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Ukraine's Education Ministry is developing a course in cooperation with UNICEF on mine safety for Ukrainian schoolchildren, one that will become a mandatory part of the curriculum, the ministry announced on Aug. 14
"Education should give a child useful knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, now and for a long time to come, mine safety knowledge and skills will be extremely relevant in Ukraine," Education Minister Oksen Lisovy said.
"It is the job of adults and the entire education system to provide children with all possible information on how to stay safe."
Teachers will be able to access online courses on teaching mine safety to children of all ages. They can already use a manual and presentations adapted to primary and secondary schools, developed by UNICEF and its partners, the ministry said.
According to the statement, over 5,000 educators, social workers, and members of public organizations have received UNICEF mine safety training courses for children in 2023. Together with partners, they have conducted classes for more than 640,000 children.
In cooperation with psychologists, UNICEF experts have prepared interactive materials that explain the rules of safe behavior in mined territories. This includes cartoons, games, and videos featuring the famous detection dog Patron.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Ukraine is now the "most heavily mined country in the world" as a result of the Russian aggression.
According to President Zelensky, over 200,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian land – roughly one-third of its territory – have been mined by Russian forces as of June.
The Washington Post wrote that clearing Ukraine of mines would take the 500 currently operational teams 757 years to complete.
According to the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, landmines have already caused 100 child casualties since the start of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.