Posted on Feb 04, 2022
One of the most expensive private schools in Ukraine, Pechersk International School, uses a scheme involving so-called “charitable contributions” from parents, it was stated in the investigation by journalist Krister Paris, which he presented on February 4th at the Brussels Press Club.
Prior to the presentation of the film, Paris noted that countries such as Estonia and Finland rank first in the Program for International Student Assessment – not only because of the quality of education, but also because of the transparency of funding and crystal clear reputation. In this rating, Ukraine is below average.
In his investigation, the journalist presented documents published by the public organisation “Informer”. These showed that the parents of children studying at the Pechersk International School transfer charitable contributions to the accounts of an organization called PSI - and that these contributions amount to millions of hryvnias.
In addition, members of the PSI organization include well-known Ukrainian politicians, business people and celebrities, whose children study at the Pechersk International School. Among them, for example, are the wife of the former President of Ukraine, Kateryna Yushchenko, and Natalia Fiala, the wife of the head of the investment company Dragon Capital, a member of the anti-corruption organization Transparency International, Tomasz Fiala.
Furthermore, it was shown, several members of PSI are members of the school administration as well.
It was suggested that PSI was created with the sole purpose of serving the Pechersk International School.
Krister Paris noted that documents proving gray schemes to minimise taxes that were taking place at the Pechersk International School were sent to Volodymyr Kozak, a People's Deputy from the pro-government party “Servant of the People.”
He, in turn, sent parliamentary inquiries to the prosecutor's office and the National Police. Law enforcement agencies replied to the deputy that a lawsuit had been filed due to possible fraud.
Krister Paris further noted that the governing bodies of the Pechersk International School include representatives of the US State Department and Canada. He stated that obviously they needed to be made aware of how the school conducts its financial activities.
Most of the experts interviewed by the journalist concluded that corruption in the Pechersk International School is unlikely to be investigated. Firstly, many famous people study there, and secondly, according to its website, it is under the patronage of the US State Department.
During the Q&A session after the presentation of the film, Krister Paris said that his main goal was to prove that "the fish rots from the head". That is, great corruption begins with an education that supports "gray schemes".
The issue needs attention. Especially when studying for one year in this school in one of the poorest countries in Europe costs about $ 20,000, which is high even for developed countries.
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