A heated debate continues over the issue of language certificate requirements.
Such a problem does not arise in the case of a scientific degree, which certifies that a certain person is the author of a dissertation research, which he remains for life. What does it mean in this case to have a scientific title? In our current environment, this means just owning a bunch of certificates that almost everyone needs to buy. Thus, behind the scientific degree is a dissertation research, and behind the scientific titles in Ukraine should be a bunch of certificates.
Many people think that the problem is only the redundancy and absurdity of certain requirements for conferring academic titles, but the problem seems to be the absurdity of the very practice of conferring academic titles, which is also controlled and determined by ministerial officials.
The practice of conferring academic titles in Ukraine is part of the process of alienating the teacher from his work and the results of his work. The so-called academic achievements in the form of diplomas of associate professors and professors turn their owners into their hostages.
Unacceptable is the situation in which the management of a higher institution education is not looking for a suitable specialist, but only the owner of the relevant document on the academic title. At the same time, the university management often „rejects“ those candidates who, although they do not have the appropriate associate professor or professor diploma, but also have the appropriate training, degree and publications that certify their professional training and professional level.
Therefore, it is narrative essay topics for high school students necessary to proceed from a fundamentally different scale of understanding the problem and asking questions. The developers of the current Law „On Higher Education“ and, accordingly, the developers of the current Procedure for conferring academic titles did not care at all about the relevant issues.
The current leadership of the Ministry of Education and Science has proposed to make appropriate changes to the current Procedure for conferring academic titles, in particular, it is proposed to abandon the requirement of a language certificate. It is worth agreeing with such proposals. For that nonsense, which is called the Procedure for conferring a scientific title, could be called a disorder in assigning a scientific title. However, such a step by the Ministry of Education and Science can be supported as a transitional one.
It should be understood that almost everyone who has adopted the new rules of the game, thus becoming a fan of new requirements, begins to look for arguments in favor of maintaining the new rules. At the same time, the discussion about the current Procedure for conferring academic titles is still within the framework of a rather narrow understanding of the problem itself.
On the requirement of foreign language proficiency by high school teachers and language certificate
A heated debate continues over the issue of language certificate requirements. Arguments in favor of maintaining the requirement of a language certificate in the current Procedure for conferring academic titles, as a rule, are „based“ on disregard for the scale and complexity of the implementation of personnel policy in higher education.
Requiring a language certificate is an attempt to replace a full-fledged system of quality assurance in higher education or even a refusal to develop it.
A lecturer at a Ukrainian university must be able to give a lecture in Ukrainian at the appropriate professional level. If this requires the teacher to know the relevant foreign language (one or more), it is the responsibility of him personally and the relevant academic community.
In each case, only the relevant academic society can take responsibility for recognizing the professional competence of a colleague. No formal decisions of the Ministry of Education and Science can replace the latter.
The issue of learning foreign languages is a matter of school education. It must be treated in a timely manner. It makes no sense to try to solve it at the stage of assigning academic titles. Thus, the problem is only in the timeliness and adequacy of the question concerning the study of a foreign language in the education system of the country in general, and determining the level of proficiency of a potential teacher of higher education in the relevant foreign language.
The formal nature of the requirement for a language certificate when awarding a academic title indicates that such a requirement serves not so much as an element of quality assurance in higher education as a tool designed to complicate the academic acquisition process and thus reduces the number of academic diploma holders. This approach is embedded in the logic of combating the excessive number of universities in the country, but does not ensure the quality of higher education.
A language certificate issued by an entity that does not belong to the country’s higher education system cannot be part of a national higher education quality assurance system. The creation of the latter is the main task of higher education reform.
About surcharges for scientific degrees and academic ranks
Paragraph 2 of Article 59 of the Law „On Higher Education“ guarantees for scientific and pedagogical, scientific and pedagogical workers surcharges for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science in the amount of 15 and 20 percent of the salary, respectively, and for the academic title of associate professor and professor. and 33 percent of the salary.
