What is wrong with the view on IT education reform?

On September 10, 2021 Ministry of Digital Transformation shared their view on IT education reform that was prepared by the Centre of Economic Recovery.
We have 7 days for public discussion and I call on educational community to join the discussion of such an important document. I am sure that variety of opinions on this view will make it better and therefore, helps to make positive influence on education in Ukraine.
Dmytro Chumachenko
PhD in Technical Sciences, Associate Professor of Mathematical Modelling and Artificial Intelligence Department of M.Ye. Zhukovsky National Aerospace University "Kharkiv Aviation Institute"
But there are some nuances that require improvement. And here are some of them:
1) Different numbers are mentioned in different parts of the document. For example, "graduates of higher and professional education provide 32 thousand specialists while 50 thousand are required". The obtained number of 32 thousand comes from the number of graduates of higher and professional education (Bachelor, Master, and PhD). However, it is not correct to add this number because graduates of one level move on to another and not on the labor market. So the number of graduates of higher and professional education who enter the market is 12,6 thousand. But these are only graduates of IT majors, while graduates of other majors enter the IT market too.

That's why the statement "Almost half of the graduates of all educational levels can't get into labor market due to their studying programs that do not correlate with needs of the market" is incorrect because the reason why graduates don't get into the market is them moving on to another degree and not the low quality of educational programs.
2) Next statement: "Only due to the mathematic yearly potential of future IT-specialists is limited by 41 thousand applicants out of 380 thousand school graduates in general". First of all, 380 thousand is not the number of school graduates but the number of people who registered for External Independent Testing. Besides, the math test was taken by 254 thousands of applicants. It should also be noted that scores of External Independent Testing are distributed by normal distribution from 100 to 200, so the percentage of those who score more than 175 will always be the same share from the total number. That's why the hypothesis that EIT-rated quality of mathematics limits the number of IT applicants is wrong. On the other hand, what needs to be taken into consideration is PISA study that measures level of knowledge around the world.
3) Non-formal educational initiatives are alarming, because the focus should be first of all on relevant regulatory framework that regulates provision of educational services. Since for now there are no mechanisms of taking results of non-formal education into account.

That's why it isn't clear who is a provider of non-formal education and who is one of formal education.

t is also not clear why the barrier is that carriers of non-formal education in Ukraine have to pay VAT if the purpose is to improve quantity and quality of IT-specialists. The hypothesis that no VAT will improve the quality of education and number of applicants causes doubts.

Separately I would like to note that I have been providing non-formal educational services for 7 years and I think that to stimulate development of this sphere in Ukraine different steps should be taken, specifically in the legal field. By the way, I invite everyone on September 23 to discuss on situation and development of lifelong education with Roman Hryshchuk , subcommittee chairman of lifelong education and out-of-school education of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Committee on Education, Science and Innovations in social educational project "School of IT Professionals ProfIT".
4) The majority of questions refer to initiatives on higher and professional education since all of them are related not to IT education, but to higher and professional education regardless of majors
5) There are a lot of talks on different levels about financial independency of higher educational institutions that are circling around for years. However, almost no group or authority that try to implement financial autonomy talk about the fact that salary of a teacher in a state higher educational institution is linked to the tariff system. It means that there is no competition among teachers who are the main providers of educational services. Even more, an applicant who enters the IT market as trainee or junior gets as much as a senior teacher. To my mind, this issue makes it impossible to provide educational services in a state HEI on a basis of a competition.
6) A separate big issue is a such barrier as: "teachers practitioners have a limited access to teaching in HEI because of formal requirements for teachers". This statement is wrong, because it is stated in Article 38 of License conditions for educational institutions in resolution of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine #365 from March 24, 2021 that "The requirement for achievements in professional activity does not apply for teachers-practitioners that work part-time on scientific-pedagogical positions less than 0,25 or 150 working hours a year". There are no formal requirements for teachers-practitioners. Even more, accreditation criterion 6 for educational programs from National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance encourages presence of teachers-practitioners in realization of the educational activity.
7) Wording "Introduce a distinct honorary scientific degree of a "Professional doctor" that will allow to avoid high requirements problem" is toxic.

Firstly, requirements for implementation of educational activities are created to raise the quality of educational services, as creating holes in legislation to circumvent the existing laws creates risks for higher education.

Secondly, implementation of additional scientific degrees will only increase leveling of scientific qualifications that has already been started by some people's deputies. They try to defend "their own scientific works" with all possible violations. I recommend watching several Bigus info episodes on this topic.

Published document has some other inaccuracies, in particular added for unknown reasons integration with ISCO-08, standard, that came out in 2008 and is no longer relevant for IT sphere. And also such mistakes as "specialty 12 Informational technologies" (it is not a specialty but a branch that now includes 6 specialties, and according to the latest project of specialty list, specialty 151 "Automation and computer integrated technologies" might also be included). Such mistakes show that not only representatives of industry and government should be included in the Task Force but representatives of educational sphere as well.
I wrote this text not to criticise the initiative of IT-education reform, since I myself invest a lot of time into making changes in educational IT sphere.

This text is written for drawing the attention of educational community to this document and for making a call to take part in public discussions of propositions for IT-education reform in Ukraine.

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