The “Learning Together” Project is Completing its Work in Ukraine: the Results of the 5-year Work on Supporting the NUS Reform by Finland and the EU Have Been Summarised

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During its 5-year operation, the “Learning Together” project, co-financed by the EU and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, has achieved significant success in supporting the “New Ukrainian School” reform, while the EU and Finland will continue to support Ukrainian education. This was discussed during the event “New school, new horizons: the final conference of the Learning Together project”, which took place on July 4, 2023.

“The Learning Together project is one of those that helped the formation of the New Ukrainian School from the very beginning. Despite the challenges, we prioritize the NUS and continue its implementation. We are grateful to the project, as well as to reliable partners – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, and the European Union – for supporting Ukrainian education. I am convinced that our further cooperation will be no less effective for the development of the New Ukrainian School,” said Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Oksen Lisovyi.

One of the key results of the project is printing 361 367 copies of natural sciences textbooks according to the new model curricula for the 5th grade of the NUS. The allocated 1.2 million euros enabled 5 Ukrainian printing houses that were selected through an open competition according to the EU rules, to print the textbooks in a very tight schedule.

“The EU continues to support reforms in education in partnership with EU Member States. Our joint efforts to support New Ukrainian School reform yielded significant results, and we remain committed in further supporting Ukraine in overcoming the consequences of the war and in stabilizing Ukraine’s education system,” said Martin Schroeder, Head of Section Local and Human Development, EU Delegation to Ukraine.

During the conference, the “Learning Together” project reported on its achievements since 2019. The project systematically supported teachers’ professional development, including during the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. It conducted 34 educational courses, the key topics of which included primary education pedagogy, inclusive education, assessment practices, professional development and mentoring practices, and digital tools for teachers.

The project’s activities helped 15.8 million Ukrainians and more than 2.1 million Ukrainian educators to better understand the specifics of the NUS reform and its impact on the future of children and Ukraine. In particular, the project launched the NUS hub – a resource with educational materials for educators – and conducted more than 12 targeted communication campaigns.

“The entire Learning Together team that has worked tirelessly so that NUS and its objectives could be reached, be known, and supported by all Ukrainians. Without the project team, and the teachers, school managers and learning material developers on the ground, we would not be able to celebrate the achievements of the project today. Education has been and continues to be the main field of Finland’s support to Ukraine in the framework of our development collaboration. Moreover, we will not only continue, but also increase our support to Ukraine’s education sector in the coming years,” said Minna Hakkarainen, Head of Cooperation, Advisor on Education, Embassy of Finland.

The project also worked on creating a modern educational environment. For example, more than 12,200 educators created 411 test curricula using the Curriculum Constructor, developed by the project and the Reform Support Team for the Ministry of Education and Science.

544 principals and 314 trainers successfully attended training programmes on effective school management, use of new professional standards, and implementation of the NUS reform. On the basis of the course “Academy of effective school management” a Model training programme for newly appointed school principals was created and approved.

“Looking at the results of the project, they can be called successful without a doubt. This is the result of intensive work despite the challenges, the professionalism of experts and the desire of Ukrainian educators to participate in changes and jointly create the Ukrainian education of the future. I am sure that soon Ukraine will share the experience of building a modern educational system with the whole world, as Finland is doing now,” said the Chief Technical Adviser of the “Learning Together” project, Dr. Jarkko Lampiselkä.

As part of the activities of the Language Component of the Project, 310 teachers and 20 trainers completed training for teachers and methodologists of the ITTI of Zakarpattia and Chernivtsi regions. About 98% of them reported extreme satisfaction with the learning course, and 68% of all Ukrainian language teachers from the above-mentioned regions already use project’s materials and methods in their work. 1,613 teachers from Ukraine also completed the training for Biology, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry teachers to teach their subjects in Ukrainian.

The Language Component has also developed:

  • an online course for teachers “Teaching the Ukrainian language in classes with teaching language of national minorities”;
  • manual for teachers “Ukrainian for all. How to teach those for whom Ukrainian is not their native language”.
  • “YOY”, a mobile application for learning Ukrainian as the second language in elementary school.

More information on the project activities and its outputs is available at the NUS hub.

For reference.

The “Learning Together” is a nation-wide joint action (2018 – 2023) by Finland and the EU to support MoES in NUS implementation.

Key tasks of the project:

  • training of teachers and school administrators,
  • improving the perception of the NUS reform among educators and the general public,
  • development of the educational environment,
  • improving the teaching of Ukrainian as a second language among national minorities.

The project was implemented by FCG Finnish Consulting Group Ltd in cooperation with the University of Helsinki.