Roman Semenukha: This is not yet a systemic reform of education, but we have made a number of positive steps towards changing the philosophy of education

Yesterday the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law “On Education”, which launches the reform of education in Ukraine. Samopomich Union faction supported the corresponding bill with its 25 votes “for”.
According to Roman Semenukha, a deputy from Samopomich faction, the bill allows for systemic changes in certain aspects of the educational process: “Today it is not yet a systemic reform, but it is a series of positive steps towards a change in the philosophy of education. Education should provide knowledge, values, skills. And through the adopted management changes, we will add some knowledge and will continue to struggle.”
The MP notes that the adopted bill will introduce the principle of “money follows children” in the secondary-level education. This means that from now on, private and public schools will be funded in accordance with the number of children studying there. “This is very important because it creates competition. Now the directorate of schools will compete for both students and teachers, because the more children a school attracts, the more money it will get. I do admit that a lot of work is yet to be done; nevertheless, this is a huge progress already,” Roman Semenukha assures.
Secondly, a competitive procedure for selecting directors of secondary schools is introduced; a competitive commission is created, and for the first time parents will be able to participate in this process.
Thirdly, the number of functions of the city and district departments of education will decrease. “The fourth advantage, for which we fought the entire day of voting, is that the language of study, beginning with the 5th grade, will be exclusively Ukrainian. Education in the language of national minorities will only take place in the 1st-4th grades in separately created classes along with the Ukrainian language,” the MP notes.
Another extremely positive thing that will be implemented by the law is the provision of the possibility for higher educational institutions to keep non-state money at bank accounts, instead of the State Treasury. Roman Semenukha believes that this is a real autonomization and decentralization of educational institutions.
“Unfortunately, the issue of parents’ charitable contributions, their audit, and control over them still remains unresolved. Nevertheless, it is still a step forward today. Now schools will be required to become separate legal entities with all public records. So, all parents will be able to monitor the expenditures of schools and make conclusions which school is effective,” sums up Roman Semenukha.

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