Teachers' Hromada

Teachers' Hromada (Учительська громада; Uchytelska hromada). A Lviv-based professional organization for teachers of Ukrainian secondary schools and postsecondary institutions, active in Western Ukraine in 1908–39. Formed through the initiative of Yu. Stefanovych in 1908, the group established branches in the major eastern Galician cities and towns with Ukrainian institutions of secondary education (a total of 11 by 1914). It sought the establishment of new Ukrainian state gymnasiums in the larger centers of Galicia, the Ukrainization of bilingual (Polish-Ukrainian) gymnasiums, and an upgrading of the status of Realschule education to gymnasium level. The group also lobbied for a supervisor of Ukrainian schools under the education ministry and protested against the Polonization of Lviv University. The failure of these efforts, however, led to the group’s involvement with private educational undertakings, including the organization of private secondary schools and gymnasium preparatory courses.

The Teachers' Hromada remained active after the First World War, albeit at a significantly reduced level. It continued in its efforts to Ukrainianize education in Galicia, by fighting against the Polonization of Ukrainian gymnasiums; working toward the development of a Ukrainian-language curriculum in fields such as Ukrainian language (co-ordinated by Ya. Bilenky), history (Omelian Terletsky), and geography (Olena Stepaniv); and publishing organizational journals—Nasha shkola (1909–14), Svitlo (1921–2), and Ukraïns’ka shkola (1925–39). As well, the group engaged in several mutual aid ventures, such as the establishing of a relief fund for the families of war victims, the unemployed, and the widows or orphans of teachers, and the building of vacation centers and retreats for teachers. In its organizational activity the group worked in conjunction with the Ridna Shkola society and the Prosvita societies. By 1939 the Teachers' Hromada had 12 branches, with nearly 500 members; the group was disbanded that year, following the Soviet occupation of Western Ukraine.

Some of the outstanding figures involved with the Teachers' Hromada were Kyrylo Studynsky, Sydir Hromnytsky, Spyridon Karkhut, Volodymyr Radzykevych, Liudvyh Salo, Sofron Nedilsky, Kost Kysilevsky, Ivan Rybchyn, and Severyn Levytsky.

Dvadtsiat'piat'littia tovarystva ‘Uchytel's'ka hromada’: Iuvileinyi naukovyi zbirnyk (Lviv 1935)

Andrij Makuch

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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