Ex-Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine,
Alumna of 4th enrollment of the School for Strategy Architects
Changes to any system are rarely initiated by the system itself. For instance, external independent testing. When we introduced it, the main impetus was given from the third sector. We conducted our first pilot testing in 2003, and at that time some education officials said the initiative was reverie and impossible to be introduced in our country in the next decade. However, the external independent testing became mandatory for all applicants already in 2008.
The education system should be very responsive to children's future needs. The present-day first-graders will be in the active phase of their work in approximately 20-25 years. Technologies are evolving so rapidly that it is difficult to predict what will happen in 10 years, not to mention 20 years. Obviously, people need to master more soft skills. One need to learn how to think critically as the information flows that have to be processed are enormous.
I believe that every person has to study throughout life. Any educational establishment should be an organisation that studies. This spirit of excitement, search for new solutions and the use of new technologies expands the range of possibilities. Most importantly, it captures the entire orbit of modern change.
I am a Minister of Education and I have to study as well. And I thank my lucky stars that I had that opportunity at the School for Strategy Architects. I hadn’t imagined that I would get so many answers. It’s an extraordinary added value.
We had already started implementing the New Ukrainian School project by that time. It was necessary to change the content of education. And we realised that we could not do that on our own. We needed additional organisations we could rely on. We started to work with the civil society sector and implement serious initiatives together. The New Ukrainian School required large-scale upgrading of skills. We and EdEra online education studio elaborated a course for elementary school teachers, and 100,000 specialists have already completed it. We managed to get funding to improve school infrastructure. When we needed to present distance learning courses for children living in the occupied territories, we gathered support of Ukrainian educational online platform Prometheus. We started working closely with local self-government bodies as they are the founders of educational establishments.
However, those relations were not good always. I formed the vision of the New Ukrainian School ecosystem when we discussed the ecosystems and distribution of roles in them at the School for Strategy Architects. We had extraordinary circumstances as we wanted to get started quickly. But now it has to be a stable balanced solution that will invite new participants to the ecosystem for a mutually beneficial partnership.
I reconsidered this issue at the School for Strategy Architects and now it is one of the components for me to be put into the educational system in Ukraine.
I cannot say firmly now that the changes are irreversible. We adopted the laws which enshrine them, but the laws can also be amended. I anchor my biggest hope on the community, the parents, the teachers, the employers and the public who understand the need for a new goal of the education and new opportunities we have to give children. They cannot be taught in a way we were taught. This is a big part of society that will support the reform and put pressure on politicians to continue it. I also hope that the vision of change has already been embedded in this ministry, in particular, thanks to our sessions after completing the School. This vision is shared by state experts, directorates, ministry employees, civil servants who do not change as often as ministers do. They will carry on the succession of change.
Deputy Director General of the National Art Museum of Ukraine