Distinguished colleagues, fellow Ukrainians!
We are starting a regular meeting of the Government.
Today Ukraine is fighting for the future of our children. Even during a full-scale war, we are obliged to create the best conditions for their upbringing, education and leisure.
Less than a month is left before the start of the school year. In this regard, there are three key challenges.
The first challenge is safety. The lives and health of children come first. 100% of educational institutions must have shelters. We are talking about reliable shelters in basements, ground structures near a school or kindergarten, underground monolithic shelters with a high level of protection.
Currently, 68% of educational institutions have shelters of various types. This allows us to place 4.7 million students and teachers there. But this is not sufficient. Local authorities must be more active. The Government allocated money for shelters back in April - UAH 1.5 billion.
The greatest need for shelters is in Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Dnipro and Odesa regions, as these regions are at risk due to russian shelling. We need to complete the work there as soon as possible.
In 2023, we plan to almost 1,500 shelters, with a total of 5,400 to be built. He emphasized that all shelters must meet the criteria of reliability, barrier-free accessibility and energy efficiency.
The RMA should regularly monitor the security situation in communities. Depending on the level of threats, a decision will be made on the format of learning: in-person, online or mixed.
I emphasize once again: where there is a threat to the life or health of children, there will be no offline, i.e. in-person, education. Local authorities understand the situation in their communities best, and therefore the final decisions on the format of study will be made on the ground.
The second challenge is access to education. There are some 300,000 children across the country who need transportation to school.
The Government has allocated over UAH 1 billion to communities to purchase school buses through the Prozorro system. So far, contracts for 440 buses have been signed, some of the vehicles have already arrived, and most of the purchases will be completed by September. However, in Vinnytsia and Zakarpattia regions, procurement has not started at all. We need to accelerate urgently.
We also receive school buses from our partners. We have received 300 vehicles from ten EU countries. I am grateful to our partners for their support.
The third challenge is the education of Ukrainians abroad.
About a million children are now outside Ukraine. Our task is to keep them connected to their homeland and facilitate their return home.
The Government is introducing a new form of education in selected distance schools in each region. Students will study the Ukrainian component of the school curriculum. the children will study the rest of the subjects in the schools of the countries where they are staying. This part of their education will be automatically credited to them.
We understand that it is difficult to manage two schools, so we will do our best to help. The Ukrainian school component will be 6-8 hours a week.
Online education is also relevant. That is why we have sent more than 130,000 devices for students and teachers to the regions, and we will deliver another 40,000 in the near future.
We are creating Digital Education Centers. These are spaces where children learn and socialize. There are 60 of them now, and another 100 will be opened by the end of the year.
Denys Shmyhal called for maximum coordination of efforts to complete preparations for the new school year: "Our children should be safe, but the quality of education should not suffer
I call for maximum coordination of efforts to complete preparations for the new school year. Our children must be safe, but the quality of education must not suffer.
Today we are also adopting two governmental decisions to protect children and childhood.
The first – we extend the "money follows the child" principle. From now on, parents in all regions of Ukraine will receive funds for children's recreation directly from the state. They will have access to vouchers to the best children's recreation centers at public expense. This applies to low-income families, families with many children, and children with disabilities.
The second – we make the eMaliatko comprehensive service, which has been in place since 2020, permanent. During this time, parents have used it almost 412,000 times. The new procedure for its provision includes up to nine public services. From birth registration to the issuance of a Baby Box. The service will further be available in Diia.
Today we are also expanding the incandescent lamp for LED lamps exchange program, which the Government is implementing jointly with the European Union. Now it will be available to cultural institutions, social security agencies, condominiums, libraries and museums, sports organizations, and others. The goal is to replace 50 million light bulbs to reduce the load on the power grid during the heating season and throughout the year. So far, 3.9 million users have already received 19.5 million energy-efficient lamps.
We are bringing victory closer, strengthening the country, and taking care of future generations.
Thank you for your attention!
Glory to Ukraine!