President Victor Yushchenko on Thursday congratulated winners of last year’s student academic competitions and their teachers, president's press office informed.

“I would love to thank you for the diligence you demonstrated when participating in international student competitions and for your successes,” he said. “You have lived quite a short life so far but your victories, particularly those at international competitions, show that you are very talented and give this country, not only your parents, hope. You serve Ukraine brilliantly at your age.”

Yushchenko said it was incumbent on Ukraine’s government to ensure that education is affordable and of high quality. “I want you to understand and feel that at both executive and presidential levels we are constantly speaking about the importance of education. There is no exaggeration in my words because education will form tomorrow’s competitive world,” he said.

Yushchenko said such young winners can enter universities without exams and are paid presidential stipends, adding that the cabinet of ministers was now formulating a special program to helptalented pupils. “I am convinced our government must think about how to efficiently preserve the succession of Ukraine’s scientific generations. Today you are making your first step in science.”

The Ukrainian leader then thanked those who teach suchteenagers.

“It is very pleasant to note that your labor yields such wonderful fruits. I would like to say the words of gratitude to you,” he said, reassuring the teachers “the education issue will always be at the top of my agenda” and pledging to raise their salaries.


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