The Ukrainian delegation met with staff and faculty of the College of Education on March 5, 2024 for a welcome reception. (Photo: Submitted)

USask hosts delegation of teachers from Ukraine

A 10-person delegation from Volodymyr Hnatiuk Ternopil National Pedagogical University (TNPU) arrived March 3 for a three-week course at the University of Saskatchewan (USask). The Ukrainian delegation includes Ternopil elementary and high school teachers, a TNPU professor and two Ternopil government education officials.

By Meagan Hinther

The Ukrainian educators will take part in a language methodology program offered by the College of Education to build English language teaching capacity in Ukrainian schools.

The group was welcomed during an opening reception on Tuesday, March 5 at the College of Education. They will spend the next three weeks engaged in course work as well as visit elementary and secondary schools in Saskatoon and participate in cultural language and heritage visits throughout the city.

“The University of Saskatchewan, the city and the province have been holding Ukraine close over the last number of years,” said Dr. Julia Paulson (PhD), dean of the College of Education. “We feel honoured to host you and develop our partnership together to strengthen English as an additional language instruction in Ukrainian schools.”

On the delegate’s return to Ternopil the intent is to share their knowledge with pre-service TNPU teachers through internship placements at select elementary and high schools.

As part of their visit, the delegation will share the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on education during a Ukrainian language class at St. Thomas More College (STM). The March 7 event is closed to in-person attendance, but will be available to stream online for the wider university community through advanced registration.

“Firstly, I would like to thank all of the people here for supporting Ukraine at this difficult time,” said Olha Khoma, director in the Department of Education and Science with Ternopil Regional State Administration. Her son is currently serving on the front lines.

“Opportunities such as this are a reminder of what we are fighting for. We want to give our children the opportunity to have a good and prosperous life, just like everyone else in the world. We really want our children to stay in Ukraine and build our country, because that is our future,” Khoma said.

Since 2013, USask and TNPU have established formal international partnership agreements to facilitate Ukrainian language study abroad initiatives through STM. A renewed partnership will be established during this visit through a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony on March 12 between USask (College of Education), TNPU and STM.

The USask project team is led by Dr. Vicki Squires (PhD) through the College of Education’s Office of the Associate Dean, Research Graduate Programs and International Initiatives, and the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit (SELU). The three-week course is titled Current Methods in Teaching English as a Global Language and is taught by Nadia Prokopchuk, academic advisor and instructor English as an Additional Language certificate program, Department of Curriculum Studies.

In addition to the College of Education and TNPU, the program’s sponsors include the Government of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Advanced Education, USask International Office, USask Culinary Services, Ternopil Regional State Administration, Ternopil City Administration, Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage (STM), Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Saskatchewan, and the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood (Bishop Roborecki Branch).

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