Agricultural education

Agricultural education [сільськогосподарська освіта, аграрна освіта; silskohospodarska osvita, ahrarna osvita].

Russian-ruled Ukraine. The horticultural school (1823–1921) of the Nikita Botanical Garden near Yalta and the beekeeping school established by Petro Prokopovych in 1828 on his estates in Mytchenky (Chernihiv region) may be considered the first agricultural schools in Ukraine. In 1844 a secondary school of agriculture and orcharding was founded in Uman. Agricultural education began to develop rapidly at the end of the 19th century, but it remained backward, particularly for an agricultural country. In 1914 there were 15 higher agricultural schools in the Russian Empire, of which only four were in Ukraine: the Kharkiv Veterinary Institute, the Agronomy Department of the Kyiv Polytechnical Institute, and the agriculture departments of Kyiv University and Odesa University. The Kharkiv Agricultural Institute was established only in 1915 on the basis of the Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, which was evacuated from Novo-Aleksandriia (now Puławy) in Lublin gubernia during the First World War. There were five secondary agricultural schools, including the Uman school, opened in 1844; the Kharkiv school, established in 1890 in Derkachi (now Derhachi); and the Kherson school, founded in 1874. Each of these schools had a six-year program.

In the nine gubernias of Ukraine prior to the Revolution of 1917 there were 67 lower agricultural schools, which were either general or specialized (fruit farming, gardening, animal husbandry, viticulture, apiculture, etc). The general schools had programs of three years or more; the specialized schools had one- to three-year programs. Some lower and secondary agricultural schools owned large model farms where students acquired practical training. The agricultural schools were the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Besides the schools, exhibitions (24 general and 52 special exhibitions in 1908), courses, and lectures provided some agricultural education. They were usually arranged by the zemstvos and agricultural societies (see Agronomy, state and social).

During the period of Ukrainian struggle for independence (1917–20) several new agricultural schools were opened, and an agricultural department was established at the Kamianets-Podilskyi Ukrainian State University.

In the Soviet period the entire educational system of Ukraine was reorganized according to the model proposed by Hryhorii Hrynko. Several types of agricultural schools were established: institutes, which had four-year programs and graduated specialists with wider training; tekhnikums, which had three-year programs and produced narrower specialists (agronomist-farmers, land-reclamation engineers, zootechnicians, etc); and agricultural vocational schools (agroprofshkoly), which in two years produced qualified agricultural workers. In 1928 the existing special schools were divided into narrower specialties and were made independent of the people's commissariats. These changes together with the political persecution of older, experienced teachers and the promotion of unqualified new teachers brought about a further decline in agricultural education. In the mid-1930s the agricultural educational system of Ukraine was integrated with the all-Union system. The number of schools was increased, and the quality of education was improved. According to some statistics, the number of agricultural institutes in Ukraine increased from 7 in 1928 to 20 in 1938, and the number of tekhnikums increased from 20 to 123.

After the Second World War the system of agricultural education in Ukraine was expanded and reorganized in accordance with a general restructuring on an all-Union scale. The accompanying table shows the development of higher and secondary agricultural education. Between 1960 and 1976 the number of graduates of higher agricultural schools increased from 6,100 to 11,100 and of secondary agricultural schools from 18,900 to 30,800. The number of specialists with a secondary diploma employed in agriculture increased from 105,600 in 1964 to 196,500 in 1973, and the number with a higher diploma, from 32,000 to 73,100.

The following higher agricultural schools existed in Ukraine in 1970: the Ukrainian Agricultural Academy in Kyiv; agricultural institutes in Bila Tserkva, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zhytomyr, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Simferopol, Lviv, Odesa, Poltava, Uman, Kharkiv, and Kherson; veterinary institutes in Lviv and Kharkiv; and institutes of agricultural mechanization and electrification in Kyiv and Kharkiv. Almost half of their enrollment consisted of night-school students and correspondence-school students. Their program took four and one-half to five years to complete (six years for correspondence-school students). Higher agricultural schools also conducted some scientific research and published their results. The Ukrainian Agricultural Academy and the Kharkiv Agricultural Institute had the right to grant doctoral degrees. Graduates of the higher agricultural schools received the degrees of scientific agronomist, veterinary physician, engineer, etc.

Agricultural specialists of an intermediate level were trained at agricultural tekhnikums, state-farm tekhnikums, veterinary tekhnikums, irrigation-drainage tekhnikums, etc. Their program was designed for two to four years. Most of their students were night-school or correspondence students.

The system of vocational-technical education prepared workers such as mechanizers, tractor-machine operators, electricians, farm-brigade leaders, gardeners, and veterinary assistants. In 1971, 58,000 people completed courses in lower agricultural schools in Ukraine. The system consisted of one-year agricultural schools, agrotechnical courses at collective farms and state farms, and special brigades at general secondary schools. Specialists and workers-managers employed in agriculture improved their qualifications by enrolling at institutions of higher agricultural education.

Western Ukraine. Agricultural education was poorly developed in the part of Ukraine that was within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Farming Academy in Dubliany near Lviv was the sole higher school of agriculture, and the courses were conducted in Polish. In 1919 it became a department of the Lviv Higher Polytechnical School. The secondary agricultural school in Kitsman, Bukovyna, directed by Yevhen Zhukovsky, was for a long time the only school of its type with courses in Ukrainian. Among the few lower agricultural schools were the school of horticulture in Zalishchyky, the schools organized by the Prosvita society in Myluvannia (Tovmach county) and in Uhertsi Vyniavski (Rudky county), and the Maslosoiuz dairy school in Stryi. These schools offered courses of several months' duration.

In the 1920s and 1930s the level of agricultural education in Ukraine under Poland was low. In 1939 there was 1 higher school, 2 lyceums, 1 secondary, and 27 lower agricultural schools. Among them were scarcely four schools that offered lectures in Ukrainian. One of these was the state agricultural lyceum in Chernytsia near Stryi, which opened in 1934. Agricultural education outside the school system was organized by the Silskyi Hospodar society and developed rapidly.

In Bukovyna agricultural education declined under Romanian rule and was completely Romanianized. In Transcarpathia under Czechoslovakia, however, agricultural education, especially on the lower level and of short duration, developed satisfactorily.

Between the world wars the Ukrainian Husbandry Academy and the Ukrainian Technical and Husbandry Institute in Poděbrady, Czechoslovakia, had agronomy and forestry departments. Their graduates worked for the most part in Western Ukraine.

Agricultural education developed rapidly in the Generalgouvernement. The Agronomy Institute in Dubliany had lectures in German, Ukrainian, and Polish. There were 10 secondary and 14 lower agricultural schools. After finishing elementary school, all peasant children were required to complete an agricultural course in one of 200 vocational schools.

Siropolko, S. Istoriia osvity na Ukraïni (Lviv 1937)
Ivanovich, K. Sel'skokhoziaistvennoe obrazovanie v SSSR (Moscow 1958)
Shul'ha, I. Vyrobnyche navchannia z sil's'kohospodars'koho profiliu (Kyiv 1962)
Borovs’kyi, M. Narys istoriï sil's'ko-hospodars'koho shkil'nytstva na zakhidn'o-ukraïns'kykh zemliakh, 1900–1944 (Winnipeg 1974)

Oleksander Arkhimovych

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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