The draft law ‘On Education’ has been approved in the second reading and in general; 255 Ukrainian MPs supported the bill on the Tuesday voting.
The key feature of the new law is the 12-years-long education program in Ukrainian schools. The changes will take effect as follows:
- Primary education – since September 1, 2018
- Basic secondary education – September 1, 2022
- Upper secondary education – since September 1, 2027
School students will have to pass the state exam when completing primary, basic and upper secondary education in respective classes. The exam may be conducted as the External Independent Evaluation (in the senior school).
The law pays a lot of attention to the students with special needs; it foresees creation of inclusive and special groups and classes – on demands of the children’s parents. Whilst the education programs may contain elements of inclusive education, the Cabinet of Ministers reserves the right to officially define categories of people with special needs.
The document obliges the education facilities to report about its activity via Internet. The schools will have to publish their education licenses and all relevant documentation, revealing all peculiarities of the education process in particular school. It also foresees creation of a website with access to digital versions of schoolbooks; Ministry of Education is charged to take care of that.
The teachers’ salaries are now bounded to the minimal wage; for instance, the salary of low-proficiency tutor should be at least UAH 9,600 (roughly USD 370, - 112 International). Every time the teacher gets an upgrade in qualification, he gets a 10-percent bonus to the salary.
The language of tuition issue became one of the key problems in this regard. Authors of the bill spent a long time, trying to solve the dilemma: on the one hand, members of national minorities should have their rights preserved, that is – learning in their mother language, on the other – children should learn Ukrainian. Finally, MPs agreed that until 2020, the students will continue to learn by the current rules; however, the number of school subjects taught in Ukrainian will gradually grow.
All representatives of national minorities in Ukraine that are due to study at secondary school since next year will preserve their right for studying at public schools. They will be studying in separate classes and groups. The same principle is applied to students representing core nations of Ukraine.