The Razom Community strives to encourage thought-provoking and fruitful discussions among those, who care about Ukraine and its future. Liliya Borovets, co-founder of the Ukrainian educational organization Pro.Svit and the fundraising platform GoFundEd, joined the Razom Community for a discussion night titled, “Transforming Ukrainian Education Systems: Goals and Challenges.” The discussion was led by Ukrainian journalist and Razom volunteer Kateryna Lisunova.
In preparation for the event, Kateryna started a poll, asking which education system the Ukrainian diaspora consider better: American or Ukrainian. The results were divided almost in half: 55% of respondents preferred the US education system as the better one, making it obvious that this topic of education can be rather contentious, considering the respondents’ diverse opinions and experiences. Hence, hearing Liliya’s expert opinion was especially captivating.
To understand the depth of Liliya’s expertise, here are few of her impressive accomplishments:
- Co-founder of Pro.Svit, center for innovative education
- Co-founder of GoFundEd platform, which fundraised 1.5 million Ukrainian Hryvnia for educational projects
- The youngest participator in DAVOS 2016 (23y.o.)
- 2 Master Degrees – in International Relations, and Innovations and Entrepreneurship,
- Curator of Lviv Hub, founded by the World Economic Forum
Liliya explained how the idea for the education platforms appeared:
“The idea of creating these platforms appeared during the time of Maidan, as we realized that this was the field we had to focus on. Because education and culture are the things that fundamentally solve those problems that Ukraine was facing. We can try treating symptoms, and it’s necessary to do, but if we are not changing the mentality of people living in this society, not improving their understanding of personal agency and responsibility, we cannot expect deep changes.” She continued, adding, “Education – is a battleground for deeper consciousness”.
In a discussion throughout the night, Liliya described the essential changes and reforms that should be made to the Ukrainian education system:
- Improving student-teacher relationship (a teacher should be students’ partner on their development path)
- Teachers need to respect students (including understanding that students are smart)
- Each school needs to create a plan of its development (a vision plan)
- Students should learn specific “life skills,” such as management, negotiation, speaking, analytical skills, etc.
Moreover, Liliya is certain that major transformation in eastern Ukraine must start with education, and it will be a long-term investment. Currently, GoFundEd supports various projects from the east. The number of GoFundEd’s projects in Eastern Ukraine are expected to reach 70 by the end of Fall.
In the end, it is clear that quality education is vital for the development of any country and the improvement of living standards of its people. At that, the level of such quality depends on each and every one of us. In a perfect world, analyzing existing problems and finding and introducing solutions in Ukraine’s education system would be the task of the Ukrainian government. In our reality, grassroot initiatives quite often are more effective than the common tendency of passively waiting for some results to come from the top.
To learn more about Liliya Borovets’ activity and educational initiatives follow her on social media.
To watch the full video record of the discussion go to Razom live streams.
To learn more about various Ukrainian grassroot initiatives come to Razom Community events. You can find information about our next events on Razom Facebook Page.