The war in Ukraine has devastated the lives of families and children and brought massive destruction to vital infrastructure. Since the start of the conflict, all aspects of life in Ukraine – including education- have dramatically changed. Nearly 7 million people were internally displaced as of November 2022 and by January 2023 it is estimated that 7.9 million people fled the country.
Around 6 million Ukrainian school children all face their own unique challenges. Those who have fled have been forced to quickly assimilate into other school systems. Those who have remained have been confronted with a shortage of classrooms, a lack of security and power outages that disrupt their learning putting their futures at risk.
The continued power shortages throughout Ukraine have left 10 million families without consistent electricity or stable internet connections, adding yet another layer of difficulty to remote learning. Despite this, teachers and students in Ukraine are determined to overcome these challenges using existing digital solutions, independent work and for those who can go into school revert to the traditional chalk and blackboard.
Schools should be a space of routine and stability for children. But as of today, 2618 education institutions have been damaged and 413 have been totally destroyed, adding yet another challenge for many children and youth.
The Paskov family has been forced to move from Luhansk to Kharkiv in 2014 and then to Rivne in 2022. Bohdan Paskov is just one of the 2,000 students who has been assigned to the general secondary education institutions in Rivne. Bohdan now studies through online learning often using digital platforms such as ‘Zoom’ and ‘Google Classroom’ where he engages in a range of different lessons including music and physical education.
In November 2022, Ukraine joined the Global Partnership for Education, enabling them to access US$43 million in grants to achieve the education priorities set out by the government. These include continued psychosocial support to children and educators, professional development of all teachers and building the digital education ecosystem. GPE is working in close coordination with humanitarian and development partners, including the private sector, to offer their expertise and in-kind support to address the most pressing education needs in the country.
00:00:02 - 00:00:45 - Rivne Regional Scientific Lyceum - Students sheltering in basement
00:00:45 - 00:01:25 – Soundbite: Diana Gumenyuk, 11-B grade, Rivne Regional Scientific Lyceum
00:01:25 - 00:01:48 – Soundbite: Dmytro Hochmanovskyi, History Teacher
00:01:50 - 00:02:33 – Chernihiv, northern Ukraine - School Number 18, destroyed during the early phase of the conflict.
00:02:35 - 00:03:35 – Soundbites: Petro Korzhevsky, Director of the Department of Education
00:03:37 - 00:03:42 - GVs Rivne City
00:03:42 - 00:04:06 - Paskov family eat breakfast together.
00:04:06 - 00:05:24 - Bohdan Paskov studies at home and at a friend’s house
00:05:28 - 00:07:55 – Soundbites: Paskov family
00:07:57 - 00:09:53 – Soundbite: Charles North, Deputy CEO, GPE
Diana Gumenyuk, 11-B grade, Rivne Regional Scientific Lyceum
00:00:45 – “The air raid started, so our whole lyceum went down to the shelter. We are here until the end of the air raid.
00:00:52 - For example, in my classroom, there is a lecture with a professor of historical sciences on propaganda in art.
00:00:57 - Our administration provides us with effective training, even during air raids. We spend very interesting and quality leisure time.
00:01:12 - We have music, and videos of the military, which raise our patriotic spirit and set us in a positive mood. We also sometimes play some intellectual games and quizzes.”
Soundbite - Dmytro Hochmanovskyi, History Teacher
00:01:23 – “When the full-scale invasion took place, we went online, but at least we kept in touch with the students online and communicated in the same way
00:01:35 – (We) supported each other and avoided unnecessary panic, even on the day when the invasion and shelling took place on February 24.”
Soundbite - Petro Korzhevsky, Director of the Department of Education of the Rivne Region
00:02:35 – “There were more than 20,000 children who left Rivne Oblast to study in other countries, and about 1,000 teachers left Ukraine.
00:02:46 - But the pleasant fact is that a significant part of children – we can say their overwhelming majority – joined the educational process online.
00:02:57 - It is very important that teachers were also allowed to organize the educational process remotely, from anywhere, including from abroad.”
00:03:07 – “Education is the kind of thing that can only be systematic and only consistent and successive. If we have a gap somewhere, it will take a very long time to eliminate this gap.
00:03:25 - And so these gaps during the war, well, unfortunately, we will have to spend a lot of time and resources to eliminate them.”
Soundbite - Bohdan Paskov
00:05:24 – “I live in this district and the electricity is cut off here very often, and I go to my friend's place. Her electricity is cut off less often than ours.”
00:05:39 – “We use Zoom — it's like Skype, only for... it's more made for school.
00:05:51 - On there... the teacher can show some demonstration, show us a presentation, and there you can turn on the cameras, turn on the sound, speak, and so on.”
Soundbite - Olena Paskova, Bohdan’s mother
00:06:04 – “The planes were flying, we live in a district where explosions were very audible, and we decided to leave Kharkiv.”
00:06:16 – “Bohdan misses his friends very much. He loved his school, he loved his life in Kharkiv, his room, his apartment.
00:06:29 - So it's probably hard for him because since we have completely switched to online, it's hard for him to find friends here. Well, he talks a lot with his friends on the phone, on Skype, and on Zoom too during classes.
00:06:48 - His friend Kseniya also came to Rivne, they meet and go for walks here from time to time.”
Soundbites - Kyryl Paskov, Bohdan`s father
00:06:57 – “We are Luhansk residents and for us in 2014, when it all happened. There are people who see only the tip of the iceberg
00:07:13 - And we realized that we will not be able to live under this government, in these conditions, and under these restrictions.”
00:07:26 – “He had and still has one best friend with whom they constantly talk, and now we are used to online life and began to somehow wean ourselves off friends, off such live communication back in the covid times.
00:07:49 - Therefore children seem to perceive it easier, but it is a trauma, a certain trauma at the same time.”