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10 minutes with the Prime Minister
09.03.2016 | 09:21
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE CMU

Good evening, my fellow Ukrainian families!

This year we, as the Government, have set several social priority lines, education is amongst the key ones; the education of our children, for they are the future of our country. Secondary education is something that creates the basis for the future of the nation as it enables our children to receive the advanced knowledge they need, to pass the external independent testing, to enter higher educational institutions, to obtain comprehensive understanding and after, a profession and a career.

In the past two years we have embarked on the major reform of higher education. We endorsed this is a new education law. We signed an agreement on participation in the European Unions Horizon 2020 programme, which enables Ukrainian scientists and students to benefit from European funding, European knowledge and a European quality of education.

Now our main concern is our secondary schools. Overall, around 4 million children are covered by compulsory education. 17 thousand schools with nearly half a million teachers provide our children with an opportunity to learn. I would single out quality as the principle criteria of knowledge. To ensure a higher quality of secondary education, the Government has developed a new advanced system a project entitled hub schools. What does this project of hub schools mean? It means a new education system, quality education for children particularly for those who study in small towns and villages. Hub schools will have new investment for the teaching and learning processes and for the quality of knowledge. These schools will be provided with free Internet, in such schools there will be new, well equipped classrooms for physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology. Each hub school will have its own multimedia complex based on advanced IT-technologies. In such schools funds will be spent on the repair of gyms and classrooms. In such schools energy efficiency measures will be introduced to include plastic framed, double-glazed windows and insulation of school buildings so that the conditions are right for our children to study effectively.

In addition to this, teachers will have new opportunities to increase their wages. The funds obtained as a result of optimizing the network of schools will remain in the hub schools and these will be used by headmasters at their discretion to improve the technical and administrative support of the school and to increase the salaries of teachers.

Each hub school will have at least three branches. A branch means a primary school, i.e. for children from 1st to 4th grade. After grade 4 children will have the opportunity to study in a high-quality hub school that meets the criteria I have just outlined. What is necessary to ensure the establishment of such schools?

First, the funds. Last year we allocated UAH 100 million ($3.85 million) to purchase over 300 multimedia classrooms all across the country. This year the Government has planned to allocate UAH 200 million ($7.7 million) to establish hub schools across Ukraine. In addition, we will receive donor assistance from international financial institutions. Overall this year we will open 100 basic hub schools.

To ensure the safe transportation of our children to such hub schools, buses and better roads are necessary. This year the Government has allocated UAH500 million ($19.2 million) for the purchase of new school buses. On the basis of co-funding with our local authorities, by the 1st of September 2016 we can buy a thousand school buses. I have therefore asked local governments to immediately announce tenders for the supply of new school buses.

Roads. The financial decentralization process has resulted in a significant increase of revenues to the local budgets. Therefore, when planning a system of hub schools I appeal to local self-government bodies to direct the lions share of these funds to the repair of the roads, to facilitate our children getting to our new Ukrainian high quality hub schools in new school buses.

As a matter of fact, this year road projects constitute another key priority for the Government. Last year we commenced and completed the construction of the Lviv-Ivano- Frankivsk highway. We conducted a fair and transparent tender. As a result of the tender, the cost of construction of the road connecting Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk was reduced by 30% for the same quality. Besides that, to accelerate road construction projects we carried out an experiment. Extra revenues received by the customs were divided in half with these funds being directed to local budgets to be spent directly on the construction and repair of roads in four Oblasts.

What is the outcome of this experiment last year? Lviv region received an additional resource worth UAH 312 million ($12 million) for the repair and construction of roads. Chernivtsi region received UAH 129 million ($4.95 million). Volyn region received UAH 104 million ($4 million). Unfortunately, this experiment was not successful in the Odessa region.

This year the situation has improved markedly and as a result of the continuation of the experiment, an overall amount worth almost a billion hryvnia ($ 38.5 million), is to be spent for the construction and reconstruction of roads in four areas. The total funding for road construction this year will be about UAH 14 billion ($528 million) which will enable us to renovate and construct 1,700 kilometers.

I want to detail for you the roads which will undergo repair, restoration and construction activity in 2016.

We have planned major construction work on the following highways: Dnipropetrovsk - Mykolayiv, Odessa-Reni, Stryi-Chernivtsi and on routes Kyiv-Kharkiv-Dovzhansky, Kyiv-Odessa, Kyiv-Chernihiv-Novi Jarylovychi. Restoration activities will continue on routes Lviv-Radekhiv-Lutsk, Lviv-Sambir-Uzhgorod, Zhytomyr-Chernivtsi, as well as in Kyiv-Chop and Striy-Ternopil-Kirovograd-Znamjanka highways.

A complete list of all the motorways to be repaired and restored in the current year will be approved by the Government next week. The construction and repair of roads however in your cities, villages and districts is now the responsibility of your local authority.

But to bring about changes in the country we need political and economic stability.

Dear political players, forget about the political games and intrigue, we have more important matters to attend to. I invite the members of the coalition to restore stability inside Ukraines pro-European parliamentary coalition, to allow the Government do their job and bare its responsibility to the Ukrainian people.

In the recent past I have called upon my political opponents to present an alternative plan and an alternative team to enact changes, but to date they failed to do so.

The program of this Government is to create new jobs, to reduce poverty, to trigger economic growth and to pursue the reforms we embarked on two years ago. If someone has a better program, a stronger team and a coalition willing to support it, please present it to the people of Ukraine for presently we bear the full weight of our responsibility.

Finally I would like to switch from politics to our Ukrainian womenfolk, our beautiful Ukrainian ladies who with their love, their care and their devotion maintain our nation. Thank you, for you are the best in the world, for your love, for your beauty, for your loyalty and for your support.

May God protect you, our families and our country!

 

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