Christian education shall be made accessible to public - experts on establishment of Catholic schools
Christian education aims to provide moral education based on higher values. Similar projects will be available not only at private institutions in case of the educational reform, which has already been adopted in the first reading in Parliament. This was stated at the press conference at UNIAN agency in Kyiv on Thursday, October 27, by representatives of the Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
“Our school provides a comprehensive formation teaching a child to love God and to perform everyday duties, to be guided by higher values, which will allow changing society for the better,” assured Fr. Peter Maiba, head of Catholic Schooling unit to the Commission for education and training of the UGCC. According to him, the main difficulty still remains the enrolment to private schools of the children whose parents cannot pay for tuition. This may result in the fact that only children from wealthy families will enroll the Catholic schools.
Instead, the law that would allow religious organizations to establish their own educational institutions within the public financing system has already been adopted in the first reading in Parliament. If it is accepted, the state will pay a part of such education that will attract low income families. But the mechanism of funds distribution in the region have not yet been developed.
Alongside, Ukrainian society deems such a reform contradictory, as many citizens believe that educational institutions should be entirely secular. However, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Volodymyr Kovtunets sees no reason for such reservations and believes that without education involving religious organizations it will be difficult to raise moral future generations: “Education is relevant to the formation of values and, I'm afraid it will be very difficult to solve this problem without the help of religious communities and their educational institutions. Now the new law would allow educational institutions to establish religious organizations that will comply with the national standards, but will lead educational process themselves. We are convinced that it will be successful. An example is the Ukrainian Catholic University, which is competitive, provides not only theological education, but is ahead of some technical universities.”
The official added that the implementation of the principle of the Convention on Human Rights, Article 2 of Protocol implies that the state has to respect the right of parents to choose the education of children, according to the philosophical and religious beliefs.
“We wonder that many children come into our kindergartens are not from Catholic families, sometimes even Orthodox priests threatened anathema to parents,” Bishop of the RCC diocese of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhya Stanislav Shyrokoradiuk said “Nobody educates children in the Catholic Church doctrine, but we pay attention to education in the spirit of morality. Among high school students in these schools, I see a different level of culture, respect for elders etc. Teacher education, cultural and moral importance for every society. You cannot divide into the state or church-related aspects, it is all ours.”
It is not the first year that the concept of the Catholic School named after Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky has been developed in Kyiv. There is a draft of environmentally friendly school for 600 people, but it stopped at the stage of finding funds for its implementation.