A Report on the Results of a Joint Assessment of Educational Need in the Kharkiv Oblast Ukraine Conducted in January 2023
The war and its aftermath have had devastating effects on Kharkiv’s educational system. As before, the situation is critical and developing rapidly. Even after the Eastern areas of the oblast are liberated, safe access to schools and kindergartens is difficult due to damaged or destroyed educational infrastructure and continuous shelling and attacks.
The ability of individuals, families, and communities to live in peace and safety is of paramount importance, as is raising public awareness about the dangers of mines. Stress, insecurity, and anxiety are still being fueled by the war, affecting both educators and their students. Learners’ and educators’ mental health needs, such as stress and burnout from studying or working in a crisis, require immediate attention.
Many professions in the education sector are regularly affected by staff turnover, including teachers. Teachers’ ability to provide high-quality education services is hampered by students’ lack of access to schools and a lack of instructional technology. In a similar vein, the widespread destruction of essential infrastructure makes it hard, if not impossible, to get online and get an education.
Maintaining the oblast’s formal education system is crucial in the face of attacks on critical infrastructure. It is important to identify and address the learning gaps of children, especially those still living in Russian-occupied territories after February 2022. As a result, it’s important to expand access to alternatives to traditional education, such as remedial and accelerated programmes.
Distance learning, including paper-based options, requires novel and creative methods of transitional education. Digital learning spaces (temporary learning spaces) with protective shelters and generators need to be set up where schools are severely damaged and cannot re-open quickly. This must be done in accordance with safety regulations while also listening to the voices of students and educators who call for a return to as much face-to-face learning as possible.