Secondary School

School in Ukraine

School in Ukraine and schooling attained at what we commonly known as the “second level” is referred to as “basic school”, and equates to being the final level of formal basic education. This level of schooling serves as an important link in the schooling process, not only in Ukraine, but also in most democratic countries across Europe and America. This level of schooling is compulsory, but also comes free of charge and aims to provide young adults with further education while also providing them with basic vocational experience. Whether Ukraine students venture elsewhere for higher studies, or international students flock to Ukraine, they will both find the same quality educational services as offered throughout the rest of Europe.

Schooling at this basic level takes up five years in Ukraine, making the total duration of formal basic education eight years. Most students complete this area of schooling between the ages of 14 and 16, depending on skill level.

Upon completion of what is referred to as “basic general secondary education”, teenagers are able to continue their education at both the upper secondary level and higher education institutes of the I-II accreditation levels.

“Basic (secondary) school is a comprehensive school of the second level with education of a prevailing applied direction “.

Ukrainian laws governing general secondary education hope to bring about significant changes in the ways young people attain elements of higher learning. Such laws have determined a new duration of schooling at the basic level, culminating into five years of basic school with 190 school days per year.

Such laws, however, do not govern the structure and contents found in educational programs. This includes the structure of courses, amount of weekly class lessons, and so forth. These areas are governed by Ukraine’s Ministry of Education, which takes educational issues under review each and every spring, thus making for a comprehensive and up-to-date schooling system.

Basic School Curriculum…

Based on provisions set forth by the “Law on Education” (1996) and the “Law on general Secondary Education,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Education is held responsible for determining the curricula of schools on multiple levels. Such curricula are updated on a periodical basis. Before the school year begins, the determined curricula are published in newspapers and other educational journals. Schools themselves receive them at the end of each school year allowing them ample time to prepare for any new provisions.

For example, in regards to the 1998/1999 Academic years, the Ministry of Education implemented seven new additions to the curricula, which were explained in published documents.

“The Explanatory note” specifies the procedure of elaboration of the working curricula on the basis of the standard ones, and also their sanction by the appropriate bodies of authorities. In Table 4, there is a sample standard curriculum for schools with the Ukrainian language used as the tool of instruction for the1998/1999 school year (only for basic school).”

The table below demonstrates the standard curricula for students in grades 5 – 9. However, it should be noted that the ninth grade is technically considered a part of the secondary school system, in which a broader scope of subjects is taught to students.

Table 10: Standard curriculum of a day-time general educational institution of the II level (basic schools) with the Ukrainian language used to instruct

Subjects

Weekly school hours in grades 5-9

5

6

7

8

9

total

Compulsory subjects

1 Ukrainian language

5

4

4

3

2

18

2 Ukrainian literature

2

2

2

3

3

12

3 Foreign literature

2

2

2

2

2

10

4 Foreign language

4

3

3

3

2,5

15,5

5 Mathematics, foundations of informatics

4,5

4,5

4,5

4,5

4,5

22,5

6 History of Ukraine

1

1

2

2

6

7 World History

2

1

1

1

5

8 Science of Law

1,5

1,5

9 Geography

2

2

2

2

8

10 Environment. Nature study

1

1

11 Biology

2

2

2

2

8

12 Physics

2

2

3

7

13 Chemistry

2

2

4

14 Music, art

2

2

2

1

7

15 Physical education

2

2

2

2

2

10

16 Working education

2

2

2

2

2

10

17 Health protection

0,5

0,5

0,5

0,5

0,5

4,5

Total

26

28

30

32

32

Variable part (options)

Optional subjects (Extra-lessons)

4

5

5

5

5

24

Permissible weekly amount of school hours

29

32

33

34

35

Total

30

33

35

37

37

172

Statistical Data on Basic Education

Basic school

In the following table, you will find the amount of educational institutions pertaining to secondary education in Ukraine, their differentiation by educational institutions of different types, enrolments of teachers and pupils for 1998-99 school years.

