Donbas pupils connect their future with Ukraine
It is only the middle of April but there is already big rush at Donetsk schools. There are some other reasons of it, besides final exams. Parents of Donetsk schoolchildren are trying to solve several problems: where to send their children to study, where to get money for the school leaving party and where to go with the high school diploma which is issued by the “Donetsk people’s republic”.
Segondya.ua site talked to Donetsk parents about the future of their children.
They demanded payment for externship
The sword of Damocles is hanging over schools already as school leavers will have to take the Unified State Examination (A-levels analogue in Russia) and pupils of fourth forms will have to take examinations as well before entering secondary school. “We found tutors to prepare our son for exams as it is extremely difficult for him to study the mixture of Ukrainian and Russian curricula. He has to revise something hastily or to begin learning some subjects from scratch. The tutor costs 250 rubles (125 hryvnyas according to the exchange rate used by Donetsk trade chains) per one class and they say that the prices are going to double in May”, says Larysa Turymova, whose son finished school this year. “My son is going to enter Donetsk Technical University. Frankly speaking, I really hope that Donetsk will be a part of Ukraine again soon, our universities will be legalized and diplomas which they issue will be recognized. None of my son’s friends managed to enter any Russian university with high school diplomas which were issued by “Donetsk people’s republic”. All of them had to take some additional examinations, to pay something, and some of them just returned home”.
A lot of Donetsk pupils do external courses via the Internet at schools that are situated on the territory which is controlled by Ukraine. However, there are certain difficulties here. “My son is in the seventh form. Last year I telephoned one of schools in Mariupol as I wanted my son to study there externally and to get a normal and legal high school diploma. I was told that I had to pay three thousand hryvnyas for externship. We were shocked. There is the war here, they are shelling all the time and someone asks us to give them a bribe. Thus, we are studying here now but next academic year I am going to telephone other schools and try to find a possibility for externship again”, says Lilia Shepelenko, Donetsk resident.
There are more teachers than pupils
Education in schools which are situated on the occupied territory is really a mixture of several curricula with additions of some new subjects such as “civic consciousness” lessons. Primary school teachers are doing their best to protect children from such dubious topics as “The reason I love “DPR” is...” and prefer to tell them about nature of the region they live in, the Donbas. High school pupils usually use “civic consciousness” lessons to prepare for examinations.
All schools suffer from shortage of teachers. Art, PE and IT studies suffer the most. As it is said by teachers, students of pedagogical colleges and institutes are still too young and lack experience and knowledge to work at schools.
“No one wants to work for 7-8 thousand rubles (3500-400 thousand hryvnyas). Teachers have to substitute each other. At my daughter’s school history is currently taught by a teacher of the Russian language and biology is taught by a teacher of chemistry. And this is not the only school where the situation is like this. When I talk to friends of mine, they tell me that there is 40% shortage of teachers at schools now. Soon, physics in high schools will be taught by PE teachers”, complains Viktor Smolyanov, Horlivka resident.
The situation in small towns is the opposite. “Each pupil is important to us”, says Iryna, teacher of one of small schools in Kirovske (the Donetsk region). “Last year we had had very few first graders, there had been only ten pupils by the end of October and by the beginning of September this academic year the situation did not improve much. Thus, there are more teachers that pupils”.
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