Volodymyr Spivakovskiy

About the education system


Good afternoon, I appeal to you as a creator of the first private school in Ukraine. I know that in your country public schools are still very popular, whereas in our country (in England) parents are still trying to send their child to a private school. In your opinion, which option is better?


It depends on your vision of which ratio “costs-results” is better. Some people prefer the cheap price, some – the future career of their child. Although there are many cheap (or free) schools providing good quality knowledge. And vice versa.

Matthew Whitfield

Vladimir Spivakovsky, I really like your project of reforming the education system. I hope that it will get accustomed to different countries with different mentality. But where can we get teachers to create a new education system? After all, even if you completely change the technical equipment and content, teachers will still remain the same.


Yes, you are right. Teachers become weak link in the system. Nevertheless, there is a way out. It is impossible to reeducate all teachers in one day. And it will take many years to do it consequentially. Fortunately, people in business, faces with such a problem, found a decision, which is well known as “virus marketing”. It means, that it is worth only one person to do it, like the rest follow his example.

The same happens at the school. If in one “pilot” school the new efficient technologies or case-lessons will appear, parents and students of other schools will press them to do the same. Some schools award teachers-innovators with money, status, or additional privileges.

Billy Noris

Hello, Vladimir. My name is Billy Noris, I’m from the USA. I have carefully studied your 7W school project of the future, and I have a question. Obviously, studying in such a school will not be cheap, since it 1) is private 2) requires a large budget. Is it appropriate to build such schools only for the rich, while the whole world is struggling for accessible education for all?


Thank you, Billy, for your question. It’s not like this. It’s not a matter of money. The first car also used to be expensive and the first Edison’ electric lamp was extremely expensive. However, they appeared because the previous carriages and candles became ineffective. So, the new inventions came. The same happens to the school system. The old one is tired and doesn’t satisfy modern requirements and challenges.

That’s why the algorithm will be as follows. First there might be built pilot projects of new-style schools. And it doesn’t matter what will be the financial sources. It can be municipality initiative, private, foundations, sponsors. So, the fees will vary. Anyway, it is a choice of parents, who are looking for the best ratio “costs-results”.

For instance, the new model of school provides very cheap subscription on the best learning materials instead of expensive textbooks. Moreover, it depends on the country’s education policy. There are many countries, where education is free of charge. I dream for those times, when schools will be free and provide an excellent quality of education.

Nikolay Averin

Hello, Vladimir! I have known about you for a long time. Today I have discovered a Superman in you. So only you can answer me. I am shocked by human imperfection, which brings troubles. But even more I`m shocked by the infirmity and unwillingness of the modern Ukrainian education system to solve this problem. So I want to ask you: 1) Do you consider it necessary to master the principles of individual self-organization for a growing person? 2) If «Yes», how should this happen? 3) If «No», then what is, in your understanding, an alternative to comprehension and self-realization of a person as a humane, prosperous and successful personality? 4) Is the statement «Self-organization determines self-realization» right? These and other homogeneous questions arose (and have been torturing me for a quarter of a century!) after I became the leader of the experimental school on the problem of individual self-organization, created appropriate concept and pedagogical method, applied them in practice, received a remarkable result, but was expelled from this school by the education chiefs, who, from the bottom to the top, do not want to hear about the problem of self-organization of the individual, about my attempts to reanimate a non-traditional pedagogical method, about me in general as a conductor of pedagogy of individual self-organization, calling me a former teacher. Thank you for attention!


1. Thank you for the letter. I see it this way. The Ukrainian education system (like in any other country) solves one of its main tasks — to provide a standard curriculum. This is good and bad. But you cannot blame the authorities for this, because they have a common task and a lack of money.

2. Therefore, there are so many alternative schools in the world, hundreds of experimenters are implementing their developments, and they are doing it very successfully. And this is the way that you can go.

3. Today all options are open to alternative schools, this is even legislated.

4. But to make your development become the main, pivotal in the whole education system is complicated, as it will be necessary to shrink other subjects — mathematics, physics, etc.