Table 5: Educational institutions of the secondary education in Ukraine (1998/99 school year)

Number of institutions

Number of teachers

Number of pupils

Total

Urban

Rural

Total

Urban

Rural

Total

Urban

Rural

Institutions of all types (total)

21903

6913

14990

568678

321126

247552

6876180

4642163

2234017

Among them: 
I level

I-II  levels

I-III levels 

Special institutions


3173

6492

11838

400


401

820

5391

301


2772

5672

6447

99


9854

99481

447942

11401


3351

16936

291650

9189


6503

82545

156292

2212


100926

769489

5938196

67569


43723

199857

4344710

53873


57203

569632

1593486

13696

Among institutions

Schools of the

I level

2671

196

2475

7630

2051

5579

78062

27991

50071

Schools of the

I-II levels

6226

781

5445

95839

16384

79455

749447

197401

552046

Schools of the

I-III levels

11065

4772

6293

411896

259311

152585

5541893

3981281

1560612

Gymnasiums

243

241

2

12889

12815

74

143450

142903

547

Lyceums

268

254

14

11497

11092

405

109005

105329

3676

Complexes kindergarten-school

981

330

651

17019

9924

7095

186754

133385

53369

Sanatorium schools

49

38

11

507

360

147

As the following table shows, Ukrainian pupils must receive their schooling in three stages, from grades one to eleven. Upon successfully completing this eleventh grade, students are given certificates that allow them to: continue education in comprehensive schools of the III level; to continue education and to receive instruction in basic vocational institutions; to enter the educational institutions of the 1st and 2nd accreditation levels.

With this in mind, it can be asserted that a wealth of options is available to young people upon successfully completing their basic school training. Most students though opt to attend vocational institutions as this allows them to successfully enter the labour force. Of the entire age group, only 38% enter into post-secondary institutions.

Prospects

The “Law of General Secondary Education” works to ensure that educators and parents are in sync when it comes to the schooling young people in Ukraine receive. This law also works to provide students with an education that will leave them as marketable employees across all of Europe and not just in Ukraine.

This law has governed the following three stages of schooling for young people in Ukraine:

First Stage: Commonly referred to as “elementary school”, this stage involves four years of initial schooling. This stage prepares students with basic information in regards to Mathematics, Language, Valeology, and a brief introduction to environmental subjects.

Second Stage: The second stage accounts for the following five years of basic schooling in which students undergo a more comprehensive study of science and humanitarian subjects. Here, students are also made to appreciate the national Ukrainian language, as well as other foreign languages.

Third Stage: The third stage of schooling is what we commonly refer to as “high school”. Here, a thorough study of a limited number of subjects is acquired to give students a more comprehensive understanding of subjects that interest them particularly.

Secondary School in Ukraine

Three types of institutions exist in regards to upper-secondary school. These institutions are outlined below and are specific to Ukraine. Students, who venture outside of Ukraine and become international students, will find different implementations of institutions. The general criterion of all three institutions is relatively similar and will leave students with diplomas or certificates that allow them entry into universities.

Vocational-Technical School

These schools are designed to give basic school graduates of a lower standard the opportunity to learn skills that will prepare them directly for the job market. Upon graduation, students receive a “Diploma of Completion of Vocational-Technical School. Any student who graduates with distinction is able to apply directly to university; however, most students must complete two years in the labour force before doing so.

Technical Lyceum

This type of institutions offers students full time courses that range between 12 and 18 months of length. This type of institution is designed to offer students learned skills that apply directly to the job market, and does not require any further training upon completion.

Specialised Technical Institution

This type of upper-secondary school offers students two types of institutions, both of which are designed to offer students educations pertaining to specialised fields and trades.  The two types of institutions are “Tekhnicum” and “Uchilishche.” “Tekhnicum” institutions offer highly skilled training in fields of industry, engineering, agriculture, and some fields of business. “Uchilishche” offers training for pre-school teaching, nursing, medical technologies, and librarianship.  Upon graduation in one of these two institutions, students are awarded a diploma and “Specialised Secondary Education” certificate by the Qualification Commission.

Admission to any one of the three institutions outlined here is based on scores attained on standard examinations, which test a student’s knowledge of basic math and vocabulary skills.

Upon graduating one of these three institutions, students can choose to carry on to college, or travel abroad as an international student. Students will find, however, that entrances into such programs or institutions will once again be based upon entrance exams again. College programs often last between three and four years. Lately, however, many “Tekhnicum” institutes have been slowly transformed into colleges with the hope of crafting highly skilled young Ukrainian professionals.