From September 30 to October 3 in Lviv was held the VIII Ecumenical Social Week, initiated by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University with the support of National University "Lviv Polytechnic", Lviv Regional State Administration, Lviv regional and city councils.

Realizing the responsibility for the fate of the country, representatives of Churches, NGOs, the media, politicians, scientists, educators and youth discussed the challenges faced in the field of upbringing and education. Drawing attention to the overall difficult situation in the country, caused by military operations in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, Crimea occupation by Russian troops, Forum participants outlined vector of education development, as it affects the success of future generations.

Ukrainian education is on the verge of a double challenge, as educational trends evolving incessantly, and national education and science for more than 20 years of independence practically have not integrated in global processes. Participants of the 8th ESW stressed the importance of implementation in the educational process achievements of famous Ukrainian educators of after-soviet period for the development of the basic principles of spiritual education, which are essential to shape a positive world-view of the person. We call on the participants of educational process from preschools to higher education institutions to be based on teachers’ LOVE to students, for teacher to nurture with his LOVE in his students a love for the Creator, for his country, for family, for himself.

Feeling responsible for the fate of the Ukrainian state and seeking to contribute to the development of the education sector and upbringing a new generation of Ukrainians, participants of the VIII ESW appeal to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine with the following recommendations:

  • we express hope for further effective implementation of the Law on Higher Education;
  • recommend promoting university autonomy in organizational and financial areas through the modernization of higher education;
  • recommend to carry out monitoring and periodically review the curriculum for the purpose of its updating and adaptation to modern learning environment;
  • welcome the initiative to attract independent experts in evaluating the quality of educational services and curriculum development;
  • urge to promote and support the   of local systems of quality management in higher education institutions;
  • strongly recommend establishing a mechanism of collecting reliable data from higher education institutions to further work out on its basis an appropriate development strategy;
  • recommend to promote healthy competition among higher education institutions under market economy conditions;
  • strongly recommend removing the prerequisites for corruption in higher education by setting transparent criteria for entry and evaluation;
  • welcome the initiative of providing access to higher education for internally displaced persons;
  • recommend to help increasing scholarships for students, creating employment opportunities for students during vacation period and on terms of partial employment;
  • express hope for the development of the university chaplaincy;
  • hope for the establishment and development of denominational schools and higher education institutions based on state standards and recognizing their diplomas;
  • recommend to bring ecumenical element in the teaching of religious subjects, eliminate polemical moments and maintain presentation of material in a non-offensive to any denomination way;
  • strongly recommend implementing inclusive education at all levels of education services (preschool education, school, colleges, higher education institutions).

We express our sincere hope for cooperation for the welfare of Ukraine!

With regards,

Organizing Committee of the ESW in Ukraine

This year's theme of the Ecumenical Social Week "Education for Changes: Spirituality and Innovations" inspired the specialists of the Center "Dzherelo" to create an event which would gather experts and interested in the educational topic people for discussion and cooperation.