Ukraine’s education system has something to teach the world, but Ukraine is yet to discover what it has to offer – authors of educational projects

Civic experts present their take on innovations in Ukraine’s education sphere and on what Ukraine has to offer.

Education is not a matter of a particular country anymore. The problems that students and professors are facing are the same all across the globe. School teachers work too much, children are constantly nervous as they feel the requirements for them are too demanding, their parents are afraid to act outside the educational framework. These issues need to be addressed jointly. This opinion was expressed by Philippe Greier, organizer and founder of the international community for transformation of education EDUShifts, at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Education is not a national matter anymore. We see all around the world that we need to work together. I invite you to ask yourself this question: what the world can learn from Ukraine? What is it that is in your DNA, unique, that the rest of the world can learn from you?” he emphasized.

There is a huge number of educational projects in Ukraine, but no one is aware of them, even the people inside Ukraine. They are more concerned with their survival rather than with promotion of their solutions. “We need to figure out what the strong points of our country are, what we can be proud of. It is what we should be building our educational system on, the system that others will come to see to learn how it works. Even now the world has what to learn from Ukraine, while Ukraine itself is not aware of it,” said Andrii Blyzniuk, vice president of Batkivska Spilka (Parents’ Union) NGO. “It is very important for us while developing Ukraine to not keep this knowledge conserved here. We can share this knowledge, we are quite experienced. There are lots of people who are doing wonderful projects locally,” said Iryna Branytska, co-founder of “Papay’s School” educational project.

Both trust and autonomy need to be part of educational process. There needs to be an environment in which children are able to express themselves, while the community trusts and is ready to take up the new system. “Children are full-fledged members of society. They are equal and they can teach us as well. Our beliefs as to what to teach them may impede the child’s interest to study. Democracy needs to be practiced at school, if the children are not aware of their rights to speak up, what they are going to do when they will vote?” emphasized Philippe Greier. Parents want to see their children successful and that their success is what is topical for the society. Children’s wishes need to be at the basis. Ukraine needs to re-shift its focus from what’s trendy. “It is very much important to integrate the parents into educational space, into establishing of democratic education that does not promote evaluation, lessons-based system, but gives results instead. Parents have to change their vision of the educational process,” said Andrii Blyznyuk.