Great news: the fifth anniversary season of the most prestigious national award for teachers-innovators Global Teacher Prize Ukraine has started. It coincides with the anniversary of Ukraine’s independence — for these 30 years Ukrainian education and teachers have something to be proud of! Opinions about the greatest achievements of Ukrainian education were voiced by the founder of the “Nobel Prize” for Ukrainian teachers Zoya Lytvyn, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Serhii Shkarlet and the winner of the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine 2020 Vasyl Diakiv
“Teacher’s Oscar” — Global Teacher Prize Ukraine
The Global Teacher Prize Ukraine makes teachers visible in society. There is a teacher behind every success story, victory and achievement, — says Zoya Lytvyn, founder of the NGO “Osvitoria”, Novopecherska school and the award for teachers Global Teacher Prize Ukraine. Teachers are the key to change in society. For the fifth year in a row, the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine is pursuing a mission to convey this to Ukrainians, enhance the prestige of the profession and build collaboration between proactive teachers.
In four years, the Ukrainian award has opened 8,500 names of amazing teachers from all over Ukraine. Their stories are broadcast on television, in newspapers and magazines, and on the radio, so that the country knows its heroes in person. During these four years of systematic work, the prestige of the teaching profession in Ukraine has grown by 43% according to the 2020 survey.
The biggest achievement of the award is our finalists and their achievements. Everyone is an active change agent at the regional and national levels. Their successes are the successes of their students, inspiration for colleagues and great progress for Ukraine as a whole. This is proved by the projects they implement.
The winner of 2017, Paul Pshenichka, became the first teacher to speak in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (and the second external speaker of the Verkhovna Rada in the history of independent Ukraine). Thanks to Mr. Pshenichka, Ukrainian publications began to include teachers in the rankings of the most influential and successful people in the country every year. And he himself entered the ranking of “Top 100 most influential Ukrainians” (version of the magazine “Focus”, – ed.).
The winner of 2018 Oleksandr Zhuk and the finalist of the 2017 award Natalia Hladkykh were included in the TOP-50 best teachers on the planet according to the Global Teacher Prize. Both Oleksandr and Natalia work with children with special educational needs.
The winner of 2019 Nataliia Kidalova recently became the ambassador of the T4 educational summit under the auspices of the UN. This is one of the most important innovative educational events in the world.
Our teacher Vasyl Diakiv, although he recently won the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine 2020, has already joined the Advisory Board on Education under the President of Ukraine.
We are also proud of a number of teachers’ dreams that have come true thanks to the partners of the award:
- A hub in Smila city, where everyone can learn English for free;
- School bus and swimming pool for children with disabilities in Khmelnytskyi city;
- Interactive park for youth and children in Yahotyn city.
Teachers are asked to apply from March 25 to August 1. On the International Teachers’ Day on October 2, the most amazing winning teacher will receive UAH 250,000, a trip to the Global Education and Skills Forum and support for the implementation of their own educational projects from the “Osvitoria”.
External independent evaluation, educational laws and online learning system
Ukraine’s independence has opened up new opportunities for transforming educational system. This process continues today, — said Vasyl Diakiv, winner of the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine 2020.
In the 1990s, the establishment of Ukrainian identity and awareness of one’s own statehood as an irreversible process became important for secondary education, all its participants — parents, children, teachers, managers, scientists.
The achievements of the educational system for 30 years of independence are dynamic and are constantly evolving. First of all, they concern the formation of an educational strategy in accordance with European standards and the definition of approaches to its implementation. The first significant achievement of the Ukrainian educational system is the concept of the New Ukrainian School (NUS).
A major step forward was the adoption of educational laws by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: “On Higher Education”, “On Education”, “On Complete General Secondary Education”, which outlined the principles and specified the stages of reforming the education system as a whole.
The second achievement, which made it possible to ensure equal and transparent access to higher education for all graduates of secondary education institutions, was the introduction of External Independent Assessment — EIT as an entrance examination.
Much of our educational achievements are still in the process of developing and finding optimal and effective mechanisms and results. But here I want to emphasize that they all implement the ideas of the New Ukrainian School. This includes the creation of textbooks, the development of an online learning system during pandemic, the introduction of new standards for primary education, and the introduction of broad autonomy for educational institutions. Ukraine’s educational system is gradually, with difficulty, slowly moving from the ideas of paternalism to conscious reform as a necessary systemic change to create a competitive educational environment.
Teachers, New Ukrainian School, Inclusion, PISA and All-Ukrainian Online School
Our greatest pride in all the years of Ukraine’s independence is teachers. Currently, almost 440,000 teachers work in Ukraine, on which the educational sphere is based, — said at the start of the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine 2021 Serhii Shkarlet, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine. We are proud of each of the teachers who did not allow to interrupt the educational process in Ukraine in the conditions of the pandemic.
One of the national achievements is the formation of the concept of the New Ukrainian School and the reform of New Ukrainian School, which lasts for four years in a row. It is based on completely different competencies for the training of both learners and educators.
The state standard of primary education (grades 1-4) has been formed. In 2020, the state standard of secondary education (grades 5-9) was implemented. We have developed a standard educational programme that can form the leading competencies and solves the principles proposed in the national educational platform “New Ukrainian School”.
Another achievement is a platform for distance and blended learning for students in grades 5-11 — All-Ukrainian Online School . To date, more than 1,000 lessons have been downloaded for grades 5-11, which have created a pool of “reference lessons” and eliminated the gap in access to a quality educational product for a child from a small remote village and schoolchildren from cities with a population of millions.
We are proud to have created a number of centers for professional development of teachers.
In 2018, Ukraine participated for the first time in PISA — the world’s largest competency study of secondary education. Moreover, in 2020, the concept of STEM education was adopted, which allowed to introduce knowledge in the field of natural sciences and mathematics in all areas of education.
A big step forward is that we have managed to involve children with special educational needs in education not only in specialized institutions, but also in specialized classes. Today, the number of children with special educational needs who study in a normal educational environment without a lack of communication and uncomfortable conditions has increased more than 7 times. Also, in recent years, more than 600 resource-inclusive centers and 25 centers have been established in all regions of Ukraine, where teachers can prepare for work in inclusive classes.