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Media: Education Minister says 76% of institutions in Ukraine have bomb shelters

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 31, 2023 9:29 PM 2 min read
Desks, maps and drawings are pictured in the bomb shelter set up by the students and teachers of Chyhyryn Lyceum N2, Chyhyryn, Cherkasy Oblast, central Ukraine. (Volodymyr Tarasov / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian authorities have equipped 76% of educational institutions with bomb shelters ahead of the new academic year, Education Minister Oksen Lisovy told Suspilne media outlet.

The state has allocated Hr 1.5 billion (about $40 million) to finance the measure, according to Lisovy.

"But this is not enough. For schools, kindergartens, vocational schools, and higher education institutions to be equipped with shelters, local budgets have contributed to a large extent," the minister said in the interview.

Lisovy added that around 7,000 bomb shelters for educational institutions still needed to be built.

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"Out of them, 2,000 shelters are in areas where we will not build today because we do not foresee the possibility of children going to school (there). These are educational institutions located from zero to 50 kilometers from the front line," the official explained to Suspilne.

Earlier, Lisovy said at a conference that about 500,000 Ukrainian children would return to offline schooling from Sept. 1. The process would vary from region to region depending on the security conditions.

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On the evening of June 24, 16-year-olds Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov went for a walk in their hometown of Berdiansk, a Russian-occupied city in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The two got some street food, saw some friends, and discussed how they would celebrate Khanhanov’s 17…

Education in Ukraine was first disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then the full-scale war. Schools shut on Feb. 24, 2022, when Russia launched its invasion, and many have not reopened due to the threat of Russian attacks.

As a result, a third of Ukrainian schoolchildren learn online. One-third of children learn fully in person, and another third learn in a hybrid approach.

About half of Ukrainian teachers believe there has been a decline in their students' language, reading, and mathematics skills since then, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Since February 2022, over 3,500 educational institutions in Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed, UNICEF reported in July.

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Ukraine increases defense spending by almost $12 billion in 2024.

"Financing the needs of Ukrainian forces is now a top priority. Additional funds for weapons, fortifications, and salaries for servicemen are a critical component of countering the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine," Deputy Defense Minister Yurii Dzhyhyr said.
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