KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine’s educational system is failing the grade when it comes to producing qualified candidates for the professional workforce.
The number of bribes offered to or demanded by teachers has risen year-on-year, while the quality of education offered by the country’s institutions of higher learning has remained low.
The Constitution guarantees the right to a free education.
The reality, however, is that education is not free, as pupils, students or their parents end up paying the cost of a bribe or the price of low-quality education.
Efforts to combat corruption in the educational system have targeted the system of university admissions, but corrupt practices within the classrooms of the country’s high schools and universities remain largely unaddressed.
Several solutions are required for dealing with these problems.
One would require admitting that free universal education is something that the state does not and cannot provide.
Private institutions should be allowed to play a greater role in educating the nation’s youth.
And to boost the quality of state institutions, education should be paid for, the bribes legalized and teachers’ salaries raised significantly.
To place more power into students’ hands, a system of student loans should be developed and introduced.
Bribery would be curbed, as finances would be transferred directly from banks to universities.
The banking sector, which is vital to the country’s economic growth, would see its business increase with the new line of services.
And the students themselves would take their education more seriously, as they would have a vested financial interest in completing studies and securing gainful employment.
The temptation to demand or accept a bribe will exist until teachers are paid at a level where supplementary incomes are no longer necessary.
Salaries should be boosted, or the bribes being given and taken should be legalized.
Otherwise, low wages for teachers will continue to result in the low quality of graduates entering the country’s workforce.
Source: Kyiv Post Editorial