Ukrainian schools have undergone considerable transformations in the past ten years. At the turn of the 1990s, the Soviet educational system imploded, as authoritarian pedagogy was replaced with one of cooperation; new instruction methods appeared and schools were now seeking individuality and experimenting. Mistakes were made, of course, but there was progress, there is no denying that.
Parents have a wide choice: they can send their children to ordinary secondary schools, specialist ones, gymnasia, lyceum, or private education institutions. So what schools are there in Kyiv?
Reference: There are 461 so-called general educational establishments in Kyiv of various types and kinds of ownership, with a total student body of 331,847. In addition to the conventional daytime method of instruction, there are opportunities and conditions for individual tuition to receive a secondary education that embraces 948 physically handicapped children. Most schools offer morning instruction and only 65 in the afternoon.
Money Solves All Problems
Reference: There are 20 private educational establishments in Kyiv, including 15 general educational schools and 5 kindergarten schools, enrolling a total of 699 children (0,5% of the capital’s student body). All private institutions are entered in all district and city educational networks.
Progressive pedagogues predict that children will eventually study only under individual programmes tailored to literally every child. Private schools, gymnasia, and lyceums are well on their way to this future educational system. Their classrooms are meant for 10-15 children each, so the teacher can see everybody clearly. And the teacher works with everyone individually, the more so as children spend practically the whole day in the private school.
Parents have nothing to worry about: their children are served tasty meals 3-4 times a day, transported to school and back, with professional medical personnel to care for them.
Children do not only study, but also participate in sports and in various hobby groups. They issue newspapers, go to theatres and museums; they have well stocked libraries, modern-equipped language laboratories, and so on.
Grande was the name of the first private lyceum (formerly Phenomenon) to open in the Ukrainian capital. It started by enrolling 15 students. Currently, the number is 150 with a teaching staff of 75. In addition to a regular secondary school diploma, the graduates receive the International Baccalaureate recognised by the world’s leading universities. And there is the British International School enrolling children of 26 nationalities. Its graduates are issued a secondary school diploma that qualifies for British university entrance.
Getting enrolled in a private institution of learning is not difficult. Unlike former Soviet specialist schools, the children are not selected by their parenthood, but the cost. The British International School costs $8,000 a year; Grande is $650 a month. There are less expensive institutions, of course – e.g., the Tourist Lyceum (tuition starts in the eighth year of secondary school and costs $80 a month plus $140 annually for the textbooks, museums, theatres, etc.); Harmony Humanitarian gymnasium ($150 a month), and the Spivtvorchist School (400-700 hryvnias monthly).
Reference: A modern Ukrainian gymnasium is a kind of secondary school with an emphasis on certain subjects in line with particular qualifications. There are 27 gymnasia in Kyiv, enrolling 16, 680 students (5% of the capital’s student body).
Gymnasia are nothing new for Kyiv historically. Our celebrated fellow countrymen, among them Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Konstantin Paustovsky, were gymnasium students.
When Ukrainian Education was caught in a revolutionary whirlwind ten years ago, quite a few secondary schools hurried to change their names. Indeed, lyceum and gymnasium sounded more prestigious.
Quite a few modern gymnasia are based on former specialist schools. Thus, School¹109, named after Taras Shevchenko, still focuses on languages. School¹49 major in the humanities and the curriculum includes four foreign languages. The gymnasia based on Schools¹153 (named after Pushkin) and ¹178 give instruction in Russian; ¹299, currently a boarding school, teaches Hebrew; Boarding Gymnasium ¹1 specialises in Oriental languages.
An economic (business) education can be received at gymnasia ¹30 “EcoNad”, “Ecoland”, “Apogei”. There are gymnasia best described as multi-discipline (e.g., ¹59, ¹43, “Trojeschyna”, Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium, Gymnasium of the Drahomanov National Pedagogic University), and there is Gymnasium ¹ 13 for girls only.
A gymnasium guarantees quality instruction, as a rule. Most graduates have no problems getting enrolled in higher institutions. Many gymnasia actively co-operate with foreign counterparts and allow their allumni to do practical work in different countries. Tuition is free, except that parents will have to pay 20-30 hryvnias a month for additional lessons. But getting enrolled is not easy, as the emphasis is on gifted children. Even if your son or daughter is admitted in the first preparatory year, it does not mean that he or she will make it to the fifth gymnasium year. In conrast, children who studied the first years in other schools can take and pass the entrance exams.
Every gymnasium pupil is faced with an extremely tight schedule. In addition to the compulsory secondary school curriculum, there are quite a few additional classes that not all children can cope with. Also, parents must be very helpful. Of course, the children are kept busy all the time, so there is practically no risk of a bad street influence. However, before sending your offspring to a gymnasium it is best to objectively assess their abilities, to make sure they will measure up and will feel comfortable. In a word, think twice.
Task 2.2. Using the information obtained in task 2.1 and your own school experience compare the system of primary and secondary education in Ukraine with that in Great Britain.
Do not fail to mention the following points:
- goals of education
- stages of education
- types of schools
- extra-curricular activities
- methods/techniques of teaching
While you compare English and Ukrainian Schooling, use the expressions below: