The Humanitarian Component of Education in the High School System
- State Agrarian and Engineering University in Podilia, Ukraine
Background and aim of study:
One of the main tasks of the education system in the XXI century is to promote the formation of a civil society in Ukraine – a society of equal opportunities, political and economic freedoms. It is education that is designed to balance the growing inequality of people, it is precisely education that can and should oppose the inequality of circumstances of equality of starting opportunities for a generation that is entering an independent life. Otherwise, we will face not just an exacerbation of social contradictions – Ukraine has already gone far along the path of fragmentation of society, when it breaks up into many enemy political, national, oligarchic groups and clans. This real trend needs to be balanced and changed its vector direction in the opposite direction by providing quality education for all, which should act as a consolidating social force.
In high educational institutions, including those of an agrarian profile, humanitarian disciplines on the history of the Ukrainian people are taught. In 2000-2020, such disciplines in certain universities were taught as courses on the history of Ukraine, Ukrainian studies, ethno-state studies, and the history of Ukrainian culture. Analysis of the programs of these disciplines gives grounds to assert that they contain identical provisions and concepts. However, they are largely historical. Of course, providing each of these courses is advisable. However, it is important and necessary to coordinate the curricula. This requires the study of programs, teaching aids, textbooks from the listed disciplines. In the world educational practice over the past decade, there have been two opposite and, at the same time, inextricably linked trends. On the one hand, the role of education for the life of society is growing steadily. On the other hand, there is a crisis in society, which is often caused by a shortage, primarily of financial security. Here we can observe two conceptual approaches to the interpretation of the crisis. The first one proceeds from the fact that the existing education system does not provide such a level of quality of training for young people, which is required by modern post-industrial and social technologies. The second concept recognises the origins and content of the crisis in the dehumanization of education, its transformation into an instrumental category of industrial and market relations. Education loses its humanistic meaning and turns into utilitarian teaching of a narrow range of professional knowledge and skills. Humanistic concern about the crisis of education is not a snobbish mindset of the intelligentsia working in the field of education. This concern expresses not only concern about education, its status and prospects, but also concern for the country’s fate. The dehumanization of education is, at the same time, the dehumanization of society and its institutions. This process undermines national security, the prospects for social progress, narrows the horizons of democracy and undermines its values, transforming human life into functioning with a spiritless techno-society. In our country, a massive, public, free education system has developed. While it had many flaws, its accomplishments are astounding. Thanks to it the intellectual potential was created on which Ukraine still holds, despite the destructive tendencies. But the old education system was leveled by technocratic orientations and mono-ideologization. Tight centralization of management and control suppressed academic freedoms. In the structure of high education, the humanities were clearly on the periphery. Elimination of the educational sphere on the periphery of state policy and public attention leads not only to social degradation, cultural impoverishment, but also to dehumanization, weakening national security, reducing the opportunities for democratic development of the country. Dehumanized education can become a factor of social instability and even a mechanism of integration of people into a dehumanistic or pseudo- humanistic society, the features of which are visible in modern Ukraine.
The complexity of the problems facing humanity in our time, makes us talk today not only about preserving but also about expanding the scale of education, improving its quality, because the further civilization advances along the path of its historical development, the more people without education are displaced beyond normal living conditions. Therefore, despite all the economic difficulties that exist in our country today, society, the state must do everything possible to prevent the oppression of the rights of our fellow citizens to education, reducing its quality level. Contempt for this will inevitably lead to intellectual and cultural degradation of society, which is incompatible with the conditions of stable development, national security and, most importantly, with the concept of national development of Ukrainian society. Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that all the strategies of the future begin today at school, in high education.
DOI and UDC:
UDC: 378:168.522 DOI: 10.26697/ijes.2020.4.9
Information about the authors:
Kadenyuk Oleksandr Stepanovych – Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Theoretical and Legal, Social and Humanitarian Disciplines, State Agrarian and Engineering University in Podilia, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine. Research interests: history, education and training, social pedagogy, methodology history culture; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2173-6055