1,300 schools shut down in Ukraine for the past three years
From 2010 Ukraine authorities closed 1,306 schools, most of them - in the countryside.
According to Lilya Hrynevych, head of the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Science, 300 schools were closed in 2010, 426 - in 2011, 202 - in 2012, and 378 - in 2013.
Hrynevych noted that Ukrainian education sector suffers from catastrophic underfunding. Thus, in 2014, only UAH 107.2 billion, i.e. 6.4% of GDP, will be allocated for education - while the Education Act clearly states that for this sector the government should allocate about 10% of GDP, or UAH 160 billion.
The People's Deputy also stressed that in 2014 the formula for inter-budget transfers allocates UAH 8,800 per student per year. At the same time, local authorities spend between UAH 9,500 to 15,000 per student per year.
“The given formula piles up problems for local budgets, in parallel shifting much of financing onto the parents’ pockets. This leads to widening gap of unequal access to quality education. Schools that teach the kids of better-off parents have completely different learning environment. Education in Ukraine reproduces poverty, generating the social stratum of poorly educated people. And it is from this layer that we later get citizens unable to make informed choices, unable to provide for themselves doing honest work,” summed up the Deputy.