Education in Ukraine

Education is the foundation for cultural, intellectual, economical, and social development of society. From the early childhood, a person is engaged in various learning processes, which not only gives us an opportunity to talk, walk, play, and interact with others, but also to develop one’s talents and choose one’s future occupation.

Ukraine is no exception in this regard. According to WENR, Ukraine is one of the most educated societies in the world. The Ukrainian Constitution grants access to free education to all its citizens. For this purpose, there are both state and private schools in Ukraine, though the former type prevails.

Ukrainian education system consists of 4 main blocks: preschool, comprehensive, occupational, and higher education. Apart from school-related education, there are multiple after-school courses, clubs, schools, and programmes both for children and adults like musical schools, art schools, IT-courses, foreign language courses, handicraft courses, and many others.

Preschool education starts before school, usually in kindergartens and multiple centres for children development. There, kids are taught how to write, read, count, draw, etc. One of the most important skills dealt with in kindergartens and kids centres is interaction. Children learn to interact and communicate with each other, though it is not obligatory to visit such kind of early-stage development institutions. Usually, only half of children visits them while others study at home either with their parents, grandparents, nannies, or private teachers.

General secondary/comprehensive education

General secondary education comprises 3 educational stages:

  1. primary education (forms 1 – 4)
  2. lower secondary education (forms 5 – 9)
  3. upper secondary education (forms 10 – 12)

General secondary or comprehensive education is mandatory in Ukraine. It means that children must study at primary and secondary schools irrelevant of their social status, physical and mental development, language, race, etc. from 6 to 15 years old.

The first four years belong to elementary or primary school. During these years, children learn to write, read, get a grasp of arithmetic, literature, languages, geography, social behaviour, and interaction. These activities prepare them for the next step, middle school or lower secondary education.

Recent educational reforms have made it possible for kids with special needs to study at a comprehensive school with the inclusive programme.

Lower secondary education is obligatory for children from 10 to 15 years old. On finishing school after the 9th form, children get a leaving certificate, which depicts marks on such subjects as mathematics, languages, history, geography, algebra, geometry, chemistry, physics, music, art, physical education.

Comprehensive school is the place where children start thinking about their future profession. Some schoolchildren decide to leave school after the 9th form and enrol in vocational-technical institutions to receive professional training. Others continue to study at 10-12 forms in order to get upper secondary education. 12th Form is a recent introduction into the education system. Earlier, 11th form was the last one at school. Vocational education can be also started after the 11th/12th form. The duration of training varies from 3 to 4 years for those who enrol after the 9th form. For those who want to receive professional training after the 11th/12th form the training can sometimes last for just 1 year.

The evaluation in Ukrainian schools takes place at the end of each educational stage in the form of state examination: 4th form, 9th form, and 12th form.

After school or college, students have an opportunity to enrol into a higher educational institution represented by institutes, universities, academies, and conservatories in Ukraine. This type of education is called tertiary education and comprises several degrees:

  1. Bachelor’s degree (3-4 years)
  2. Master’s degree (1-2 years)
  3. Doctor’s degree (Doctor of Arts, Doctor of Science) (3-4 years)

The above-mentioned system of education came into being in 2005 when Ukraine became a member of Bologna Process. Before that, students usually obtained a Specialist degree after 5 years of studying in a higher educational institution.

Students are admitted to Bachelor’s Degree programmes according to the results of the external independent assessment which is basically final school-leaving exams. After that, students can enrol in Master’s programmes which usually take 1-2 years. Most students prefer to leave after obtaining their Master’s degree but some stay at their educational institution and carry our research in order to obtain Doctoral Degree.

COVID-19 has brough new tendencies into the world education, Ukraine being no exception. Nowadays, a lot of people find on-line education to be more convenient, though others prefer a face-to-face kind of interaction.