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The Future of Christian Education

On January 30, 2015, in Rivne were held two events that were attended by the members of IPO “Hope to people” and are closely associated with the ministry of the Department of Education of the “Hope to people” mission.

Firstly, in the Rivne Regional Pedagogical Training Institute was organized a round table discussion about “The role of objects of spiritual and moral content in the education of the person” in order to draw the public attention to the problems of spiritual and moral education of youth. It was attended by scientists, religious scholars, lecturers, teachers of Christian ethics and public figures of the five regions of Ukraine. The discussion could join educational institutions, departments of education and teachers from other areas, as the round table was held in the online mode.

The subject of Christian ethics has been taught for more than 15 years in secondary schools of Rivne region (in 2014-2015 academic year, this subject is supposed to be studied by 24,000 pupils). An opinion poll in Rivne in spring 2014 showed that almost 87 % of teachers and parents support this idea and see the need to teach the spiritual and moral subjects as a compulsory subject. We have a well-developed technique, software, compiled textbooks, trained personnel. Two matters remain unresolved. The most important is the scarcity of hours in the schedule. 0.5 hours per week in 5-6 classes optionally – it is minuscule. It should to be at least one hour per week from the 1st to 11th class as a compulsory subject.

The fact that this issue was raised not only by the teachers, but also by the first people of the region, gives us hope that in the end it will be considered by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine to the curriculum development. It should be said that the Ministry has already taken some steps in this direction by providing educational institutions certain freedom in the choice of subjects in compulsory courses of the programme.

Another sore point that remains is the provision of textbooks. Only 44 % of students are provided with it. Preparation for the publication and printing of the training sets (textbook, reading-book, workbook) are baulked by the lack of funding. Virtually all published textbooks were printed at the expense of patrons, mostly overseas patrons. In Ukraine, unfortunately, not everyone understands the significance and relevance of Christian ethics. Exactly for the purpose of popularization of the subject, explanation of its importance and necessity all such events are held.

The speakers pointed out that there is no alternative to Christian education, that Christian ethics should be taught not only in the middle school, but in pre-school institutions as well, that only on the basis of God's authority a real impact on students can be made.

In the speech of one of the main speakers, the dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the National University of Ostroh Academy, Vasyl Zhukovskyi, emphasized that our Christian pedagogical magazine “A Word to Teacher” is a very useful tool for the preparation of teachers of Christian ethics. In conclusion, V. Zhukovskyi said: "In the Holy Scriptures we read: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock! “Let us be the ones who open the door to God. And we'll be surprised how He fills our souls and the souls of our children. God and Ukraine above all!”

Almost immediately after the end of the round-table discussion began an extended meeting of the editorial board of “A Word to Teacher” Christian magazine. However, this meeting was already convened on the premises of the “Hope to people” mission. It is amazing to see how God gives this project a second wind. Because of the financial difficulties, we had to shut down the magazine, but almost at the last moment the National University of Ostroh Academy, represented by the mentioned above Vasyl Zhukovskyi, offered their assistance and support.

Cooperation with the Academy gives our magazine a chance to go up in several directions:

– Distribution (Ostroh academy collaborates with all departments of education and has representatives that will be able to represent the magazine);

– Materials (an opened access to the scientific and practical conferences and competitions “Teacher of the Year”, an opportunity to meet with the Christian scientists, to engage the students, to carry out surveys, etc.);

– An impact of the Ostroh Academy brand on the development of cooperation with various institutions (Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, regional offices and departments of education, the Academy of Science and pedagogical universities, and so on).

Of course, there will be some changes in the magazine. Well, for example, we have already agreed about a new price – 20 UAH. Nonetheless, the biblical foundation and the concept of the magazine remain unchanged: to transform teachers into the Christ`s pupils.

The extended editorial board in addition to the "old" team (T. Prystupa, A. Bondarchuk, N. Dolia, S. Filipchuk, T. Arterchuk, R. Kovalchuk) was attended by the representatives of Ostroh Academy (V. Zhukovskyi, S. Vlasova and V. Mahliuk), fellow ministers of the Rivne evangelical churches V. Grebeniuk and L. Turchak as well as the guests from Cherkasy region. Organizational issues and topics of the magazine “A Word to Teacher” for 2015 were discussed. Everyone present had the opportunity to speak about the development of the magazine and their personal contribution to its preparation and publication.

Undoubtedly, for the successful implementation of this project, as indeed for all the other projects, we need a constant prayer support, a strong team and a financial aid. We believe that if the Lord wants the magazine to continue its ministry, He will send all necessary.

If your heart wants to join this ministry, we will be extremely happy and immensely grateful.

Nadiya Dolia

Pray about the teachers

 further development and injection of the subject “Christian ethics” in the public schools of Ukraine
 the cooperation with the National university “Ostroh academy” and the Institute of Postgraduate education of Rivne region
 creation and the work of the Christian club for children in the village Kunyn, Rivne region
 about repentance and spiritual growth of students and teachers, who participate in Bible study groups
 financial support of the Christian department’s staff

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