Schools During the Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine
Sustainable Development Goals: 4, 16
- SDG 4 - Quality Education
- SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Studying Under Fire: Attacks on Schools, Military Use of Schools During the Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine
The conflict in Eastern Ukraine has left a widespread destruction on schools and kindergartens across the area. The militaries on both sides have targeted schools, using them as bases. Soldier-occupied schools had furniture and facilities burned while fighters left ammunition behind and mines, putting returning students at risk. As a result, many schools were forced to close down, providing learning to students through Skype and email. Some families have returned to conflict affected areas to start a new life there. Despite local efforts of rebuilding schools, the quality of education provided post-conflict is still limited. Moreover, the repeated destruction of school facilities has put a heavy strain on school resources. This is due to the lack of quality teachers while renovations face a lack of funding. School time was also reduced due to the lack of heating during the frigid winters of Ukraine. Moreover, the commute to school was made even more difficult due to the travel restrictions and limited transportation.This has lead to many students falling behind in their studies. From this evidence, the Human Rights Watch urges the Ukrainian government and de facto authorities to stop using schools for military purposes. For the Ukrainian government specifically, they recommend to establish measures to ensure the safety of schools and schoolchildren while providing adequate support to affected persons.