Ukraine: war prevents five million children from going to school

 Ukrainian children at a manifestation for peace Ukrainian children at a manifestation for peace Matti Karstedt

23 Gennaio 

UNICEF calls for an end to attacks on Ukrainian education buildings: after eleven months of war Ukrainian children need to go back to school

After eleven months of war almost 5 million children have interrupted their academic education and have not been in the condition to attend classes yet. Moreover, after the electricity attacks by the Russian forces, even online classes are now unavailable. 

The United Nations agency for children urges for a rapid response to the issue; for several years by now, Ukrainian children can’t enjoy the crucial sense of structure and safety that the school environment has. Indeed, in addition to the current conflict, Ukrainian children had been stopped for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, moreover, a part of them had been stopped for eight years for the East-Ukrainian conflict. 

Consequently to the Russian bombing, most school buildings have collapsed or are currently unusable. Furthermore, following the attacks on the electricity grid, it is not even possible for children to continue an online educational path. Almost two million children were accessing online learning, while 1.3 million were enrolled in a combination of online and in-person learning. Both these alternatives had to stop and now children are incapable of attending any kind of classes. 

As concerns refugee children, according to UNICEF’s data, two out of three are not currently enrolled in host country education systems. The difficult integration process in host countries risks slowing down the return to school for children even more. Despite this difficulty, host countries need to provide multiple pathways to learning so as to never leave the children alone.

After the cruelty of war, the school represents a safe place for children to return to and be together. UNICEF calls for an end to attacks on education buildings. Furthermore, according to UNICEF, it is fundamental to support Ukraine’s recovery plan, and to orient it mainly to rehabilitate schools and preschools. 

 

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By Federica Tognolli

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