What Is the Future of the Ukrainian School?

This issue was addressed at an expanded meeting of the editorial board of the Christian Spiritual and Educational magazine “Word to the Teacher,” which was held in Rivne on June 21, 2018.

For more than a decade, the IPO Hope to People has been publishing this pedagogical journal with the aim of promoting education and culture in Ukraine on the basis of Christian principles.
In addition to the members of the editorial board, there were at the meeting: co-founders, scientists, representatives of the city education department and the regional institute of postgraduate pedagogical education, university professors, teachers of Christian ethics, representatives of churches of various Christian denominations, employees of the IPO Hope to People.

Nadezhda Dolya, the editor of the journal, has greeted the audience and introduced the guests to the agenda, which included two main issues: assessment of the journal's service over the last decade and planning for 2019, in the conditions of the reform of the modern Ukrainian school.

The editor in chief of the journal, Taras Nikolaevich Pristupa, began his presentation by reading the Holy Scriptures and praying. Using the example of the prophet Jeremiah, he challenged the authors of the journal to continue the ministry, regardless of circumstances, and as the prophet Nehemiah – to build up, and if necessary, fight, defending Christian values.

The deputy chief of the municipal department of education, Ekaterina Ivanovna Sychik, has suggested to involve more subject teachers in the development of practical materials for the school, to introduce the heading “Q&A” into the magazine in order to enlighten the parents about spiritual upbringing of children, as well as to bring clarity to the matters of family values.

Natalia Svyatoslavovna Budko shared about the work of the methodical study on Christian ethics. She made a point about the urgent need to disseminate information on spiritual education for parents, as well as methodological best practices for teachers. The methodologist has offered to create a “hot line” or a page for children who have pressing spiritual questions.

Candidate of History, Associate Professor of the Department of Social Sciences of the Rivne Regional Institute of Postgraduate Teacher Education, Vitalina Romanovna Danilchuk shared her impressions on the use of the journal in the work with teachers. She suggested that they should not lose sight of the concept of a new Ukrainian school and highlight this topic on the pages of the magazine.

Director of the charity fund “Eastern European Humanitarian Mission,” Darya Novikova has proposed to publish step-by-step instructions on how to introduce the subject “Fundamentals of Christian Ethics” in school. In addition, she asked to systematize those lessons outlines that have already been printed before, in order to facilitate the search for the teacher. She offered to publish the life stories of famous Christians of our time. At the meeting, it was decided to make efforts to ensure that every school in the Rivne region could subscribe to the magazine “Word to the Teacher.”

Dear colleagues from the National University of Ostroh Academy, we focused on the purpose of the magazine: “Bearing Witness of God's Word - our goal is simple: every teacher – Learn from Christ!” In particular, they put emphasis more on the word EVERYONE, raising the problem of inaccessibility for many teachers living in the countryside, where there is no magazine and no Internet. Svetlana Borisovna Vlasova, employee of the research laboratory of Christian ethics, psychology and pedagogy at the Ostroh Academy, proposed to create a distribution network for the journal by regions. In addition, she insists on the relevance of the new rubric, which would interpret the legal framework for teaching Christian ethics in the program of the New Ukrainian School. By the August meeting of teachers' councils, teachers can still offer principals to choose one hour a week to teach the elective course “Principles of Christian Ethics.”

Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, professor at the Ostroh Academy, Vasily Nikolaevich Zhukovsky noted that we should not be too gullible and expect that all citizens themselves will unite around biblical values. Today, we see a lot of manipulation of public consciousness, as, for example, on the theory of evolution. He called for prompt response to the challenges of modern times, using electronic news, to create electronic applications to the magazine (for children, for young people, the library of electronic books, etc.). “In modern political conditions, we point out not on the development, but on the recoil in the teaching of spiritual and moral subjects, said the professor. This year only a third of schools are spanned by teaching of these subjects. Namely, there are 5631 schools in Ukraine, which is 34.76% of the total number and 2.3% less than last year. In connection with the introduction of the New Ukrainian School program, we must actively seek opportunities to integrate Christian values into various school subjects and educational activities. It is very important to work with parents who, unfortunately, do not choose a Christian ethic for their children. We also need to work with school principals and leaders of territorial communities, so we need to address leaders, disclose the principles of their activities and responsibilities.” Vasily Nikolaevich also proposed to arrange the presentation of the magazine in the regions, inviting the media. And yet, to prepare a series of articles about Christian scientists who are Nobel laureates. In addition, the professor stressed the importance of unity and coherence of the actions of Christians in the implementation of spiritual and moral education.

The meeting lasted about three hours. People listened to the presentations of teachers-practitioners. They raised the problem about teachers lacking of a methodological base and skills in working with the biblical text. These issues can also be covered in the journal.

They also brought up some issues that Christians, unfortunately, do not use those wide legal opportunities that are available in Ukraine today. For example, the year 2018, was proclaimed as the year of God's Word, but a very few people know about it. Therefore, it is extremely important to consolidate the efforts of Christians in upholding Christian values and carrying out a positive impact on society.

Tatyana Arterchuk





Pray for magazine

• We thank God for the fact that in 2015 the ministry of the magazine "Word to the teacher" has continued, for our partners: Science-Research Laboratory of Christian ethics, psychology and pedagogy National University "Ostrog Academy", All-Ukrainian Charitable Fund "Eastern European humanitarian mission," Cultural and Educational Center for promotion of Christian culture and education.

Please pray for:

• the distribution of printed and electronic (slovovchitelyu.org;) versions of the magazine for teachers;

• preparation of the first issue of 2016, its theme - "Who makes history?";

• the further financial support;

• the interest of the churches in working with teachers;

• a person who would have joined our team and worked directly to spread out the magazine.

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