We are all aware of the horrific conflict that is taking place in Ukraine and how it has disrupted the lives of all Ukrainians, but how has education been affected in the country?
Ukraine, unlike most conflict zones, was a developed nation with significantly better infrastructure. It would make sense to assume that the education system would be better off than the ones in nations such as Somalia or Syria. In this blog, I will explore how the Ukrainian government handled the education of children during the conflict.
Since Russia started its invasion of Ukraine, 1,800 schools and universities have either been damaged or completely decimated. The violence harmed, injured, or even killed 9,000 students, teachers, and academics. School buildings were even used as military bases by both sides. Students were told to stay home for 2 weeks when the conflict commenced. Most of the students have been staying home due to the chaos, but some have been lucky enough to go to school or get taught in bunkers and bomb shelters.
However, there is one upside to this incident. As mentioned before, Ukraine has far better technological infrastructure than the global south and has helped greatly with the integration of online learning. Thankfully, about 3.7 million Ukrainian have been able to access education through the internet. Ukraine’s example can hopefully be used as an inspiration for humanitarian organizations working in conflict zones in less developed nations. Implementing online learning in those areas will be tough but recent technological advances such as the Starlink project provide hope.
Distance learning is not a perfect substitute for in-person education, but it is much better than no education at all. Hopefully, this limited access to education is only a temporary solution.