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ECW Announces New Grant Funding for Ukraine’s Education Programs for Children Impacted by War — Global Issues

Oksen Lisovyi, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine; Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait; and Yevhen Kudriavets, First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, address a briefing on funding for Ukrainian education. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Oksen Lisovyi, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine; Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait; and Yevhen Kudriavets, First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, address a briefing on funding for Ukrainian education. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
  • by Naureen Hossain (united nations)
  • Inter Press Service

In New York, Ukraine’s Minister of Education and Science, Oksen Lisovyi, and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Executive Director Yasmine Sherif announced the launch of a multi-year resilience program that will take effect from March 2024 until February 2026. In addition to the 18 million, they called on donors to mobilize an additional USD 17 million to fully fund the program. The program is building on ECW’s previous investments in Ukraine, which totaled USD 6.5 million; this has already reached over 360,000 children and youth for the purpose of quality education support.

According to Sherif, the program was developed “in close coordination” with the Ministry of Education and members of civil society in Ukraine. Teachers and students in the southern and eastern states will have access to mental health and psychosocial support. The program will also renovate and strengthen the damaged infrastructure.

Lisovyi stated that the program will support the government’s ongoing plans to reform its education system while also addressing the challenges that have emerged due to the conflict.

“We work toward fundamentally changing the education system,” he said. “Modernize the networks of universities and strengthen the agencies of students, providing them with more freedom and instruments for self-development.”

“Now we concentrate on our efforts to provide the usual normal education for each kid. Giving access to safe education of high quality despite the war,” said Lisovyi. This will include building shelters in schools, a new prerequisite for schools to work offline. It’s been estimated that during this conflict, children spent up to 5,000 hours in underground shelters.

More than 3500 educational institutions have been damaged since the conflict between Ukraine and Russia began in February 2022. Families and children that have been displaced by the conflict struggle to access a proper, comprehensive education. More than 900,000 children are currently receiving a blended education of in-person classes and online learning. As of September 2023, only half of the functioning schools have the capacity to provide face-to-face learning. The other alternative, online learning, has not been accessible to all students, especially those who have been displaced due to the conflict. Under this program, there will be efforts to expand access to digital education, especially for those children left behind.

In collaboration with the government of Ukraine and national organizations, the multi-year resilience program’s investment will be delivered by Finn Church Aid, an NGO whose work in Ukraine centers on education support through providing temporary learning spaces and psychosocial support, and the Kyiv School of Economics Institute, a think tank that has consulted on recommendations for Ukraine’s post-war economic recovery. It is expected that the program will reach 41,000 girls and boys, as well as indirectly benefit 150,000 children through renovated learning spaces in the eastern and southern states.

The program is also intended to invest considerably in teachers, including the estimated 43,000 teachers that have been displaced by the conflict. In addition to receiving mental health and psychosocial support, they will also receive vocational training, which Lisovyi has stated is one of the biggest priorities in his government’s education reform. The expected outcome of this is that at least 12,000 teachers will be supported with professional development and well-being support.

Investing in education reform will go toward building a stronger, more resilient state, said Lisovyi. “The role of education here is crucial, so our efforts are currently focused on restoring access to education for every child. I am incredibly grateful to Education Cannot Wait and all the partners for their shared vision and support.”

IPS UN Bureau Report


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© Inter Press Service (2024) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service




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