Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Many people are interested in what will happen to the Christian Ethics course in schools.
This question was in the center of attention at every meeting of the Ukrainian Council of Churches with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine because it concerns the worldview component of education. During the last meeting between the UCCRO and the Ministry of Education, which was held on February 11, 2021 at the Ministry, we had a direct conversation about this question. There was openness and understanding on their part.
We have discussed two ways of solving this issue. The previous leaders of the Ministry of Education believed that there is no need for a special course and that instead, all courses that are taught should have a worldview component, and should be based on certain values. This was the goal of the education reform. However, we argued that we need a special course that would raise children on values. We did not come to an agreement, but the minister promised to remain open to the issue of the Christian Ethics course.
The Christian Ethics course is a product of inter-confessional collaboration. Back in the day, UCCRO agreed to make it a common platform on which all its members base their presence in the public education system. Later on, the Christian Ethics course was made optional. After that, as it often happens with everything optional, they began to decrease the course's educational hours. And in certain parts of Ukraine, the Christian Ethics course began to fade.
I encourage everyone to advocate for these educational hours, especially in Catholic schools. I emphasize once again that parents have a right to require the government to educate their children on certain values, even in the state educational system. I personally urge parents who can hear me – either from the pulpit or through modern means of communication – to submit the applications for the Christian Ethics course in schools of their children.
Photo: Oleksandr Savranskyi