Алла Костогриз - очільниця Решетилівського відділу освіти.

Poltava region

Reshetylivka community: only democratic approach in choosing the form of education

At the end of the summer, the question of the readiness of all educational institutions for the new academic year has traditionally arisen. This year – under martial law. How to organize the educational process was also decided in the Reshetylivka community of the Poltava Region.

Today, this region is relatively quiet for life and has already become a haven for many internally displaced persons, including children, who started their school year in a new place.

How a full-scale invasion affected the current school year

Today on the territory of the Reshetilovskaya community there are 16 general secondary educational institutions, the same number of preschool educational institutions and three out-of-school institutions – the Center for Children and Youth Creativity, the Children and Youth Sports School, the Center of Tourism, Local History, Sports and Excursions for Young Students.

"On February 24, we were scheduled for the last consultations on the "Public Budget for Children's Dreams" projects, but the full-scale war made its own adjustments. First, we switched to distance learning, which, in principle, we were already ready for after a long quarantine period. But then we saw that this was ineffective, because neither teachers can submit the material, nor children can perceive it. Therefore, we decided to go on a forced vacation from February 28 to March 14. Then we restored the remote mode because we are already well acquainted with it," says Alla Kostohryz, the Head of the Reshetylivka City Council Education Department.

Up to one hundred internally displaced persons live in educational institutions

In March, the community began welcoming the first internally displaced persons, who were also placed in educational institutions. The department helped to make living conditions as comfortable as possible.

At the country level, the topic of resettlement of internally displaced persons from educational institutions is currently being actively discussed, since the premises must be used during the school year.

Фото з архіву закладу

The Reshetylivka community, according to the Head of the Department, was lucky in this regard. This is because displaced persons are in those institutions that have been reorganized. This is the Sukhorabivka school, which was reorganized last year, and all conditions are available in it – heating, light, water, as well as the Pustovarivka preschool institution. People also lived in the Shylivka kindergarten for some time. In addition, by the decision of the executive committee, the Lyman Pershyi school was deemed capable of accommodating 60 people.

The number of IDPs here changes every day. In Pustovary they live more stable, but in Sukhorabivka they can come and go, some people bought a house, and thus some beds opened up in the school. In total, up to 100 people now live in two educational institutions.

IDPs' children study in local schools

At the end of the school year, children from other regions – for example, from the occupied territories of the Luhansk Region – have already joined the educational process remotely. Most of them were graduates who wanted to get an academic certificate of the Ukrainian model. Those who showed a desire to learn contacted the directors of local schools, class teachers and received knowledge in the Reshetylivka community.

Choosing a form of education – question No. 1

Some choose an online format, while others choose an offline one – a typical situation for this academic year. The choice of the form of education was actively discussed by parents both in social networks and in group parent chats. In the Department of Education, this issue was taken seriously, and therefore, first of all, they took into account the opinion of parents who passed a specially created questionnaire.

If parents had doubts about the safety of the situation and did not want to send their child to full-time education, they could choose a different form of education – distance, external or family (home) training.

The results of the general survey showed that out of 2,366 parents, 66.7% support online learning, 16.1% support offline learning, and 17.2% support mixed learning.

For example, in the Reshetylivka branch of I level of the flagship institution "Reshetylivka Lyceum named after I. L. Oliinyk", 467 students are studying, and the shelter can accommodate only up to two hundred people at a time. Therefore, in a survey of parents, 72.6% of this Lyceum chose distance learning for their children. 19% preferred the mixed form.

"Until February 24, during the school year, everything was offline, except for a few quarantine days. We have an environmentally friendly school, we have adapted, held on, and achieved certain stability. Now parents choose an online form of education. We don't have a shelter, but even having one wouldn't affect our parents' decisions. There is simply a need to see your child "here and now" most of the time. No one wants to be put in danger. Perhaps later there will be a mixed form of education, then we will meet with both parents and children," says the Director of the Potichok branch of I–II levels with the preschool division of the flagship institution "Reshetylivka Lyceum named after I. L. Oliinyk" Iryna Platko.

But in the Shevchenkove secondary educational institution of I-III levels of shelter, although there is a shelter, a significant part of parents still chose a remote format.

"In the new academic year, we have 152 students, including children of internally displaced persons. We have a shelter, even though it is not located on the school premises. But, according to the survey, about 80% of parents choose a remote format. I really want at least the little ones to attend school because the interaction in the team and with their peers is very important for them," says Vitalii Kiseliov, Director of the institution.

"The safety of the educational process is our priority," says Alla Kostohryz, the Head of the Education Department.

She assures that no one forces them to take their children to school – the institution offers available options, and the parents themselves choose. According to Alla, the approach to choosing the form of education in the Reshetylivka community is democratic. Schools have the authority to decide for themselves how best to organize their educational process, taking into account the opinion of parents and the availability of shelters.

It's not children who are most afraid, but their parents

From parents' comments on social networks, it follows that children are afraid to go down to the shelter during an air alert. But the Head of the Reshetylivka Community Education Department denies this:

"Well, maybe some children are scared. But I will say from my own experience that it is not children who are afraid, but their parents. Children miss each other very much, they are so enthusiastic when they meet together. There is no anxiety in the children's eyes. Children are calm when adults are calm next to them; when there is no panic. In shelters, they can be occupied with various activities and distracted. It all depends on the ability to organize the process. The life and health of a child are of the highest value. We always remember this and always take it into account when making important decisions."

Перевірка комісією готовності укриття.

Active leisure activities instead of school camps

The usual school camps, which were to take place in June, did not take place in the Reshetylivka community. In rural areas, children do not leave the playground almost all day, because they do not have any other leisure time yet.

The lifeline was the DECIDE project, which selected communities as part of the Summer Clubs campaign "We are at home – in Ukraine". The Reshetylivka community was among the winners, and children's summer clubs were created. Ideally, they are designed for one school, but the Education Department worked creatively: they decided to attract students from rural areas so that they also participate in clubs and have a meaningful time. To do this, summer clubs were launched around schools as a kind of marathon – starting in July and almost until the beginning of the new school year. Thanks to the club meetings, the children had a useful time, received only positive emotions from communication in the student circle, and also received a fascinating memory of the summer.

Writer: Julia Antonets

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