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Where is the best to teach your child — in Ukraine or abroad?


This discussion vividly recalls the situation of the well-known anecdote about the impoverished and the new Russian. “I haven’t eaten in three days!” says the beggar. “No, that’s not acceptable”, says new Russian. “You need to make an effort and eat something!”

Funny, but literally the same answer I heard recently at an education forum. Famous politician said: “When I saw what chaos going on in our schools, I realized that the problem should be solved radically. Now my son is studying in Switzerland and I am very satisfied. So — I recommend.”

It is clear that not only the school but also the country of residence you can choose to your taste and budget, “but you know, son, there is such a word — homeland,” reads another, equally well-known anecdote. So try without much emotion, objectively and impartially consider all the pros and cons of learning how to “here” and training “there”.

First, you need to consider that such a unified and regulated education, as we know, nowhere else in the world (except maybe Belarus and some Central Asian States). Even Russia has a much more liberal and humane education legislation. Suffice it to cite the following example: Russian parents have the right to educate their children at home, and the state pays them a sum corresponding to the average cost of maintaining a child in school.

But if we talk about other countries, the disparity even more. Americans, for example, for many years successfully resisted the standardization of education, considering it an attack on their civil liberties. Each state government has to maintain the necessary diversity of schools, so as not to inadvertently restrict the freedom of choosing the suitable school for the children of their constituents. Low level of knowledge of American schoolchildren — idle myth. Yes, in some (not all!) free public schools are not too much time is devoted to the study of mathematics, but if you have the money and desire, you will always be able to find the school where your child will engage systematically and thoroughly. No one disputes: a good education is expensive, but worth it.

In many countries, such as Ireland and the Netherlands, generally up to 70% of all schools — publish schools created by parents, and the state, according to the law, obliged to Fund them. The formal leadership of the school, and in fact the parents themselves determine, what and how to teach their children, the state is practically not interfere. The only requirement is that the 3rd year of its existence the school had at least 28 students (at least in Holland).

Even from these examples it is evident that the words “study abroad” — is so vague concept that is irrelevant to the definition of “good”, “bad”, “good or not”. Even if this one is able to frighten our people, who are accustomed to choose for yourself and to rely on the opinion of people — officials, or staff members — who are “supposed” to understand all is better than mere mortals.

It is strange that we do not think, why do we have this “vibrobots”, and why we so blindly rely on the opinions of decision makers. meanwhile, these great qualities bred into us native Soviet and now Ukrainian school.

The fact is that, along with the explicit curriculum, manifested in textbooks and rants teachers, there is what Alvin Toffler called the “hidden curriculum”. It operates not at the level of content and at the level of form: how does the lesson, what efforts are rewarded, which are blamed as the teacher communicates with the students and how the teacher addresses the administration — all this creates in us rigid behavioral patterns and leaves an indelible mark on all our lives.

Post-Soviet school is a great way reproduces the old hierarchical industrial model of Soviet society, thieving and bureaucratized, the ideology which accurately describes the approach: “You’re the boss — I’m a fool, I the chief — you the fool”. Children are forced to adapt and survive in aggressive adolescents, huddling together in groups of “friends”, to “not get lost one by one,” or to obey the strongest, no matter adult or peer. To write off, to lie, to keep a low profile, not to butt into other people’s takedowns, — teaches us the hidden program national school. Often say, it teaches us life. But few people realize that it is the school that life creates and reproduces !

Actually, the difference hidden agenda “those” and “these” schools lies the fundamental difference between “Western” and “Eastern” mentality that makes effective Western managers surprisingly ineffective in our conditions. I am far from the idealization of the Western model hidden agenda, but in fact it gives the studying abroad such appeal. Don’t we believe, indeed, that in foreign schools teach more deeply and more!

Therefore, the solution of the dilemma as would be obvious: if you want your child to be successful we teach it here, want the child to have absorbed other rules of the game — teach it in a more civilized country.

More and more parents choose for their children the second option. The Director of a firm involved in educational tourism, says that every year 10% increase in the number of Ukrainian children enrolled in a foreign school, and for Kyiv this figure is even higher — up to 30%! Don’t lag behind children and adults: only Green Card lottery this year was attended by more than 850 000 Ukrainians. These figures leave no doubt: against our way of life and our education system, citizens vote with their feet. — Good luck to you, passengers!

What about us remaining? Oddly enough, we have to answer the same damn questions: what we want to see our child in 10 or 15 years? Where he will continue his education? In what field of work it will be to sell yourself — and in what country?

These questions are not rhetorical. I very much hope that soon the situation in the country will change, and both economic and political.

Won’t go into details so as not to take the political scientists and economists, just asking me to believe in the word: in 5 years the world will be unrecognizable, and Ukraine will have to either transform all — education, health, economy, power, or disappear as a state. In any case, with or without her, but remaining here on this site, will live in another country. In the country, which will need creative, productive, internally free people, able to evaluate and choose, and will not be intimidated need ignorant, neither in life nor in power.

So I really wish those who are leaving, have been able to go back one day. And for this, those who remain, have to learn from each other, differently.