Millions of students return to school in Ukraine still at war

Millions of students returned to school this Thursday (01) in Ukraine, face-to-face or virtually, as national authorities seek to ensure the education and safety of children and adolescents amid to the Russian invasion of the country.

“The scale of the challenge is unique”, Serhiy Gorbachev, the Ukrainian people’s advocate for educational matters, told Efe news agency.

The main challenge faced by the Ukrainian authorities is to make sure that all students can attend classes, regardless of where they are.

For now, the number of schools that have chosen to offer online education is the same as that chosen face-to-face or mixed format.

Maryana Sukhnatska, a resident of Lviv, said that her daughter Kvitka went to school today for the first time in her life.

The interviewee reported that the school where the girl studies has two bomb shelters, well equipped and capable of guaranteeing refuge for all students.

“They taught the children what they should what to do in the event of an air alert and they have already carried out a test”, Sukhnatska tells Efe Agency. “My daughter has been going to daycare since April. So she got used to the evacuations”, he added.

Gorbachov explained that the schools closest to the battlefront chose to return with distance classes, including all in northern Ukraine, near the border with Belarus, who have been ordered not to adopt face-to-face teaching.

He explained that approximately 59% of Ukrainian schools have bomb shelters, in most cases, in basements.

Gorbachev also recalled that 22 one thousand of the approximately 440 thousand Ukrainian teachers are outside the country and guaranteed that they could offer online classes.

“The situation is fluctuating, and we will only have a clearer picture of how the system works in a few weeks”, admitted the defender of the people.

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