Senior specialized school network formation is one of the main challenges of the New Ukrainian School reform, and we are already looking for partners for this mission, – Liliya Hrynevych at the meeting with the World Bank representatives

Published 07 February 2019 at 11:52

Despite the fact that the launch of senior specialized schools (grades 10-12) falls in 2027 according to the New Ukrainian School reform plan, we already have to start forming senior specialized school network, as this is an extremely difficult task, both from logistic and financial point of view. That is why it is important for us to bring together reliable partners who will become the backbone of the project. Minister of Education and Science Liliya Hrynevych stated this at the meeting with Cyril Muller, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, today, February 7, 2018, in the building of the Ministry of Education and Science.

«We would like the Ministry to return to substantial co-operation with the World Bank in the field of education. We now have a small joint project on school statistics, which is progressing quite successfully and shows good results. I am convinced that it should become an important step towards restoring good relations and productive co-operation between our institutions, which, unfortunately, have been lost during the previous administration. We want to see the World Bank return to the field of education. I think that the Government's policy in recent years shows that education has been one of the main priorities of our state», – Liliya Hrynevych stated.

She referred to three priority areas, where the Ministry is particularly keen to co‑operate with the World Bank. Notably, in addition to co-operation within the framework of the New Ukrainian School reform on the development of the senior specialist school network, it is about the co‑operation in the field of higher education with the purpose of establishing the criteria for assessing the quality of education and the communication of reforms.

«If we are talking about school reform and the establishment of senior specialized schools – it is a very intensive task. It requires a huge amount of resources of all kinds – temporary, financial, human. I am convinced that in order to do this we need to start working now, getting the support of a big number of partners, and we would like to see you among them. The incredible challenge of higher education is establishing the criteria for the assessment of its quality. We have almost launched the work of a new institution – Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education –it will need support and assistance, too. But it is equally important to communicate the reform; since the education system is very large, the reform depends on the quality of co-operation of all those involved in its implementation. I feel like it is communication that we are experiencing considerable difficulties with right now», – the Minister explained.

Cyril Muller, World Bank Vice President said that after meeting with Ukrainian companies he feels that the educational reform in all areas, from secondary to higher and vocational education, in Ukraine is long overdue.

«There have been complaints at just about every company I had a meeting at, that employers were forced to retrain those who they employ, to give them new skills. Their major criterion is the school or the university that the person has graduated from, and if it is a good institution and the person has had high achievements, they can in principle learn. But this is not a very effective use of resources when the employer retrains a freshly educated employee. Therefore, it seems to me that the educational reform today is important for the country as a whole», Cyril Muller added.

The World Bank representatives noted that they are ready to co-operate more closely with the educational sector in Ukraine, in particular, to consider launching joint projects in the areas identified by the Ministry of Education and Science.

We recall that in 2017 the Ministry of Education and Science re‑established co‑operation with the World Bank with a small project of "Strengthening the policy‑making based on evidentiary data using educational statistics and analysis" worth 400 thousand dollars. The World Bank representatives then emphasized that the further deepening of co‑operation would only be possible after the Ministry had demonstrated its determination in undertaking the reform.