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KITE HILL,

WOOTTON,

ISLE OF WIGHT,

PO33 4LG

Tel & Fax 01983 883875

3rd March 2015

PERSONAL

Mr Serhih Kvit

Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine

10 Prospect Peremogy

Kyiv 01135

UKRAINE

Dear Mr Kvit,

MRS IRYNA KOZINA

I would ask that you give your urgent attention to this representation on behalf of my valued and deeply respected colleague, Mrs Iryna Kozina, Principal of Lyceum 38 in Kyiv.

Between 2003 and 2012 I was the Administrator of HMC Projects in Central and Eastern Europe, a charity affiliated to the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses Conference (HMC), the senior association of UK Independent schools. The chief purpose of HMC Projects in Central Europe has been to facilitate and organise the award of scholarships for the final two years of secondary education in the UK. Since 1992 the scheme has brought over 1,300 students from countries in Central and Eastern Europe to study in the ‘sixth forms of UK boarding schools on 100% scholarships offered by the schools.

For the past seven years Ukraine has been one of these participant countries. In 2008 I was introduced by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine via the Embassy of Ukraine in London to the Ukrainian School Heads Association (USHA) and, in particular, to Mrs Iryna Kozina, Principal of Lyceum 38 in Kyiv and Vice-President of USHA. She agreed that USHA should act as the national agent for HMC Projects in Kyiv, Kyiv oblast, Lviv and Kharkiv.

Since then the HMC Projects scholarship scheme has flourished in Ukraine. I myself selected Ukrainian scholars in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Subsequent HMC Projects selectors have returned from Kyiv full of enthusiasm for the girls and boys whom they interviewed. Over 30 Ukrainian scholars have been placed in an equivalent number of UK schools. They have done very well and have made a significant contribution to the reputation of Ukraine in the schools where they have been placed.

That this is so owes everything to the drive and organisation of Mrs Iryna Kozina. Since 2009 she has each year advertised the HMC Projects scholarship scheme, shortlisted the candidates, set up the interviews and made all the arrangements for the transport and accommodation of our selectors. She has been a wonderful ally and support for HMC Projects, acting at all times with great dedication, reliability and integrity.

Mrs Kozina has performed this annual service to HMC Projects in Central and Eastern Europe on top of her heavy responsibilities as USHA Vice-President. For twenty years she has successfully represented Ukraine in the European School Heads Association (ESHA). Meanwhile, as Principal of Lyceum 38 in Kyiv she has sustained the highest educational standards, as all of us who have been her guests have seen. She is a formidable and accomplished educational leader.

It is with shock and incredulity that I have learned of the disciplinary action that has been taken against her. I am distressed that someone who has given so generously of herself - to her school, to Ukrainian schools in general and to the propagation of HMC Projects scholarships in Ukraine - should find herself so brutally discredited by her employers. Iryna Kozina has never worked for personal advancement. Her one goal has been to provide the best education to Ukrainian youth. She is precisely the sort of educational leader needed by Ukraine at this time - and the very last person who should feel or be threatened by any programme directed towards progress and reform.

The unfair action against Mrs Kozina has aroused serious concern in the United Kingdom educational community. One of my former colleagues, who for over a decade worked as Student Counsellor for HMC Projects, has written to me as follows:-

“I had never imagined that the maidan revolution would have had consequences like this. It seemed to me that Iryna Kozina was at the top of her tree and very much in control of everything around her, both at the school and in the wider School Heads Association. You have previously sent her messages of support and sympathy at the turn of events in Eastern Ukraine and I had thought that institutions in Kyiv would be firmly behind the new order. If this kind of thing is happening in the westernized part of Ukraine it is a pretty poor advertisement for the spirit of tolerance which we believe is part of our values.”

I can only agree with such sentiments. During the dramatic times of Maidan the European Union applauded Ukrainians for their willingness to make sacrifices for their European choice. It is the more sad that the action taken against Mrs Kozina seems to flout the core values on which the European Union is based.

I have been a fervent advocate of Ukraine in recent months. That a seemingly unjust process can cost a distinguished educational leader her job and her reputation is a challenge to my faith in the direction which your country is taking. The decision to dismiss Mrs Kozina from her post would, if upheld, do much damage to Ukraines reputation with some of its very good friends in the UK.

I speak for many in HMC Projects in registering my protest and amazement. I respectfully ask that those responsible for the dismissal of Mrs Kozina should review the actions that they have taken and countermand her dismissal.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Tobin

Administrator of HMC Projects in Central and Estern Europe 2003 – 2012

Chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference 1998



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