The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education

Domestic reports

Published on May 8th, 2018 | by ECSWE


Domestic report: Ukraine

History and situation of the Ukrainian Waldorf movement

The first Waldorf school was founded in 1993 in Odessa. 7 more schools followed during the next 2 years. By 2000 there were 4 schools and the number didn’t change until now. Since 2014 there has been a growth in Waldorf-inspired initiatives. Today we have 13 early childhood education, single structure education and special needs institutions working under Waldorf curriculum, which was approved in 2008-2014 (2008: classes 1-4, 2009: classes 1-9, 2012: classes 10-11, kindergarten – 2014).

School funding

The government provides 60-80% funds to the public Waldorf schools. School fees are (legally) voluntary and amount to 60-600 euros per pupil per year depending on the city. Private Waldorf schools are fully funded by the parents. School fees are obligatory and amount to 1200 euros per pupil per year.

Legal status and context

Most of recognized schools and kindergartens are state schools and constitute a single establishment. Children are taken to the kindergartens being 3-4 years old. At the age of 6.5-7.5 years old, they start learning at school. After class 9, the students pass the state exam that can be amended by the teacher according to the Waldorf curriculum. After class 11 they graduate from the school and take the State Independent Assessment.

The new Law on Education had been discussed for the last 3 years and was finally ratified by the President of Ukraine in September 2017. The Law declares the following:

  • 12 years school education system
  • Autonomy of the school and its right to decide what kind of Curriculum, hand-books, methods to use. (It used to be regulated from above)
  • Academic freedom of a teacher and his/her right to design the Curriculum, to choose the methods of teaching.
  • The teachers-parents partnership in the school management.
  • Child-centered education and development of competences as a goal of education.
  • No marks for children at 1st and 2nd grades, no obligatory school uniform, more space for being a child in the lower school.

The movement in numbers

Currently, there are 1,480 pupils. Some 1,143 in 4 schools and 259 in 4 kindergartens and about 600 pupils in Waldorf-inspired schools, about 200 children in Waldorf-inspired kindergartens and about 20 people in the small school for children with special needs. The schools are mostly distributed in the centre and eastern parts of the country.

Association of Waldorf Initiatives in Ukraine

The Association of Waldorf Initiatives in Ukraine (AWIU) is funded by Waldorf schools in Ukraine, each contributing 2 euros per pupil on a yearly basis. Its tasks are:

  • representing Waldorf education outside the Waldorf movement,
  • connecting the interests of Waldorf education and the government;
  • bringing Ukrainian Waldorf schools together on themes such as curricular development, middle school festivals projects, meetings of partners inside the Waldorf movement;
  • accompanying new initiatives and supporting their work;
  • advancing the quality and growth of Waldorf schools and Waldorf education;
  • translating governmental policies on education to the interests of Waldorf schools.

Teacher training

Ukraine has a 3-year class-teacher training, a 3-year curative pedagogy training and a 2-year training for music teachers and Eurythmy Academy of Ukraine.

Advocacy and Lobbying

The AWIU maintains good relations with the government of Ukraine. It is able to succesfully represent Waldorf education and lobby for its position in the Ukrainian school system. The main challenges of today are a:

  • need to help and support numerous new initiatives while the experienced schools have lack of teachers;
  • need to increase the number of Waldorf teachers;
  • need to stimulate the further professionalization of existing Waldorf schools.

Current challenges

We work hard now to investigate the following questions:

  • What niche should the Waldorf Education create for itself in Ukraine in order not to lose its identity?
  • What is the way not to lose the Waldorf quality in the path of integrating into the System?
  • How to help the new teachers to develop the anthroposophical attitude and not just use the Waldorf methods?

Julia Kolinichenko
Ivan Mykolaychuk Str., 17А, 02000, Kiev 25, Ukraine
+38 050-3633419


Click here to consult Ukraine Country Profile


About the Author

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  • ECSWE Newsletter 51, May 2018

    In this volume:
    • - The ELIANT Petition for age-appropriate media education;
    • - A Parliament resolution calling for educational choice;
    • - News from the ET2020 Working Group Schools;
    • - Reports of the last two Council meetings in Dornach and Cracow;
    • - Domestic reports: from Italy and the Netherlands;
    • - An update on the WOW-Day 2017;
  • Factsheet 2017/18

  • Partnerships

  • Recommended Research

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