Every country has its own system of education. There are more than 20,000 schools in Ukraine and 95% of them are state school. The other 5% of Ukraine schools are private schools where parents pay for their children’s education. There are now more and more different types of schools such as gymnasiums, lyceums, language and specialized schools which offer extensive learning in particular subjects, for example, foreign languages, information technology, math, law or art.
In Ukraine most parents send their children to kindergarten or nursery school at the age of three. Between the ages of three and six children develop social skills and learn to get on and play with each other. They also take their first steps in literacy and numeracy and are taught to count and to read the letters of the Ukrainian alphabet. They have lessons in art and craft and sometimes English.
Compulsory education in Ukraine begins at the age of six when children start primary school (grades 1-4). Then at the age of ten they go to basic or lower secondary school (grades 5-9) where they study until they are fifteen. Education is compulsory up to the end of grade 9. After this students can either continue their studies in upper secondary school (grades 10-11) or leave school and go to college or a vocational school.
Ukrainian students have a wide choice of subjects. They study literature, mathematics, history, science, information technology, art, music and foreign languages. Students start to learn a foreign language – usually English, German or French – when they are in grade 1. Students who go to specialized language schools also learn a foreign language from the first year of school but more extensively. Then they begin to learn a second foreign language in grade 5.
Students in senior grades usually take elective courses in addition to their compulsory subjects. These are intended to prepare them for their future studies and to help them decide which profession to choose. After finishing grade 11 of upper secondary school, students can go into higher education. All applicants must take exams called the National Independent Testing. The exams test students’ knowledge of core school subject at the end of their school education.
School isn’t just about hard work. It’s also about making friends and having fun. Some of the best learning experiences come from going on school trips and taking part in extra-curricular activities. There are clubs and activities covering a range of interests from literature to environmental issues and science. Students can choose to do sport, join an art or drama club, have dance lessons or learn handicrafts such as embroidery, sewing or knitting. There is indeed something for everybody!