Victor Yushchenko has opened a meeting with Ukrainian governors and heads of district administrations, Ukraine: Regional Accents, president’s press office informs.

Its participants are going to speak about regional and social issues. Budget relations, salary debts, housing problems, education, healthcare and culture are expected to be high on today’s agenda.

The President believes it is important to discuss regional problems, particularly how to resolve them. He said their objective was to formulate a pragmatic action plan to develop the regions.

His speech to open the meeting focused mainly on education. He said 50% the country’s preschool age children do not go to kindergartens. He thus suggested preparing a two-year plan to make this number grow. He also complained that there were not enough school pupils in Ukraine’s western regions, particularly Volyn, Ivano-Frankivsk, Rivne, and Chernivtsi.

“I want you to pay attention to this problem and try to resolve it before this year’s school season starts,” he said.

The President, however, said there were a few positive changes. 80% of Ukrainian schools are computerized. He asked the regional officials to ensure that 100% of schools are equipped with computers and up to 50% connected to the Internet.

He also said they must inventory and renew heating systems at schools, particularly by involving alumni who have the resources and desire to help their schools.

“We can find lots of solutions in our dialogue with business,” he said.

Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha, First Deputy Chief of Staff Olexander Shlapak and Deputy Chief of Staff Viktor Bondar, as well as representatives of the government, are present at the meeting.


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