Will Soviet-type schools continue to be built in Ukraine?

Will Soviet-type schools continue to be built in Ukraine? After all, Ukrainian schoolchildren spend at least 2,720 days – 7 years and 7 months in classrooms  


Before graduating from high school, Ukrainian schoolchildren spend at least 2,720 days in classrooms. This is solid 7 years and 7 months. The space, in which children spend this time, not only affects whether it is comfortable for them to study and take a rest at school breaks. It helps or prevents to form skills of working in groups, a sense of responsibility and pride in their achievements and leadership qualities. This all will have an impact on competitive abilities and success of today’s schoolchildren in the future. The Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services is planning to adopt a seemingly unremarkable document in the near future. It is a guide for constructors building domestic education institutions. And it depends just on this document whether our children will have modern schools with comfortable classrooms and co-workings, or these schools will still be gloomy primitive facilities as they are now.

What is meant here?

In Ukraine, the construction is regulated by so-called state building codes – regulatory documents that determine both the thickness of walls, the height of stair-steps and the size of classrooms…

Recently, the Ukrainian Zonal Research and Design Institute for Civil Construction (PJSC “KyivZNDIEP”) has developed a new version of state building codes (DBN) “Educational Institutions”.

This is a good and useful initiative, but there are virtually no specialists, who are able to understand the matter and develop a modern code.

So, it happened that the provisions of the draft DBN “Educational Institutions” were not modern and not very different from the existing ones.

For example, when designing and building an educational institution, insolation standards should be taken into account – regarding providing the sunlight penetration into the rooms, which has a health-improving effect on a human body and a bactericidal effect on the environment microflora.

However, this positive effect can be seen only if there are sufficient doses of direct sunlight, which is characterized by the duration of insolation.

Well, but the insolation duration is limited to the period from March 22 to September 22 in both current and new draft state building codes.

The first question that arises is why developers have focused on the period, which lasts mostly in the summer holidays, when children are absent in schools.

Maybe, we should consider the European experience, according to which the insolation is provided 365 days a year due to modern projects of buildings and even shutters that move with the sun. As an example, an ordinary secondary school in the Danish city of Erstad.

Another standard is obligatory garbage disposers in schools. While there is a total rejection of their use and the whole world is striving to separate waste collection, we continue to bring our children up with a habit to lump everything together and make a stench.

A washing room for eggs, where they should be washed before using in food purposes, requires special attention. So, this room in schools should be separate of 6 square meters (!).

As for me, a separate working space is enough for this purpose, because the volume of consumption of this product in schools does not require this metric area.

In addition, , most schools today do not cook, but order the food or are provided with the egg mélange (semi-finished product in special containers, that is broken-out shell eggs). And most importantly, any other codes don’t contain the requirements on this mandatory separate room, except poultries.

Finally, the requirements on the classrooms size for school headmasters are almost 30 meters as a two-bedroom apartment.

As an expert real estate developer, I know for sure that 1 sq.m will cost at least $500. So, I doubt that spending more than half a million hryvnas to build offices for principals and deputy principals is the effective use of our taxes.

Education – new, but schools – old?

Almost simultaneously with the beginning of the review of state building codes, particularly, regarding educational institutions – schools, colleges and universities, a Concept of new Ukrainian education is presented in the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. And be sure, these documents are not correlated with each other.

For example, the Concept provides for introducing information and communication technologies in education that should cover all activities, significantly enhance the potential of teachers and pupils and optimize management processes.

For this purpose, it is planned to develop the infrastructure, create online platforms and even entire hubs at the schools.

Instead, the developers of the new draft DBN relied on standards and rules of instructions developed by the Ministry of Communications of the USSR for the period of 1970-1980.

You do not need to be a mega expert to understand that landline phones and massive TV sets are the latest technologies, the implementation of which is provided for in these documents. This approach looks at least strange in the period of rapid technological development.

Update of realities

The developers added the garbage disposers and did not forget about spacious offices for school authorities.

But they did not remember that now it is the 21st century, which completely changed the world and forgot to correlate this fact with the Concept of education.

If new state building codes for schools are adopted in this version now, it will be long before we can change them. As a result, children will continue to study in Soviet conditions. And no Concept of new Ukrainian schools will help there, because “new schools” are built under the rules of Soviet times…

That’s why experts, progressive educators and concerned parents should join the review of the new version of state building codes.

It is very necessary for our children to have modern and comfortable schools that will encourage their development.