How the Ukrainian education system withstands war challenges

How the Ukrainian education system withstands war challenges

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Since the start of Russia’s large-scale aggression education system became another front in Ukraine’s fight for freedom. Some of the education workers chose to join the armed forces and defend Ukraine with weapons in their hands and hold lectures from the trenches. Others continue their work to support children and their parents, keep hope and optimism alive and provide the young generation of Ukrainians with education no matter where they are.

How the Ukrainian education system withstands war challenges

Russia has a long tradition of weaponizing education. In cities like Mariupol and Kharkiv, schools and universities were physically destroyed by Russian missiles. Meanwhile, in the occupied territories Moscow is doing everything possible to integrate Ukraine’s education system into the Russian context. Following the Nazi practices, the occupiers destroy libraries, and burn school textbooks on Ukraine’s history and literature, replacing them with Russian ones. Once again, education becomes a tool of Kremlin propaganda, promoting imperial narratives. This is another part of Moscow’s plan to “wipe out” the Ukrainian nation.

However, now Ukrainian society is more consolidated in its work for victory than ever. Hundreds of schools and universities in various regions of Ukraine turned into volunteer hubs or temporary shelters for internally displaced persons. Despite the colossal losses Ukraine’s educational sphere faced, our education system managed to rebuild to the needs of wartime. Teachers, children, and their parents turned into volunteers, weaving camouflage nets for the military, raising funds, and bringing the victory closer. With everyone fighting on their front, no weapon could break Ukrainian resilience.

Speakers:

  • Iurii Kononenko, Head of the Chief Department of General Secondary and Preschool Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
  • Oleksandr Lytvynskyi, Director of the Mariupol school No 34
  • Natalia Velgun, Director of a school in Kropyvnytskyi.

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