On the International Youth Day, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has met with graduates of general secondary education institutions in school year 2019/2020, who scored the highest number of points according to the results of external independent evaluation.
The President said that he had read the information on the success of everyone who he met and their results.
"I am very proud that there are such adult, talented graduates. You did well. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to talk to you, congratulate you. We need people like you, because the new generation is not just young people, but educated people, knowledge holders," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President drew attention to the fact that among the participants of the meeting are graduates of schools from different regions, which is evidence of the quality of education in different parts of the country.
"It's very cool that there are (graduates) from all over Ukraine here. This clearly shows that the stereotype that smart students are only in the capitals is wrong. Now we see evidence of this," the Head of State said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the success of students depends not only on their hard work and commitment to work, but also on their parents, teachers and tutors. The Head of State expressed hope that by the end of his current mandate, the situation with the remuneration of teachers will change for the better.
"Our teachers need to earn more, and by the end of my current mandate everyone should feel it. People who pass on knowledge should be happy and not think about household things or where and how to earn extra money," he said.
The Head of State asked those present which university they plan to go to, who they dream of becoming, what their schooling was like, what the educational process lacked.
Special emphasis in the conversation was placed on the development of science and scientific activity in Ukraine. The children said that after graduation, many would like to continue working in their homeland.
The President agreed that the state should make efforts for the sustainable development of various sectors of the economy and areas of public activity, and not do so only when there is an urgent need, such as modernizing the Armed Forces during the war, providing health care in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
"We have to do it at the state level to persuade you not to go. We must do everything to really have such economic conditions that you can stay here and find a good job – and not only in Kyiv," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
He also backed the initiative to provide presidential scholarships to students who scored the highest number of points during external independent evaluation.
Acting Minister of Education Serhiy Shkarlet, who was present at the meeting, discussed with young people the issues of reforming Ukrainian education, improving the scientific and practical base and establishing practical cooperation between schools, especially high schools students, and universities, "so that children can feel where they can apply their knowledge and where benefit from it in the future."
The graduates spoke in favor of making it possible for students to participate in the implementation of educational projects, such as the All-Ukrainian School Online.
Oleksandr Liuklian, a graduate of the Perehinske general education school of I-III grades No. 1 under control of Rozhniativ District Council of Ivano-Frankivsk region, said that he dreamed of shaking hands with the President and he is very glad to meet him.
"I never expected a dream to come true so quickly. I really liked it... Everything took place in a friendly atmosphere," he said.
Andriy Zahorodniy, a graduate of the Ukrainian Physical and Mathematical Lyceum of Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, said that during the meeting, Volodymyr Zelenskyy listened attentively to the suggestions of young people.
"He has a lot of initiative, he is a person who can listen and support. I hope that this trend will only continue, and we can really change something," Andriy said.
Sofia Savchuk, a graduate of the Ukrainian Physical and Mathematical Lyceum of Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, expressed satisfaction with the meeting with the President and the fact that her work and high results during external independent evaluation are "appreciated at the state level." "It's very nice, because it has been a lot of work throughout eleven years," she said.
To keep good memories of the meeting, the students received watches from the President and an annual unlimited season ticket to visit the Museum of Science of the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which in September will begin operating on the territory of the VDNH exhibition center.