Ukraine has to finally figure out how to educate children in Crimea – civil society

Distance learning, as well as programs that allow sitting the exams without actually taking the course are the tools to help children in the annexed Crimea to follow the Ukrainian program. Civic experts emphasize that the legislation requires amendments and quick action by the ministries.

Ukrainian programs that allow sitting the exams without taking the course as well as distance learning for school children in Crimea need to be regulated by separate temporary provisions. The children who remained to study in the peninsula but have pro-Ukrainian position will be able to use these mechanisms. However they are regulated in an unclear and untimely way. Such a situation undermines the trust to Ukraine that children have, these are the children who would like to study based on the Ukrainian program, said Valentyna Potapova, deputy head of the NGO Center for civic education “Almenda” during a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Changes that amend parts or particular paragraphs of the laws create considerable complications. Two orders were largely updated after complicated negotiations are still awaiting approval by the Ministry of Justice. The provision that regulates the program on sitting exams without taking the course was supposed to make education at schools much easier. It has just been approved by the Ministry of Education but is still to be approved by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry for Social Policy and the Ministry of Justice. We did need it back in December,” Potapova emphasized.

Distance learning must be offered by one school only instead of sending children to various schools across the country. “One online distance learning school needs to be set up for children from the occupied areas. It does not require huge premises, ten classrooms maximum should be enough. It should look like a call-center with teachers sitting in there. There will also be special educational programs,” Potapova explained.

Apart from academic issues activists point at the information policy and at the access to Ukraine’s information space for Crimeans. “We are concerned with the situation around Krymska Svitlytsia (Ukrainian-language newspaper). The actual legislation foresees denationalization of media, it may lead to budget cut. However it’s a specific publication that sees specific audience as target. We suggest foreseeing public financing for it,” noted Andrii Ivanets, coordinator of the NGO Tavriia Humanitarian Platform.