5. Individual self-organization is one of the basic qualities and competences of a person, which can make a person happy or unhappy in the future. Therefore, it is extremely important.

6. But it is unlikely that self-organization, like a lesson, can be squeezed into the curriculum. Most likely, this can be taught during extra-curricular time, holidays, quarantines, in summer camps. Also the course of self-organization can be uploaded on the Internet.

7. I believe that self-organization and self-realization is of great importance and has brilliant prospects. The only thing is to find an acceptable form of such «lessons» or trainings and they will be of a great demand.


In the case of my 11-year-old son, you can experiment and practice new forms of training, because he is the most ordinary D and C pupil. We have nothing to lose. There is no motivation for learning at all. My attempts are unsuccessful. Motivation for computer games and Youtube is 98%. There are favorable opportunities for experiments in distance learning: 1) we are temporarily living in Russia, being citizens of Ukraine, so our son is temporarily (for the second year) studying in a Russian school, and this is the worst of all 5 schools in which we have had a chance to study , so we do not regret leaving it in favor of alternative education (and we had a chance to learn in one good school and even in one very good school, but our relocations are related to work);

2) we have a legal reason to ask for an alternative way of education for our son, since we are registered and used to live in Luhansk before the beginning of all the sad events, and we are Ukrainian citizens with Luhansk residence permit, but we are forced to work abroad temporarily, and at home in Luhansk, our son does not have an opportunity to get Ukrainian education, and we cannot take him to the territory under Ukrainian control, since we have no one to leave him with;

3) we also have a couple of hours every day, which we, as parents, can devote to our child and help him in his studies;

4) we have good 3G internet, and our child’s computer is suitable for distance education;

5) our child prefers to learn the topics of school lessons independently by watching the lessons in Youtube;

6) our child has good computer skills (after the 4th grade he designed a computer by the parameters he demanded, he chose and ordered computer hardware via the Internet, and assembled the computer (with my minor help).

I`d like to ask whether there are officially recognized forms of distance education for our child in Ukraine that would be suitable for us?

Thank you.


1. Good afternoon, Dmitry. Your situation is complicated, but not hopeless. There are two ways.

2. You can study remotely in one of the online schools that specialize in this. Their list is presented on the site http://womo.ua/houmskuling-ili-8-ukrainskih-shkol-gde-shkolniki-uchatsya-distantsionno/

3. For the benefit and pleasure of learning, you can use case lessons on the site www.edufuture.biz, there are integrated subjects that students love and they can be studied at home, as they are presented in a convenient Internet format. http://case.edufuture.biz/

I wish you luck and fortitude.


Shevchenko University has always been considered the most prestigious university, but it has not been included in the rating of the best universities in the world. Do you know the reason why?


1. The best national car, which we can only manufacture is Zaporozhets. But it, alas, is not in the rating of the best cars in the world. And our best airport Borispol is not in the world rating either. And our best bank is not included in the world rating.

2. The reason is simple: they do not meet the requirements that are set in the world «to the best 500». Shevchenko University of does not publish high-level scientific works, the computer base is obsolete, the graduates have nowhere to work and they do not know anything, the professors are elderly, the material base is poor, the grants are scanty and the knowledge taught is time-worn.

How can it get to the world ranking with such indicators?

3. Is there a way out and hope? Of course yes. We just have to try to match. It is true, it’s hard to prove this difference to people who have not seen cool universities in America, China, Japan, Canada and Australia.

Leo Kinna

Do you think that the classic type of the classroom organization that exists now (the desks for two people, raws, etc.) is the most effective? Isn`t it better to place desks in a circle and let people sit alone?


1. Of course, the square-cluster method of seating children in the classroom has largely outlived itself. In many schools (and in Grand Lyceum too) there are experiments with the arrangement of desks and furniture. And this diversity gives its little effect.

2. In Grand Lyceum, for example, besides desks there are sofas in each classroom. They are good for Literature lessons (where you do not need to write) and it is better for the spine. Still it`s really exhausting to sit 9 hours at the desk.

