Members of JASU talked with Minister of Education and Science Lilia Hrynevych

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At the end of the academic year, and especially at summer, it is a high time to summarize everything done and make plans for the future at the educational field. In particular, over the past few years the number of international competitions in which participated teams of the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine has increased. Members of JASU successfully represented our country on the international level and therefore, on the 4th of July the Minister of Education and Science Lilia Hrynevych met with 25 talented participants and winners of international competitions hosted by JASU to ask them about their experience and impressions.

The Minister was interested in how general education and high school should be changed, what international experience can be introduced to the New Ukrainian School, and what should be improved in the work of the Junior Academy of Sciences.

The children’s suggestions included: laboratory studies should be presented as scientific researches to make this activity not only practical and informative but also interesting. Lilia Hrynevych agreed that the issue of lacking motivation to learn is quite severe and it is necessary to start with teachers because they are the key to the reforms:

“It is very important, and therefore we will train teachers and update the meaning of education. For instance, we should not only teach the history of physics but also show achievements in modern physics”.

Another issue is that school does not teach how to express your attitude in public. The matter is not just in public speaking but in open and free standing for your ideas. For the members of JASU, the greatest challenge, which is not taught how to solve at school, sometimes is the ability to present and defend their works. Lilia Hrynevych reassured that the Ministry will work on this issue.

“We need to change the way of teachers’ thinking. The traditional way stands for a teacher demonstrating the knowledge and a student memorizing and repeating it. We want to switch to the pedagogy of partnership. A teacher has to be a navigator that has to teach equally communicating where and what to find to solve the problem,” explained the official and mentioned another challenge – how to tackle digital gap between a teacher and a generation of pupils.

The youth suggested implementing ‘Happiness’ as a school subject, teaching ‘soft skills’, synchronizing programs of similar subjects, such as chemistry and biology, physics and mathematics, and keeping in mind extra-curricular activities.

“We need to encourage children to take part in school government so that they could create their own extra-curricular projects. To bring schools into achieving these projects and at the same time to make some benefits for cities,” offered the Laureate of Genius Olympiad Milana Brodovska from Odesa.

Lilia Hrynevych promised to think over this suggestion and, perhaps, involvement in extra-curricular projects will be considered at entering Higher education institutions.

Lastly, Lilia Hrynevych thanked the members of JASU for being emotional, honest, and brave and having constructive vision of educational reforms.

“I am glad that the Junior Academy of Sciences is developing and we have a real chance to support our talented youth. Frankly speaking, we are working on it very closely and the Junior Academy of Sciences is a space that helps to seek such talented people and to give them a chance regardless of child’s birth place or a social status”.

To remember the meeting the Minister received a souvenir from the International Space Station that the members of JASU brought from the USA. Besides, the Director of JASU Oksen Lisovyi noted: “Companies that cooperate with NASA offered to send every year a couple of JASU’s developments to test them experimentally on space stations”.

After the meeting with the representative of the Government, the pupils had a master class “Science of Persuasion: Soft Skills of XXI Century” conducted by a psychologist, soft skills trainer Illia Bachurin. The creative and advanced youth continued the path of self-improvement!

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