Ukraine: education unionists deepen commitment to a values-based education

published 7 June 2017 updated 9 June 2017

Interactive activities, lively discussions and stirring speeches set the tone for a professional development workshop that brought together teacher union activists from all over Ukraine to explore ways of relaying democratic values in their teaching practice.

In the midst of intense discussions with the government on a new education reform package, Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine President Georgiy Truhanov and Vice-President Sergiy Romayuk reminded participants of the crucial importance of social dialogue and the active role the union takes in this process in Ukraine at present.

The two-day workshop, jointly organized by the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine, one of Education International’s affiliates in the country, and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, offered the over thirty participants – educators and union activists mainly active in communications activities in the union’s regional branches – opportunities to explore how democratic transformation processes in society can be reflected in teaching practice, and how the teaching profession has a crucial role to play to impart democratic values and an awareness of civil society and citizen participation to generations of learners.

By way of examples from Education International’s Unite for Quality Education Campaign and an overview of current trends in digital communications and presentation techniques, via appearances from local partner organisations and internationally connected activists, and through a discussion on educational issues with Finnish ambassador Juha Virtanen, participants explored experiences from all over the world that could inform their daily work.

“A union’s work is always grounded in its activists’ values and beliefs, and inscribed in an international continuum of solidarity – solidarity for which we in Ukraine are particularly grateful,” Georgiy Truhanov remarked. “As educators, we are doing our best to impart these values and experiences to the next generation."