Education During The Pandemic In Ukraine: How Schools Adjust To The New Realities

September 15, 2020
The COVID-19 quarantine began at the end of the school year in Ukraine. That’s why education has become more digitized, bringing with it many new challenges.
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UkraineWorld, together with its colleagues from the regional media, reflects on what the school year ahead is going to look like in Ukraine.

Advantages and disadvantages of remote education

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the educational process around the world, as well in Ukraine, journalist Marina Skyntei writes in an article for the local publication "Shpalta". Organizing a remote educational process during the quarantine was a real challenge for Ukrainians, as teachers, students, and even parents didn't have any time to adjust to the situation.

About half of Ukrainians feel negatively towards remote education, while only 32% are positive.

Sociologists from the Razumkov Center (one of the leading public policy research centers in Ukraine) and the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation conducted a study on public attitudes concerning education and the pandemic. About half of Ukrainians feel negatively towards remote education, while only 32% are positive, the study indicates. The decline in children's achievement, lack of teacher attention to pupils, technical problems, poor internet quality and lack of devices for online learning have become the main problems of remote education in Ukraine.

In Kropyvnytskyi, a city in central Ukraine, the teachers, as well as a third of students, haven't enjoyed  remote learning, journalist Liudmyla Makei reports for the "Utrennii Gorod" news website.

Nevertheless, there have been some positive aspects to the remote learning process. Kropyvnytskyi local authorities conducted their own research and found  that video lessons, conferences, and presentations were among the most popular and effective forms of distance learning, while 41 percent of local children want to study remotely part-time in the future. 

41 percent of local children want to study remotely part-time in the future.

Innovations in education in Ukraine

At the same time, quarantine hasn't hindered the use of innovative educational approaches. Journalist Tetiana Ksenofontova writes a story of a school in Kramatorsk, a city in Eastern Ukraine close to the front line, where schoolchildren are using 3D printers to print models for chemistry or physics or even make souvenirs with school symbols.

Thus, computer science teacher Andrii Lukianenko used a 3D printer to create a model of a perch to study the structure of fish. He also used 3D equipment to make three-dimensional puzzles for inclusive classrooms for children with special educational needs. Together with a regional creative group of 23 methodologists and teachers, Lukianenko is developing guidelines for using 3D printing technology for schools and primary schools.

Meanwhile, in Ivano-Frankivsk (a city located in Western Ukraine), children are creating their own cartoons as a part of the educational process. Since the start of the project back in 2017, more than 500 children have participated, 24 trainings have been held and 46 cartoons have been created.

Children come up with an idea, make storyboards, create characters, and write dialogues for them. After that, they create cartoons using computers, or on their own by cutting out the characters from paper, creating them from plasticine, taking photos and then mounting them in frames. Most often, these cartoons deal with social topics like ecology or human relations.

A social animation is an effective tool for non-formal education. "We are not creating a cartoon so that you or your friends can watch it. We create  cartoons to draw other people's attention to the problem that you are interested in", project coordinator and trainer Anastasia Maliborska told her students.

School life has significantly changed during the pandemic. In Ukraine, some educators are adjusting to the new realities in traditional ways of learning, as well as in extracurricular education.

This article was produced through the stipend program Remain in the Profession, run by Internews Ukraine.

The program is made possible by the support of the American people through the Media Program in Ukraine, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Internews. The contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and Internews Ukraine and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government or Internews.

Yaroslava Kobynets
Journalist at Internews Ukraine

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