The number of children is increasing every year in the schools of the Prysyvaska AH of the Kherson Oblast. However, hromada head Serhiy Klishchevskyi, does not create a hub school and opposes financial freedom of educational institutions.
By Dmytro Synyak
“In Ukraine, rural schools are usually transformed into teacher employment centres,” says Serhiy Klishchevskyi. “I have repeatedly heard: “If there is no school, there will be no village!” And I always answered: “No, it is not true! There will be no village if there are no children !” School and prospects are different things…”
Past and present Pavlivka secondary school
Music lesson at Hryhorivka school
“According to the results of external independent testing, for the fourth consecutive year our Pavlivka school rates first in the hromada and 120th in the oblast. It is among 260 schools! We have an average EIT grade of 7.7,” says Alla Horbachyk, director of the Pavlivka school.
Serhiy Klishchevskyi and Alla Horbachyk, director of the Pavlivka school
The sportshall sparkles with tidiness and novelty.
“On the one hand, repairs do not seem to affect the quality of education,” says Serhiy Klishchevskyi, looking masterfully at the walls. “But on the other they affect a lot! Since due to them, children see that their village is good, that it has a nice school, where there is an order…”
Teacher's office at Hryhorivka school
Then we talk in the office of Mrs. Director, who gladly treats us with tea.
“There are 95 pupils in our school, but if it starts to be decreased in degree, then we are afraid that we will eventually become a primary school,” complains Alla Horbachyk. “I've been working here for 40 years, and now I teach children and grandchildren of those I once taught.”
“Recently our school won UAH 20 thousand from the participatory budget,” she notes. “These funds will go to the new plaques for the bed of honour at our military cemetery.”
“And maybe it is worth giving the school its budget so that it can manage its own money?” I ask, mentioning the practice that has been in use recently.
“No way!” resents Serhiy Klishchevskyi. “The neighbouring hromada has transferred money to its school, so as not to bother with it. And we can see where that money went. Let's count with you. Our hromada has 4 schools and 4 kindergartens, so they need 8 accountants. And at least 8 more HR specialists. It is about UAH 700 thousand per year only when roughly calculated. So where are savings then? And maybe this will improve the quality of education? No, only the financial status of educators will improve. I even know the cases when hromada takes loans to pay educators. Are we striving for this? And who will be held accountable if they spend money for nothing? Director? Never! Now, when the director says to me that the bonus should be given to all teachers, I reply: “Well then, except for you. Did all your teachers work equally well?”. However, since the first day, the hromada has been paying all teachers a 20% bonus for the prestige of their work. So when the school “eats out” its subvention, the teachers will still come to me and say, “Give money for the school! We need this and that! ”Why should we create unnecessary problems?”
Newly renovated first-grade classroom
“Everyone is discussing the problems of closing unfilled schools now, but no one has exactly specified which school is unfilled,” says Serhiy. “I think that in our hromada all schools are exactly like this, because how else can one call a school for 800 pupils, where 100 are studying?”
“Maybe your AH needs to open a support school?” I insert. “You can get several million hryvnias from the oblast budget.”
Kindergarten of Pavlivka village
In the overhauled Hryhorivka kindergarten
Serhiy Klishchevskyi does not respond immediately.
“You know, if some millions were given to our hromada, I would open this school. But I have information from my own sources that these funds will not be given. I will say more: over the years of our hromada existence, we have saved over UAH 3 million of the educational subvention. Of these, UAH 2.5 million were taken from us by a special decision of the Verkhovna Rada. And the major role in this was played by our then-MP majoritarian Fedir Nehoy – because of his “great affection” personally to me. Another question concerns the head of the hub school. I just have not yet found such a person.”
“Is there lack of staff?” I ask. “Many hromadas have the same problem...”
“No, we have enough staff – there are no specialists!” says Serhiy Klishchevskyi, waving his hand hopelessly. “Recruiting people is not difficult, it is difficult to get them to work.”
Physical training lesson at the new stadium
“After amalgamation, we have a significant demographic shift. People come here to work because of construction of a huge wind farm, the main contractor of which is a Chinese company.”
“Do you think that it is a school that should attract investments, not the experts of the specialised departments?”
“Yes, it is the schools that need to be at the centre of fundraising. First, many entities allocate money exclusively to educational institutions. Secondly, schools always have competent people who can write a project if desired, as well as people who can translate the project into English.”
After amalgamation, old school buses went to landfill
The House of Culture has a special karaoke room. The equipment worth of UAH 20 thousand was received within the framework of the project of the DOBRE project. Every evening retirees come here and sing their favourite songs for hours.
Hromada’s PR campaign. Serhiy Klishchevskyi requested such stands to be displayed in all municipal institutions
The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE
Громади:Присиваська сільська об’єднана територіальна громада
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