Spirituality and education – these are the two pillars of our future

People’s Deputy Sergey Kivalov, initiator and inspirer of the project told our correspondent about the construction progress of the Parish Church School in Odessa, its functional purpose and those who will be able to attend the new school.

-Sergey Vasilevich, I am sure, it is a question you are asked constantly, but all the same, again. Why did you initiate the erection of the parochial school in particular?

-The main value of the parochial school that there are still no such schools neither in Odessa, nor in Ukraine. Not only intelligent, but highly moral people will be educated here. Metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail Agafangel blessed the ground breaking of our school, then he consecrated the laying of the foundation stone of Ukraine’s first parochial school. The first and only because all the parochial schools had been closed after the October Revolution, and such construction on the territory of Ukraine has been held for the first time, within more than 20 years since its independence, ever.

It will be the biggest Parish Church School in South Palmyra. More than 1000 children will study here. The area of classrooms will be around ten thousand square meters, however the total area of the four-storey complex is about seventeen thousand square meters.  The cafeteria for 500 pupils with exceptionally healthy diet will be located in a detached building. Our sports complex will have three storeys. A swimming pool with 7 lanes and tribunes will be located on the ground floor. Not only swimming lessons, but national competitions can be held here. The gymnasium, equipped with volleyball and handball courts and tribunes for spectators, will be placed above.

I want to place special emphasis: children’s safety is the most significant issue of the school construction. That is why we provided contemporary engineering protection system against earthquakes or any ground movement. The piles of the substructure were driven to 12-16 meters. The school is erected with at least triple margin of safety of the superstructure, only contemporary technologies are applied.

-It turns out that the school should become an educational institution of the future in terms of technology and morality.

-Certainly! And this is the main point! Two temples will be built within the school campus: Upper – after Saint Sergius of Radonezh and the lower – after Holy Apostle John the Evangelist. The height of the upper Temple is about forty-six metres. October 19, 2014 the cross was exalted upon the dome of the temple, however on January 6, 2015 the bells of parochial school were installed. I want to mention that on the remembrance day of Sergius of Radonezh, October 8, 2015, a historical event for our entire city took place. With the blessing of His Eminence Agafangel, Metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail, the first  Liturgy was celebrated. All parishioners were given memorable presents at the end of the Divine service, as well as children could enjoy treat and unforgettable performance at the same time.

The Parish Church School is open to all comers. However special subjects will be taught as electives. You should not be afraid of the word “parochial”. The school will provide valid 11 year education, as the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine requires. I would like to point out that certain outreaches in the framework of the school’s educational program are held on an ongoing basis. Protopriest Sergey Kudarenko arranges these activities. The listeners attend lectures of scholars and clergy, as well as visit different churches. Besides, an active charity work with orphanages and children with disabilities is constantly carried out.

-Sergey Vasilevich, dispel another myth that the future school is for chosen. Who can attend this school?

– Children from entire Odessa can be admitted to the school. However, residents of the Primorskiy district will have the priority right. Thus this district is actively developed with high-rise apartment buildings. But these residential complexes do not include schools! The teaching personnel will introduce competitive selection in case of a large number of candidates.

I am confident that education and moral upbringing complement each other, and the parish church school will be a unique educational institution not only for Odessa, but for the whole Ukraine.