Reforms cannot happen mechanically, on their own or without the public’s support. Not one systemic change can happen in the nation without public understanding and support.
The Aug. 5 arrest of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko instantly reverted Ukraine to an entirely different rhetoric: to political and political party resistance.
The need to reexamine the 2009 gas supply agreement between Russia and Ukraine and whether it was legal has essentially become exclusively political.
It’s not simply about putting a high-ranking civil servant on trial, but rather a leading opposition politician. Therefore all formalities and procedures should be upheld. This is how the international community treats similar cases, as evidenced by its negative backlash.
The election technology of “two Ukraine’s” revived this new resistance. Reforms should be carried out with the following justification: one state, one nation.
This event has unexpectedly set off another huge problem – chaos in the Ukrainian humanitarian sector which is run single-handedly, rather manipulated by Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk.
His ideological bias exceedingly harms both society and the pro-government political party, since there isn’t a need to divide Ukraine.
Instead there’s a need to unite and rally the nation together.
Over the course of the last several months, much information came to light about the activities of Dmytro Tabachnyk from open sources of information, various inquiries, and publications that run counter to Ukraine’s national interests.
1. The non-transparent distribution of public spending in higher education institutions associated with increased tension in society, the lack of objective criteria for the
Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk
allocation of state resources, withholding information about the actual volume of actual orders in various universities, thus violating the law on access to public information.
2. The discrediting of external independent testing for university entrants.
3. The commercialization and monopolization of scholastic exercises for students in grades 5-8, as well as the absence of relevant texts on the official website of the Education, Youth and Sports Ministry for two months.
4. The opaque situation concerning the procurement and supply of textbooks to schools.
5. The promotion of the passage of a new law on education, which contains norms that contradict principles of university autonomy and render impossible the development of competitive Ukrainian universities.
Presently, the education system not only needs reforming but it also first needs to stop the process of degradation. Development of the national economy, the state and society is directly dependent on education and science.
An intelligent educational policy is part of the idea of a united Ukraine for its development.
So what should the government do? First it must release Tymoshenko from pre-trial detention.
Students in Lviv on March 17, 2010, seek the ouster of Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk, seen as “anti-Ukrainian.” (AFP)
Second it should establish the position of vice prime minister of humanitarian issues who would be responsible for formulating state policy aimed at integrating society.
Third Tabachnyk should be removed from his post as an abominable and unprofessional figure.
Without these immediate steps the chance of returning to a healthy conversation about reforms will be lost.
Serhiy Kvit is the president of Kyiv Mohyla Academy.