3. However, all these are the vestiges of the education system, where the teacher is the boss and the students are subordinates. And its Majesty the board is the center of attention. Now, when everyone has a computer or laptop on their desk, it’s trendy to learn in teams, for example, two or three blocks of tables. This way it is easy to conduct brainstorming or a mini-competition for the result.

And the teacher`s role is to be not the edifier and supervisor, but the guru. Control tests and exams require sitting alone.

4. So the arrangement itself is not the aim. First, the formats of classes (lessons, cases, workshops, trainings) are chosen, and the furniture should be adapted for them.


Dear Vladimir Spivakovsky,
Have you noticed that most often losers become teachers? This is especially true of university teachers — mostly they are people who do not know how to apply their knowledge in practice, those who failed to find a normal job and … returned to the institute.
It’s unlikely that a cool architect will be eager to lose profitable knowledge and go to teach students for a penny.
But the one who does not receive orders will go
how to overcome it and change this situation?


1. You are right but partially. Still, there are people who want to teach, but do not want (or do not know how) to produce something. There are, on the contrary, those who want to sculpt something, but cannot tolerate «bold and lazy» students. There is also the third category that you are talking about — they are those who have not found themselves in a real sector and go to teach.

2. But there are cool architects who build entire cities and students go in droves to their lectures.

3. In general, there is no single clear-cut trend. There is a variety of different cases and fates.


It was interesting to read your answers, and another question came to my mind – what specialties, in your opinion, are currently valued abroad?


Instead of chatting idly about the list of the most popular professions, which can be read on any job-site, I will answer this way.
1. The names of the professions themselves are outdated.

2. Employers need very different qualities in people than the current professions provide. In CV you are asked to indicate your experience, age, foreign languages, driving license, etc. But in fact, the employer is interested in whether the person is smart and whether the person isn`t mean, whether the person is a demagogue or works for the result, whether the person gets on well with other people or is argumentative, whether the person knows his stuff or needs a supervisor all the time, etc.

3. And now the main thing. You will be surprised, but in the West there are 10,000 (!) open positions with the salary of 1 million Euros a year. And there is nobody to take them! These are the positions of heads of large corporations, banks, airlines, sports clubs and even coaches. There are no such people who can solve super complicated modern problems single-handedly. This is the reason why these firms go down or do bankrupt.

Therefore, I direct young people and their parents not just to a profession or specialty, but to another target: become competists! This is not a profession, but a new set of qualities: abilities/ skills/ knowledge/ character/ will/ wit/ erudition/ effectiveness in one bottle. For this you will be paid a fortune.

I’ll tell you two stories. I recently visited Deutsche Bank, and one of the top managers, by the way, said that they were looking for a poet and a ballerina to work for the bank.

Although, as they say, I have seen everything, I was taken aback and expressed real perplexity. And he explained: «You see, poets communicate very well with clients, they have such choice phrases that they can win their favor, while graduates of economic universities are very tongue-tied, they can’t string two sentences together.»

«And why do you need ballerinas?» — «Ballerinas are really hardworking, very industrious, if they do not finish some task, they cannot calm down, because since the childhood they have been used to long rehearsals, loads and trainings. As they say, they always slave away».
And while I was digesting it, he finished: «And as for the lack of knowledge of banking, we do not worry, we will teach them this trade in 2 months. And then they will be worth their weight in gold! »

The second time I encountered this kind of situation was when I was studying one problem and realized that in the near future doctors profoundly knowledgeable in jurisprudence will be very valuable. You can ask — why do they need it? Just because very soon we will have insurance medicine and those first competists who have knowledge by formula 2 in 1 will instantly become millionaires. And the rest will be just doctors or just lawyers.

Thomas K.

Hello, Vladimir!
Could you, please, give recommendations to me, as to a primary school teacher, how to punish those children who misbehave at the lessons or disrupt a lesson?


1. It is useless to punish. As my grandmother used to say: «The punished mind feels guilty little time».

2. If the child already knows how to write, give a piece of paper and let the child write — what happened, who is to blame and who suffered as a result of the kid`s actions.

3. If the child cannot write, then let the child … draw the answer. This will be a kind of creative task and reflection.

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