According to the MP, the document does not specify how exactly parents will be selected into the commissions, which creates tension and grounds for conflicts.

“If we are talking about public associations of the parents of students, then according to this regulation, in Kharkiv, for example, where there are 181 schools, there should be a public union or organization established at each school in order to conduct the competition,” Taras Sitenko noted. “However, the Regulation does not say anything about the meeting of parents, and this might result in making the competition procedure closed in its nature.”

In the end, there is a risk that because of the imperfection of the document, local Departments of Education will have impact on the competitive commissions, whose composition and rules of procedure are not clearly defined, and will make it so that the principals who are under their control will win.

“We demand the creation of a working group that would finalize this regulation, which will ensure a fair and conflict-free competition,” Taras Sitenko said. “Unless this is done, this regulation might void the parental right in schools.”

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