Andrii Derkach: Amendment on a state budget funding of vocational technical education supported by a majority of MPs

On Thursday, February 4, at the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada, 297 Members of Parliament approved of a legislative amendment, which had been put to vote two days earlier at the meeting of the Budget Committee by Member of Parliament Andrii Derkach and Lilya Grynevych, the Head of the Science and Education Committee of the Verkhovna Rada.

The amendment provides the return to the state budget funding of local vocational technical education. The allocation of targeted subsidies for the training of the working and teaching staff is provided for these ends.

In his commentary Andrii Derkach has noted that the vocational technical education system approached a brink of destruction as a result of the pro-government coalition having passed the Act on the 2016 State Budget.

In compliance with the Act, as of January 1, 2016, the expenses on the training of the working staff in vocational technical institutions have become the responsibility of local budgets, which are barely coping as it is. For instance, according to the Ministry of Education, the funding of 78 institutions is not provided at all, with a portion of city and region councils allocating only 10-50% of the funds necessary.

There are around 800 vocational technical institutions in Ukraine. With no budget support, they all now face the threat of shutdown.

The Glukhiv Higher Vocational School faces the very same problem. Currently it hosts 365 students. The city authority refused to fully fund the institution based on the fact that only half of the students are Glukhiv’s residents, whereas other children had come from various other districts of Sumy Region.

Andrii Derkach noted:

Of utmost importance is the fact that apart from the function of training professional personnel, the vocational technical institutions perform important social functions as well. For instance, the Glukhiv Higher Vocational School alone hosts 25 orphans, 63 children with a single parent, 26 graduates of the Shalygin boarding school. Not only the vocational technical education system is thus threatened, but the fates of tens of thousands of people – students, teachers, their families. The amendment adopted will allow us to improve the situation dramatically. The locals will no longer have to fund our vocational schools.

Now the President of Ukraine has to sign the aforementioned law.

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