Vocational-technical schools

Vocational-technical schools (професійно-технічні училища; profesiino-tekhnichni uchylyshcha, or ПТУ; PTU). Educational institutions, established in 1958 under the jurisdiction of the Chief Administration for Professional and Technical Education of the Council of Ministers of the Union Republics. They offered vocational education for young people joining the labor force after completing eight years of general education. The schools, which had day and evening programs, tended to recruit young people with low academic achievement levels. PTU specialized according to branches of production. There were urban and rural vocational-technical schools affiliated with various enterprises to provide practical experience. There was a unified curriculum established for each individual occupation. Vocational training formed 60–70 percent of the curriculum, the remaining time being spent on general education subjects. Urban PTU had one- to three-year programs of study; rural PTU had one- to two-year programs. In 1965 there were 754 PTU in Ukraine with an enrollment of 284,000. Between 1959 and 1964 a network of technical schools was established. The PTU provided practical training and the final two years of compulsory general education for students with an incomplete secondary education (see Eight-year school). After three years of study and practical work students who passed their final examinations were awarded both a general education certificate and a vocational diploma. The PTU network grew rapidly in the 1980s. In 1986 there were 1,100 such schools, with 742,000 students. PTU still exist to provide pupils with basic work training without the general education component. Many PTU courses are evening and shift courses that allow workers to study at times compatible with their work shifts.

Bohdan Krawchenko

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

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