September 1 is the traditional first day of school across the Ukraine. Children from around the region will dress in the traditional pupil’s uniform and bring flowers for their teachers, before the children sing the national anthem and are greeted by their principal. 

This year, not all children may engage in the tradition that is generations old. This year, the Government has been in a rush to inspect the nation’s schools to make sure that children will have adequate security in light of Russia’s vicious war against Ukraine.

The Interior Minister noted that 5,700 schools will implement a work-from-home regime, 4,000 will have a mixed system of work-from-home and presencial classes, and only 3,000, of the nation’s 12,800 schools, would be in-person, full time.

The Ukrainian Minister of the Interior, Denys Monastyrsky reports that already nearly 8-in-10 schools have been checked to see if they meet the new standards for protection against shellling: Bomb shelters. Of those checked, only 41% met the criteria and were deemed as prepared for full-time education to commence. Though this number does represent a 400% increase since five weeks ago, it still falls short.

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Local governments are left to implement the improvements of security in their classrooms, something that could slow the process of putting into place new security protocols. Kyiv, Lviv, and Chernivtsi are the best prepared oblasts of Ukraine, and Poltava and Mykolaiv were the least prepared.

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The minister of strategic industries has disclosed that Ukrainian defense industry capabilities are several times larger than the funding available to support it,“so right now we have to cherry-pick.”

Stating that education is of great importance, but not the greatest, the Minister of Education, highlighted that the safety of students was the first priority for this government.

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