Distinguished colleagues, fellow Ukrainians.
Modern Ukraine is fighting for its independence and its future.
The future of Ukraine is the children whom, despite the war, we must give the best education and opportunities to realize themselves and their potential.
Today is the start of the second school year in the midst of a full-scale war.
First of all, I would like to thank all teachers, lecturers, educators and pedagogical staff who work and build the future of Ukraine.
Almost 4 million students will go to school.
10,500 schools will open their doors on September 1. More than 6,500 will operate in a regular format, and almost 4,000 will operate in a mixed format. Another 2,500 schools will continue to work distantly.
The safety of children has been and remains the number one priority. To this end, in 2023 the Government allocated UAH 1.5 billion to the regions to equip shelters in schools.
As of today, almost 84% of schools have shelters and bomb shelters. No offline learning is possible if there is no reliable shelter. This is rule number one this year.
The second rule is access to education for all children without exception. In 2022 and 2023, we worked together with local authorities and international partners to restore, modernize and re-equip 270 educational institutions. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this important work.
Accessibility of education is also about the ability to get to school. We understood and saw the need to purchase school buses. Therefore, we allocated UAH 1 billion of subvention on the terms of co-financing from regional or local budgets. And now 18 regions have signed contracts for the purchase of almost 500 school buses. The procurement was carried out through the Prozorro Market system.
Thanks to our ongoing work with our European partners, we have managed to reach agreements to supply more than 300 buses by the end of this year. These buses will come from the European Union as humanitarian aid. 192 buses have already been delivered to schools.
Wherever offline learning is not currently possible, we are improving the quality and accessibility of online education. For this purpose, Ukrainian teachers have already received almost 96,000 laptops, while schoolchildren have received about 36,000 devices. By the end of the year, students will receive another 40,000 such gadgets.
This is crucial because it opens up opportunities for every child to get knowledge wherever he or she is staying.
This also applies to Ukrainian children who are now abroad. We are doing everything we can to keep them connected to the Ukrainian educational space. This is one of the important prerequisites for the return of our people home.
That is why the Government has decided to reformat the educational process for children who are not in Ukraine. A standard educational program was approved, which provides for the study of only subjects with a Ukrainian component. This is 6-8 hours a week. Grades in math or science, for example, will be recognized at the school where the children are currently studying abroad.
The Government is also working on a systemic transformation of the educational process to fulfill the President's task.
Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov and Minister of Education Oksen Lisovyi already have concrete developments that will be presented by the end of the year. We are talking about five directions:
- improving the skills of educational managers;
- increasing the prestige, salaries, skills and abilities of Ukrainian teachers;
- modern content and sense of education based on the NUS;
- updated system and network for equal access to quality education for all children;
- new educational space: its safety and quality according to new standards.
Finally. I would like to wish strength and endurance to all Ukrainian teachers who, despite many challenges, continue to do their job selflessly. This is extremely important and we appreciate it.
I wish success in their studies to everyone who goes to their classes today. Regardless of whether it is offline or online.
We are grateful to the Ukrainian military, thanks to whom our children can go to school and gain knowledge.
We continue to work for victory and peace in Ukraine.
Thank you for your attention.
Glory to Ukraine!