Vinnytsia Institute of Trade and Economics of Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics is a leading higher educational establishment of economic specialization in the oblast. Its history is primarily the history of advancements and accomplishments, the history of individual personalities and the academic staff as a whole, which were closely related to the history of our land and the state. Objective and impartial view of this history shows that it has known not only accomplishments and triumphs but also dramatic events.


 

In order to realise who we are today it is necessary to look towards our spiritual sources. Particularly symbolic is that the Institute of Trade and Economics is seated in the building in which in the late 19th – early 20th centuries there was a non-classical secondary school, the main cultural and educational centre of our town in those times. The spirit of bygone epochs is still hovering in the building which is a historic landmark and a monument of municipal engineering. For all of us this building is a temple of spirituality, which creates a unique cultural environment. Due to this historic landmark we feel continuity of the cultural and spiritual process, relationships between epochs and generations. Those who call at the Institute these days inevitably get plunged in the past, feel the influence of past centuries. The sense of relationship with the past comes to you once you set foot on the metal stairs, which do not have counterparts in the town’s architecture. The inscription in Russian: “Cast-iron and Engineering Works. Vinnitsa” has remained on the stairs since those times and invariably draws visitors’ attention. 

Thus, we are heirs of the glorious past. Let us make at least a short excursus to the history to find out when and under what circumstances the non-classical secondary school was founded in Vinnytsia, what role it played in cultural life of our town, what we know about its pupils and teachers.  It is common knowledge that establishing educational institutions is closely related to socio-economic, spiritual and cultural processes. Right-bank provinces of the Russian Empire including Podil’s’ka province in the 19th century had several political, economic and cultural peculiarities that had an impact on the development of education. As compared with the East and the South of Ukraine where industry and cities rapidly developed, right-bank territories were chiefly agricultural ones. In the 19th century towns in our region were small, townsmen were involved in handicraft industry and trade. It is also important to take into account certain peculiarities of cultural and educational policies pursued in our land by Russian autocracy. These peculiarities were stipulated by the fact that the intellectuals and landowners of Polish descent, who were bearers of separatist sentiments, figured prominently in cultural life of the Right-bank territories. This fact was one of the determinants of the forced Russification of the land and delayed implementation of Zemstvo self-government, the latter being a facilitator of education. Peculiarities of the cultural space were also stipulated by the fact that land-poor and landless, illiterate and semi-literate peasants made up the overwhelming majority of the population of Podillia province.

An important condition of the educational and cultural environment formation was the state of the land’s economy. At that time the majority of industrial enterprises were directed at servicing agricultural production. Sugar industry played the leading role in the economy. Before Zemstvo implementation, basic for the system of education of the Right-bank Ukraine were church schools and ministerial schools. Parochial church schools did not have a sufficient material and technical basis; neither had they satisfactory hygienic and sanitary conditions.  
At the same time in the late 19th century and early 20th century processes that boosted the development of education took place in the region. Railway construction gave a powerful incentive to development of Vinnytsia as a cultural centre of the region. In the 1870s the town had a railway traffic with Odessa, Kyiv, Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities, which favoured revitalization of the economy and cultural development. New trends related to capitalization and modernization of agriculture began to show. Landowner farms, which were capitalized, needed agronomists, livestock experts, economists. The most progressive farm owners began using advanced tools, machinery, ranched the best strains of cattle, used high-class seeds and fertilizers. An important role in assimilation of European agriculture practices was played by “Divisible Partnership of Agriculture and Agricultural Industry” that started its operation at the end of the 19th century. All the above mentioned factors formed conditions for the emergence of new educational institutions.
One of the main cultural and spiritual centres of Vinnytsia at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century became the non-classical secondary school. Its short prehistory is the following. In 1889 a discussion of the state of education issue in Vinnytsia municipal duma revealed the fact that there were 4027 school-age children in the town but only 1179 were enrolled in the system of formal education. Further development of the town called for more educated people. That is why a decision was made to expand the network of schools. With a view of reaching this goal the municipal duma decreed to move a non-classical secondary school from Mogyliv-Podil’s’kyi to Vinnytsia and to transform it into a six-form educational institution. A decision was made to house the non-classical secondary school in a building that was endowed by merchant Tsal’ Weinstein. It was stipulated that 8 thousand roubles in silver would be appropriated annually to cover its maintenance costs. The building design was developed by an architect of Kyiv educational district Chekmariov. The construction was completed in 1889. The building lay at the end of Poshtova Street, which was the arterial street of the town (from 1913 – Mykolayivs’kyi Avenue). In 1897 the left side wing was attached to the main building. Architect Krause who was an Austrian national led the construction. By its architecture and the diversity of décor this building stood out of the housing estate of the central part of Vinnytsia. In the yard of the non-classical secondary school a two-floor building as accommodation for the administration and the faculty was raised.

