Despite the ongoing Russian invasion, Ukrainian education never stops. As pupils return to schools across the country, teachers began to conduct their first lessons, many instilling a single profound line into the minds of their pupils: “We are Ukrainians: honor and glory to the indomitable.”

According to the Minister of Education and Science, Serhiy Shkarlet, the purpose of such a lesson is to foster a sense of pride and belonging among the Ukrainian people, resisting the influence of propaganda pedaled by the Russian invaders.

In some instances, lessons took place inside schools, but in others were held online for those living in areas daily hit by Russian shelling.

In the summer, the government’s education ministry determined how institutions will operate in the new academic year, with a focus on reinstalling an education system as close to normality as possible. Schools located in places experiencing hostilities, however, will teach children remotely. In safer areas of Ukraine there will be two types of training – offline training and mixed, whereby children will either go to school as usual or will study remotely for a week and then physically attend school for a week, on a rotating basis. This decision was heavily influenced by the capacity of bomb shelters in schools.

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Pupils are now being taught safety procedures relating to explosive devices. (Photo by Daryna Kolomiiets).

50% of Ukrainian educational institutions are now equipped with shelters, First Deputy Minister of Education and Science Andrii Vitrenko has confirmed.

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Following recommendations from the Ministry of Education, security training for teachers was conducted in throughout August.

Certain parts of the curriculum are also changing this year. For example, a module on the algorithm of actions in the event of an air alert was added to the subject “Defence of the Fatherland”. Some schools also refused to study the Russian language, despite this not being recommended by order of the Ministry of Education.

School children will also be taught the basic safety rules surrounding explosive objects, will be taught traffic rules, and will be tutored on how to deal with bullying.

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In addition to general rules recommended by the state, some educational institutions have introduced their own policies. For instance, in one of Kyiv’s schools, children will wear badges with information about themselves, including blood group and parental contact details.

The new academic year will last from September 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

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