Russian forces have completely destroyed 180 schools in Ukraine, and over 1,300 educational institutions have been damaged. This was announced by the Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science Oksen Lisovii, quoted by “Ukrinform”.
“Today, we have 180 schools that have been completely destroyed. More than 300 educational institutions have been destroyed, and over 1,300 have been damaged and are subject to expert assessment as to whether they can be restored or not,” he reported.
According to him, the Ukrainian government has allocated 1.5 billion hryvnias for the construction of bomb shelters before the start of the next school year. 3/4 of the schools have such shelters of varying level and quality.
“75% of schools are equipped with bomb shelters, but this does not mean that 75% of students can resume their studies. It is about 9,000 schools, and we have a total of 13,000 schools. Our priority is to resume in-person education, where this is allowed for security reasons. In places close to the areas of hostilities, the classes will be held remotely,” explained Lisovii.
In order to improve the quality of education, the ministry recommends that higher education institutions also resume face-to-face education when the security situation allows it. Many of these institutions can create bomb shelters architecturally, but sometimes they don’t have enough capacity to accommodate all the students.
Another problem, according to Lisovii, could be the migration of teachers. It may also create barriers to resuming full-time studies. For this reason, the management of each school will make an independent decision whether to resume classes.
Already in December 2022, the European Commission and the government of Ukraine signed a package of measures in the amount of 100 million euros for the reconstruction of school infrastructure destroyed during the war.
The Commission specified that the support will reach Ukraine through the humanitarian partners of the EU and partly in the form of budget support for the government of Ukraine.
Under an ongoing contract with the Polish development bank “Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego”, the EC has allocated around 14 million euros for the purchase of school buses for the safe transport of Ukrainian children to school.
The European Commission has also launched a solidarity campaign to donate school buses to Ukraine, organized through the European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre.
A total of 240 buses have already been provided by the EU and Member States, with donations continuing.
Illustrative Photo by olia danilevich: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brother-and-sister-with-books-on-their-heads-5088188/