Eight-year school (восьмирічка; vosmyrichka). School providing incomplete general secondary education in the USSR that was established on the basis of the law ‘On Strengthening the Connection of the Schools with Life and on the Further Development of the Educational System in the USSR’ (1958; adopted in Ukraine in 1959). The eight-year school was compulsory for all children from the age of 7 to 15–16. It consisted of eight grades and functioned as an independent school (popularly called vosmyrichka) or as part of the regular ten-year school (desiatyrichka). In 1980–1 there were 9,131 eight-year schools, with an enrollment of 1,461,500 in Soviet Ukraine. From 1965 the number of eight-year schools and students in attendance steadily declined, reflecting lower birthrates and increasing enrollment in the ten-year secondary school system.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]