ABOUT THE DRAFT OF A TYPICAL EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR 5-9 GRADES OF THE GENERAL SECONDARY EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine has developed a draft of the Standard Educational Program for grades 5-9 of the general secondary education institutions. This very important step aims to implement the State Standard of Basic Secondary Education in the context of the implementation of the New Ukrainian School reform measures.
Presenting the project, the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Serhiy Shkarlet said: “The draft document takes into account the state-guaranteed rights regarding academic, organizational, financial and personnel autonomy of educational institutions, as well as the rights of teachers to academic freedom.”
Two variants of the standard curricula have been proposed for public discussion: 1) for general secondary education institutions with instruction in the Ukrainian language; 2) for general secondary education institutions that have classes (groups) with instruction in the language of the indigenous people or a national minority along with the state language, and general secondary education institutions that have classes (groups) with instruction in the Ukrainian language and study of the indigenous language or a language of the national minority.
The draft of a typical program provides a list of model curricula (subjects and integrated courses) and outlines mandatory and recommended approaches to the development and further use of educational programs by educational institutions for each cycle of basic secondary education.
Regarding the number of academic hours provided by standard curricula, it corresponds to the number of academic hours recommended for studying each educational field by the relevant basic curriculum of the State Standard of Basic Secondary Education (approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated September 30, 2020, № 898).
In comparison with the current Standard educational program of general secondary education of level II, approved by the Order of the Ministry of Education and Science on April 20, 2018, № 405, the presented draft of the standard curriculum increased the number of academic hours for the Ukrainian language, foreign language, mathematics, informatics, natural sciences.
The draft document also stipulates that educational institutions can independently determine the number of academic hours for the study of each educational field within the range set by the basic curriculum (minimum and a maximum number of academic hours for the study of each educational field).
This makes it possible to redistribute academic hours between different fields, promotes the mastery of subjects and integrated courses, elective educational components, and considers the features of the organization of the educational process and the educational needs of students. At the same time, this approach gives more academic freedom to the teacher as well.
A significant semantic innovation of the updated programs for grades 5-9 is the transition from subject-centrism to child-centrism. Each program has its own goals and objectives, consistent with the overall purpose of basic education. The curriculum reflects the description of the framework of its mastery using the means provided in the teaching of the subject. In this case, the focus of the learning process is the student who is learning, not the subject being taught.
Active public discussion of the draft of the updated programs for 5-9 grades lasted until January 28, 2021. Comments and suggestions from teachers, lecturers of the departments and faculties of the higher education institutions, many educational experts were actively received by the Main Department of School Education of the Directorate of Preschool, School, Out-of-School and Inclusive Education of the Ministry of Education and Science. These comments are currently being processed.
In particular, the SSI “Institute of Educational Analytics” proposed to include in the draft of the standard program such components as “training of the participants of the educational process (heads/deputy heads, teachers of general secondary education institutions) on the basics of creating an educational program of the general secondary education institution/their own curricula”. The reason for this proposal was the results of a number of monitoring studies conducted by the Institute in 2020. Attention is also paid to the need to strengthen such a component of the educational program as the study of integrated courses/subjects and the need to achieve a balance in the development of hard skills and soft skills of the students, the formation of which is provided by the new State standards of both primary and basic secondary education. The informatization of education and the introduction of modern information and communication technologies in the educational process are also important.
The activity of the pedagogical community in conducting this discussion once again became proof of the public’s attention to the development of education and demonstrated the openness of the discussion process. Currently, the elaboration, thorough analysis, identification, and generalization of constructive proposals and comments are underway.