 

An important event in the life of the non-classical secondary school of that time became the opening of the school church named after Cyril and Methodius, promoters of written language. The iconostasis for it was made by O.I. Murashko, a craftsman from Kyiv. The church existed from 1892 to the 1920s.
In 1906 because of the increasing number of pupils some premises of the main building were redesigned under supervision of the town architect G.G. Artynov.
The tuition at the non-classical secondary school was for the fee of 50 roubles annually. Great importance in the syllabus was attached to mathematics and natural sciences. Thus, in 1897 the timetable for junior school contained Scripture lessons, lessons of Russian, German, French, geography, history, mathematics, physics etc. Noblemen, civil servants and merchants by birth were dominant among school-leavers. 150 pupils studied at the non-classical secondary school in the first year, in 1897 – 282 pupils.
The first school headmaster was councillor of State Yaroslav Iosypovich Niemets educated at Munich Royal Academy of Industry and Art. He held the post from 1890 to 1899. From 1899 the non-classical secondary school was headed by councillor of State P.O. Tourchaninov who was a Candidate of the University of St. Petersburg. Later Councillor of State G.A. Liakhnyts’kyi, a former graduate of the University of St. Petersburg, placed himself at the head of the school. A notable figure among the teachers was a priest Ivan Omelyanovich Shipovich, a famous expert in local history, geography and culture, the author of a number of works on the history of Podillia. He was educated at Kyiv ecclesiastical academy upon graduation from which he got a degree of a Candidate of theology. I.O. Shipovich was decorated with the order of Saint Stanislav of the third grade. He taught Scripture at Vinnytsia non-classical secondary school from June 1893. The evidence of the teacher’s of religion hard work were reports of the school headmaster to the warden of Kyiv educational district as to rewarding I.O. Shipovich with both church and secular awards. One of prominent leavers of the non-classical secondary school G.G. Brilling shared memories of his teacher I.O. Shipovich: “... He was an excellent teacher, devoid of religious fanaticism. Lessons went off quite easily. There was no drilling at all.”
As a researcher of the history of our land I.O. Shipovich cooperated with the Cabinet of Teaching of Podillia, a leading scientific institution in the 1920s. From 1924 he was a priest at Brailov Convent. It is during his service at the Convent that an accidental event took place, which reversed his life. During the so called grain procurements, which were robbery indeed, peasants from the nearby villages hid some grain in the monastery. The Bolshevist regime convicted I.O. Shipovich of a crime in December 1932 and sent him at the age of 75 to Siberia.
Another prominent figure was a teacher of drawing V.F. Korneev, who founded an art studio. In 1913 his pupils were awarded gold medal at the All-Russian exhibition in Kyiv. V.F. Korneev set up an aquatics club, which became a popular leisure centre for young people of the town. He was also among the founders of Vinnytsia local history museum. A good level of physical training at the non-classical secondary school was acknowledged by the fact that at the All-Russian hygiene exhibition it was awarded gold medal.
At the beginning of the 20th century the seventh, special class for pupils who got ready for entering technical universities was opened. After studies in the class pupils could also enter natural and mathematical or medical departments of the university.

A distinguished person, a writer and public figure M.M. Kotsiubynskyi contributed to the formation of a special aura in this beautiful building. A famous Ukrainian writer M.M. Kotsiubynskyi was born in Vinnytsia on September 17, 1864 and lived there with breaks to the summer of 1897. The town’s non-classical secondary school, which building today houses Vinnytsia Institute of Trade and Economics of KNUTE, played an important part in his life. Researchers believe that M.M. Kotsiubynskyi who was a teacher in the village of Lopatyntsi sought to have any paper qualifications in teaching. That is why he passed examinations at Vinnytsia non-classical secondary school and got a certificate of a public teacher, the fact which was noted in the journal of the school staff meeting. The indication of this important event in the famous writer’s life is the memorial plaque on the facade of the building, which reads: “In this building, a former non-classical secondary school, in October 1881 a famous Ukrainian writer Mykhailo Mykhailovich Kotsiubynskyi passed examinations without attending lectures for the certificate of a public teacher.” The writer took an active part in the life of the town. In March 1888 he was elected a member of Vinnytsia municipal duma in which he among other things patronized establishing a town library. 

M.V. Ovodov, who was mayor of Vinnytsia from 1899 to 1917, worked as a doctor at Vinnytsia non-classical secondary school in the 1890s.
During World War I a hospital for wounded soldiers of the Russian Army was established in the building of the non-classical secondary school.
After establishment of the Soviet government the non-classical secondary school was liquidated. In the Soviet times there were party-and-state and educational facilities in the building, e.g. Podillia Economic Council.
For a long time the building hardly changed. Only in the 1970s the front porch was taken down.