The official launch and presentation of the Finnish-Ukrainian project “Learning together”, as a part of the Finnish Education Day, took place in Kyiv on March 15, 2019, at the National Sports Complex “Olimpiyskiy”. Representatives of the State Scientific Institution “Institute of Educational Analytics”, namely, Oksana Denysiuk – First Deputy Director, Andrii Lytvynchuk – Deputy Director for Scientific and Organizational Work, Ph.D. in Economics, Natalia Tytarenko – Head of the Department of Statistics and Analytics of Preschool, General Secondary and Out-of-School Education and Valentyna Tkachenko – Deputy Head of the Department of Statistics and Analytics of Preschool, General Secondary and Out-of-School Education took attended this event.

Thus, under the Agreement between the governments of Ukraine and Finland on implementing the project “Finnish Support for the Ukrainian School Reform”, ratified in 2018, the Finnish Government provides 6 million euros of assistance for the implementation of the New Ukrainian School (NUS) priorities. It is relevant to note that the Project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and implemented by FCG International Ltd in partnership with the University of Helsinki. The project implementation period is 4 years. Moreover, the European Union provides an additional 2 million euros for teaching the Ukrainian language as non-native to students who are representatives of national linguistic minorities.

Thus, the “Learning together” project aims primarily at supporting the NUS reform by improving the quality of education, and consequently raising awareness of the education reform and changing public perception of Ukrainian education. This project has nationwide coverage and consists of three main clusters: teacher competences development – improving the system of vocational training, education promotion and creating a modern educational environment.

Viacheslav Kyrylenko – Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Liliia Hrynevych – Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Pavlo Khobzei– First Deputy Minister, Olli-Pekka Heinonen – Directory General of Finnish National Agency for Education, Juha Virtanen – Ambassador of Finland to Ukraine, Antti Karttunen – Head of FCG International, Stefan Schleuning – Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Roman Shiyan – Director of the National Program “Learning Together – Working Together”, as well as representatives of leading scientific and educational institutions of Ukraine participated in the project launch presentation. It is worth noting that Natalia Moseychuk, curator of the Social Initiative “The Right to Education”, moderated the meeting.

During the opening ceremony, Viacheslav Kyrylenko expressed gratitude to the Finnish partners for supporting the process of school education reforming in Ukraine. In his speech, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine pointed out that Finnish model of secondary education will become an effective tool for strategic goals of NUS implementation based on innovative approaches, as the experience of Finnish education is successful in the European educational space.

In her speech on “International cooperation in the Ukrainian school reform”, Liliia Hrynevych emphasized that one of the priority goals of NUS is to develop a system that allows each child to find personal fulfillment. Therefore, the Finnish project is called to support this process: “With Finnish education, first and foremost, we are united by common values. For this reason, in the foundation of educational reform, we put concern and support of every child. We assume that every child has a sense of dignity and potential that could be developed. And we should find a way to support all children born with a different state of health and in different social conditions”.

Olli-Pekka Heinonen revealed the topic of the successfulness of Finnish education and highlighted that in Finland, the profession of a teacher is more popular than the legal profession in Finland. In this regard, it is far easier for a lawyer to get an education than for a teacher, since the competition at the pedagogical institute is very high – only 1 out of 10 graduates get accepted. Despite the fact that the teacher’s/’ salary is not the highest one in Finland, teachers are able to identify their professional development and create a career development plan on their own.

As part of the plenary session, two series of parallel seminars took place. The participants of the meeting had the opportunity to visit specially equipped demonstration areas and get acquainted with the modern training tools for NUS prepared by Finnish and Ukrainian companies.

At the end of the meeting, the representatives of the Finnish-Ukrainian project “Learning together” thanked everyone for taking an active part in the event and expressed their hope for further fruitful cooperation and strengthening of international relations.

Information and photo from Press Service of the MES