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Specialized education to be introduced in Ukraine: What subjects will be optional

Specialized education to be introduced in Ukraine: What subjects will be optional Secondary education reform in Ukraine (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The public discussion initiated by the Ministry of Education on the reform of secondary education in Ukraine continues until November 30. The project's standard envisages a transformation of secondary education into a specialized one. During their studies, children will be able to independently choose subjects to study, although some will remain mandatory, according to the New Ukrainian School.

Mandatory subjects include:

  • Ukrainian language
  • Mathematics
  • History of Ukraine
  • Foreign language
  • Defense of Ukraine
  • First aid
  • Physical education

Most of these subjects are those included in the standardized testing.

The rest of the subjects in the school curriculum are elective, but only in grades 10-12.

Profile education in the senior classes should be flexible and allow for creativity. Thus, the project standard allocates hours for:

  • Studying core subjects
  • Studying mandatory subjects related to the profile
  • Studying elective subjects related to the profile
  • Courses and subjects of free choice

The distribution of study hours looks like this:

  • In 10th grade - 105-210 hours for the chosen profile, 35-140 hours outside the chosen profile
  • In 11-12 grades - respectively, 385-595 and 70-280 hours over two years

To make it easier for children to shape their profile, they will be offered nine areas:

  • Linguistic-literary
  • Mathematical
  • Natural science
  • Technological
  • Informational
  • Social and health-preserving
  • Civic and historical
  • Artistic
  • Physical education

According to the reform, students will be able to independently choose their profile and some subjects to study. Educational institutions, in turn, must provide children with the opportunity to acquire the knowledge they want.

When the changes will take effect

Students who started studying under the New Ukrainian School program will receive specialized education under the new standard from 2027. However, to implement these changes, a pilot test is needed, planned to begin in 2025.