Such guarantees and practices lead to negative consequences and even destructive processes in the field of higher education. Of course, this is not and cannot be about reducing the already low salary of a high school teacher. It is a question of the order of definition of the size of a salary of the teacher. The amount of salary should correspond to the real work performed by the teacher. The practice in which some teachers have a significant workload and others have a relatively small workload and documents on „high“ titles, while the work of the latter is paid higher, may not be acceptable. So, really, the teacher should receive a reward not for the papers he can provide, but for the work he does (lecturing, conducting seminars). The system of higher education continues to maintain the demand for so-called „wedding generals“ in the staff of departments. Having a degree should entitle a particular candidate to give a lecture, which in turn should be duly rewarded. To a large extent, the size of a particular teacher’s salary should be determined by the desire of students to learn from him. Yes, a higher education institution should have the right to set surcharges for individual teachers at its own expense, but such surcharges should be part of the internal quality assurance system of education in a higher education institution. The very practice of a higher education institution regarding additional payments to teachers should find its assessment in the system of external quality assurance of higher education. The teacher does not need additional payments for academic titles and degrees, but a fair system of remuneration. The system of surcharges preserved by the current Law on Higher Education leads only to the flourishing of formalism and unfair distribution of funding in the system of higher education.
About the rights of high school teachers
In the field of higher education, we have in practice not so much the real provision of the rights of higher education teachers, as continuous declarations, which, as a rule, can not be fully implemented in practice. Article 57 of the Law on Higher Education generously grants teachers a wide variety of rights. However, the problem is that a significant part of those rights are either universal rights of everyone, including the right to protect intellectual property or the right to participate in associations of citizens, or general declarations. The question is not to declare the rights of the teacher as much as possible. The question is how to guarantee at least the minimum rights of a teacher, without which he cannot perform his duties professionally.
Thus, it is necessary to ensure not only the declared right to mobility of higher education teachers, but also the possibility of full implementation of such mobility in the academic community, which is more accustomed to combating mobility. We are accustomed to another practice in which a teacher sits at the same department for decades, quite often he spends his entire academic life in the same department, which at best changes its name. Unfortunately, today the main task of the vast majority of teachers is to maintain their position in higher education, to stay at the department, this is especially true in a constant reduction of students and a corresponding reduction in the workload of teachers at the department. It’s not about mobility.
Mobility can only be achieved in a higher education system in which higher education institutions in practice show a desire to have the best teachers in their staff. This desire is aroused both by the search for such teachers and the practice of holding open competitions for vacant positions. It seems that there are no such vacancies in Ukrainian higher education institutions. Of course, they exist, but the relevant competitions are not held properly. This is due to the low mobility of high school teachers.
So, we should not talk about declaring rights, but about providing real opportunities for professional development of a high school teacher in a competitive academic environment. Ensuring the functioning of a competitive academic environment is the best guarantee of ensuring the rights of higher education teachers.
About the responsibilities of high school teachers
The responsibilities of a high school teacher declared by law can only cause surprise and misunderstanding, and in some cases abuse, on the part of the administration.
Thus, it is necessary to dwell on paragraph 3.3 of Article 58, which stipulates that the duty of scientific and pedagogical, scientific and pedagogical workers is to comply with the norms of pedagogical ethics, morals and respect for the dignity of persons studying in higher education … Although these requirements contain some contradictions, they can still be agreed and reconciled. However, it is difficult to agree with the requirement to instill in people studying in higher educational institutions love for Ukraine, education in the spirit of Ukrainian patriotism. Actually, in what way, say, a physics professor should instill love for the state in the audience? It is not just a matter of showing a certain tolerance. No, the Law is about a certain obligation to take certain actions to instill love for the state. Such provisions of the Law make it possible to impose on teachers of higher education institutions the performance of duties that can in no way serve the cause to which the activity of a higher education teacher is devoted.