What is the problem?
The educational system of Ukraine is now affected by a number of problems which must be solved in a systemic way. They include the poor quality of the school education, lack of access to high-quality education for students from rural areas, falling prestige of the teacher’s job and its devaluation on the labor market, ineffective use of the budget funds.
As a part of the budget reform, the Ministry of Finance initiated changes in the funding of education which should stimulate a systemic reform in the entire education system. The Ministry of Finance is cooperating with the Ministry of Education and Science as well as with civil experts to improve the quality of education in Ukraine. The focus is set on the improvement of the school and technical education.
Reform in the funding of education in Ukraine aimed to increase the effectiveness of the public funding and to supply the society and the economy with highly qualified workforce.
What has been done so far?
Having defined education as one of the budget priorities, the Government set the following provisions in the draft state budget for 2017:
- the expenses of the consolidated budget for education shall be increased by 21 billion hryvnas compared to 2016;
- teachers’ salaries shall rise by 33.5% compared to 2016;
- the education subsidy shall contain 1.6 billion hryvnas for providing the complete school education at vocational schools. In 2016 there was no funding at all for the complete school education of students at vocational schools;
- the education subsidy shall only be spent to pay salaries to the teachers. To improve the quality of education, we are focused on funding the educational services, not class rooms;
- 137 hub schools shall be created to ensure access to proper education for children from rural areas;
- 393 million hryvnas shall be provided to supply free-of-charge schoolbooks to children and to cover the demand for schoolbooks completely;
- an equalization fund shall be set up for communes whose revenues are not sufficient for the proper funding of schools. For communes whose revenues, due to the spatial specifics of these communes, are not sufficient to cover the needs of the schools, the state shall grant an additional subsidy totaling 14.9 billion hryvnas.
The Ministry of Finance is continuing its cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science as well as with experts to reform the education system:
- Improving the prestige of the teacher’s job. The Government should ensure systemic incentives for teachers including remuneration, continuing education and engagement of young teachers;
- Improvement of the quality of educational services.
- higher education institutions shall be granted financial autonomy; at the same time, requirements to their performance as well as to the transparency of their spending decisions should be increased;
- creation of a new funding system for scholarships;
- creation of a proper link between the labor market and the higher education.
- ensuring favorable conditions for the proper training of skilled workers who meet the requirements of the regional labor market; ensuring equal access to the vocational education;
- establishing a new mechanism to determine the public, regional and branch-related order for the training of personnel in line with the real needs of the economy, regional labor markets and the needs of the public;
- creating local councils including representatives of employers, educational institutions and local authorities with the aim to defines a development strategy for the regional system of vocational education.
- optimization of the school network and development of hub schools which help improve the quality of school education for children in small towns and settlements. This shall help children from rural areas gain a better education, receive better career opportunities and thus improve their chances for a better life.