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Ukraine: Advancing the reform of specialised secondary education

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Ukraine: Advancing the reform of specialised secondary education

28 May 2024
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Country news

The reform of specialised secondary education is part of the comprehensive renewal of general secondary education envisaged by the "New Ukrainian School" concept. Starting in 2023/2024, this reform is to be completed over a decade, with the final phase expected between 2029 and 2033. 


According to the statistics of the SSI "Institute of Educational Analytics", in the 2023/2024, more than 400,000 students are enrolled in specialised secondary education in 6,500 lyceums, reflecting a significant segment of the student population. Three quarters of these students live in urban areas, while the remaining quarter live in rural areas. Currently, specialised secondary education includes 25 subjects, with Ukrainian philology, foreign philology and mathematics among the most popular. 


Although Ukrainian students now have the opportunity to choose their educational profile, the existing system needs to be improved to better meet individual needs. Demographic changes and the widening educational gap between rural and urban schools underline this need. In addition, the labour market in Ukraine is changing under the influence of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war. 


A draft State Standard for Specialised Secondary Education has been drawn up to allow students greater flexibility in their educational pursuits, emphasising creativity and autonomy for both students and teachers. The standard outlines two educational pathways:  

  • Academic: focused on further education in higher education institutions. 

  • Vocational: focused on the labour market, i.e. the acquisition of vocational skills. 



In addition to the state standard, a strategy for the reform of specialised secondary education is being developed. The results of the analytical phase were discussed in April this year at a strategic meeting initiated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine with the participation of various stakeholders. 


The reform of specialised secondary education has an important aspect of European integration, as the Ukrainian education system is moving towards a 12-year school model, in line with prevailing practices in European countries. 


For more information:The preparatory phase for implementing the reform of specialised secondary education continues in Ukraine  


Source: Eurydice Unit Ukraine 


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