Victor Yushchenko sat before a group of schoolchildren in the village of Maryanivka (Kyiv region) on Wednesday to talk about Ukraine, its glorious past and European future, president's press office reported.

He said education and technologies were the driving force of any nation, adding that educational reforms “should be the cornerstone of Ukraine’s policies” and that the countryhad recently joined the Bologna process to adapt its education to European standards.

“Material resources are very important but not paramount. Education is what determines everything,” he opined. “Appreciate each day at school. Each such day gives you keys to your future life. You must succeed in education. It is your job now.”

During the lesson, he said it was vital to learn and know Ukraine’s history, for“the country’s future is based on its past.”

“History enables us to feel our essence and find out who we are,” he said, urging the pupils to explore Ukraine's history and learn how their ancestors had lived. “Let’s try to imagine what our forefathers thought about when building the cities and villages, and how our country was livingback then. We are speaking about a great state – Kyivan Rus.”

He spoke about the role of Yaroslav the Wise, Pylyp Orlyk, Ivan Mazepa, Taras Shevchenko, Mykola Gogol, Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrayinka and other prominent artists and statesmen in our history, calling on the pupils to be proud of being Ukrainians.

“You should always have hope and ego. You should respect yourselves and be very proud and self-exacting,” he said “not only as Ukraine’s president but as a citizen and father of five children.”

He gave the school computers and then posed with its teachers and pupils for a photograph.


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