Why are the state authorities in Pavlohrad planning to close down schools?
In Pavlohrad in the Dnipropetrovsk region, the Mayor has arbitrarily decided to close five (!) city schools, one of which has 48% Roma students. The nearest school is 6 kilometres away. We pass on the appeal from the Parents Committee.
The Parents Committee of School No. 13 in Pavlohrad in the Dnipropetrovsk region wish to draw your attention to the situation with our school. The Mayor of the city Mr Kuklin raised the question (and virtually decided it himself) of closing our school from 1 September 2007, due to it being unfeasible to maintain it. We would also point out that there are no other schools, kindergartens or clubs in a radius of 5.5 (!) kilometres, with some children as far as 6.5 kilometres away from the nearest place. There are 88 students in our school, a third of them from Roma families. At the beginning of this academic year, we werent allowed to open a first class because there werent nine 6-year-olds. Most of those children (mainly Roma) are staying at home.
The actions of the Mayor and the head of the department of education (who has taken a position unworthy of a teacher) are in contravention of Article 2 of the First Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which states: “Right to education
No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions”.
(The letter cites other international conventions, as well as referring to the Ukrainian Constitution which guarantees each person the right to education)
If the city authorities pass the planned decision to close these schools, we will be forced to lodged an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights. A copy of this letter is being sent to the Ministry of Education. There is an appendix with a map showing where our school is.
The appeal has been signed by around one thousand residents of this district which has a population of three thousand.
Sent by: Olena Valerivna Hrechko (slightly shortened where indicated)
Email : [email protected]