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05.03.2013

Party of the Regions MPs continue efforts to undermine external exam system

   

The survey by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation has found that people throughout the country support a standardized exam system, believing it fairer

Serhiy Kivalov, Party of the Regions MP and author of one of three draft laws on higher education has asserted that the compulsory nature of the system of Independent external assessment [ZNO] restricts people trying to get into university.  He believes that they should have the possibility of choosing between ZNO and ordinary exams. This is one of the proposals of his draft law.

His view is not shared by Lilia Hrynevych, Chair of the profile parliamentary committee who believes that Kivalov’s bill is in general aimed at increasing individual management of higher education.  She suggests that this is designed at heightening control over academic institutes as presidential elections approach.

Iryna Bekeshkina, Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation points out that her Foundation’s surveys have consistently shown wide support for ZNO, and specifically the belief that the system is fairer and counters corruption.

As reported, the introduction of such a standardized independent internal assessment system – ZNO – as the sole determining factor for entry to higher educational institutions was one of the few real achievements of the pre-2010 government,   This was a major step in fighting rampant corruption in education and towards bringing Ukraine into line with other countries. 

Dmytro Tabachnyk, appointed Education Minister in March 2010, and again following the last elections despite his immense unpopularity, has been against the system from the outset and it has over the last three years came under threat.  Attempts to undermine the examinations and add other elements were unfortunately supported by many deans and lecturers, with the opportunities for corrupt arrangements seeming a likely reason.

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