Why public education is unequal: case of Ukrainian rural schools

  • Received October 25, 2016;
    Accepted December 28, 2016;
    Published January 16, 2017
  • Author(s)
    Affiliation: Bachelor in Sociology at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine, Master student in Economy and Society at Graduate School for Social Research, Poland
    Viktoriia Muliavka
  • DOI
  • Article Info
    Volume 1 2017, Issue #1, pp. 19-26

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Ukrainian educational system is not able to provide equal access to the university, regardless of children’s socio-economic background. Despite of the anti-discrimination ideas in legislation and in public discourse (with implementation of transparent mechanism of selection in 2004 - External Independent Testing), there are statistically significant differences in the results of EIT (that defines chances to get higher education) between children from rural area and their peers from urban schools (especially from elite ones). The research is based on Bourdieu’s theoretical concept of capitals and seven in-depth interviews with teachers from rural schools in different regions of Ukraine. Based on the findings, the author divides mechanisms of reproduction of educational inequality into four dimensions: economic capital of the school, economic capital of the family, cultural capital of the school and cultural capital of the family. Current educational reforms of secondary and higher education in Ukraine will not improve situation with access to higher education for children from poor social background. Closing of unprofitable universities and schools in rural area, expending the years of studying at school and implementation on funding reallocation based on a competition with financial support only of those, who are more successful, will deepen educational inequality, making accesses to the mechanism of improving socio-economic position even more dependent from socio-economic background.

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    • Table 1. Average score of External Independent Testing results by type of school and place of residence (2014)
    • Table 2. General information about schools