Kyiv, December 16, 2014. The creation of the CAPS, the Civil and Political School, will train Ukraine’s future leaders in the Western-style education that most of them lack. The school draws on the Georgian experience and that of other post-communist states, and will seek to support the successful transformation of Ukrainian politics and bureaucracy. This was stated at Ukraine Crisis Media Center by Khatia Dekanoidze, the former Minister of Education of Georgia, and Georgii Zubko, a Ukrainian lecturer at the Administrative Law Department of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
The CAPS school will seek to prepare a new generation of Ukrainian political leaders and civil servants that can help build a new state in the country. Ukraine’s political transition to a modern state will require Ukrainian leaders to learn from the successes and failures of past reform efforts around the world. However, without Western-style education and access to global experts, Ukrainians will not have access to the knowledge and experience to make this process possible. The CAPS school will bring lecturers to Ukraine with vast educational and practical experience. This will disseminate this knowledge to highly-motivated adult students who wish to make big changes.
“Politician has become a bad word in Ukraine for the last twenty years,” stated Zubko. The new approach to education at CAPS will seek to equip Ukrainians with the tools to reform the system and inspire more faith in the political process. “It is very important to us that our students are sincere, because our lecturers will deliver the knowledge,” he continued. These students can become the catalyst of a new social and political movement in Ukraine.
“I was only 24 years old when I first came to the civil service in Georgia, and we were criticized at the time for being too young and too unexperienced,” said Dekanoidze. “But we were determined, and we had a strong will to change the country.” Dekanoidze hopes that Ukraine can learn from the experience of Georgia’s successes in the reform process, of which the CAPS school will serve a vital role. While Ukraine cannot merely cut and paste the reforms achieved in Georgia, the general experience is undoubtedly useful. The former Georgian minister stressed that some of the reforms might be painful, and that they will require sacrifice and faith in the future. “Yes, it was painful but it was for the good of the country and the people believed that it was for the best,” she stated. “The first step is to believe that it is for the best.”
Dekanoidze says that Ukraine’s Minister of Education, Serhiy Kvit, is determined to root out corruption and inefficiency in the educational system. “He realizes that without curbing corruption in education you will be able to do nothing,” she stated. The determination of Ukrainian authorities, an education system that trains motivated Ukrainians, and public determination can produce real change in the country, noted the speakers. CAPS school, by training Ukrainian politicians and civil servants of present and future, hopes to create a spirit of forward-thinking creativity and reform for the good of the country, they concluded.