On May 12, 2023, on the eve of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the concept of the State Targeted National and Cultural Program “Unity in Diversity” for the period up to 2034.
The program is aimed at ensuring adequate opportunities for the realization of the rights of national minorities (communities) and indigenous peoples of Ukraine and the implementation of the principles of unity in diversity, which are in line with Ukraine’s European course. To achieve this goal, a number of measures have already been implemented in Ukraine, in particular in the educational sphere. For example, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine continued to support the printing of textbooks in the languages of national minorities (communities) and opportunities for education in the mother tongue and learning the mother tongue. Also, the New Ukrainian School (NUS) included a subject called “Culture of Good Neighborhood” in the standard educational program for grades 5 and 6, aimed at developing civic and intercultural education and increasing understanding and tolerance towards representatives of national minorities (communities).
At the same time, there are still many challenges that require additional measures. These include:
- the need to effectively ensure and protect the rights of national minorities (communities) and indigenous peoples of Ukraine, based on the principles of respect for diversity, prevention and combating discrimination, and social integration in accordance with international standards;
- a stable average level of ethnic prejudice in Ukrainian society;
- the need to improve the legal mechanism for preventing and combating discrimination, in particular on ethnic, linguistic, religious and racial grounds.
To address these problems, the Program envisages the implementation of a number of measures. In the educational sphere, these measures are aimed at ensuring the educational rights of persons belonging to national minorities (communities) and indigenous peoples of Ukraine, and developing the multilingual and intercultural competencies of students of complete general secondary education. In particular, these measures will help to:
- ensuring adequate opportunities for obtaining full general secondary education in the languages of national minorities (communities) and indigenous peoples of Ukraine simultaneously with the state language, studying the languages of national minorities (communities) and indigenous peoples of Ukraine in accordance with national legislation;
- introducing components in general secondary education aimed at deepening understanding of the ethnic diversity of Ukraine and the world by amending curricula;
- support for scaling up successful experience and publishing educational literature as part of the Culture of Good Neighborhood course, which includes the ethno-cultural, religious and linguistic diversity of different regions of Ukraine in the all-Ukrainian context.
You can familiarize yourself with the concept of the Program at this link. The implementation period of the document covers 2024-2034.
The “Culture of Good Neighborhood” is a compulsory elective discipline of the NUS in the social and health sector, which promotes broad social inclusion, the formation of a democratic and tolerant society whose members know their rights and responsibilities and exercise them, and are responsible citizens of our country. The subject promotes democratic values, intercultural and civic education, and teaches non-violent conflict resolution among children and adults at the household level.