The study results on the impact of a full-scale invasion on education were presented (Kyiv, February 10, 2024)

On 10 February 2024, the results of the study “War and Education: Two Years of Full-Scale Invasion” were presented with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. Representatives from the SSI “Institute of Educational Analytics” attended the event, which was organized by the International Charitable Foundation savED in collaboration with the VoxPopuli Agency and the U-LEAD with Europe Programme.

The event programme is available here.

The survey was divided into two parts:

  1. The first part was a nationally representative survey of students aged 14 and over, their parents, teachers, representatives of school administrations and local governments in all regions of Ukraine.
  2.  The second part was a study of practical cases (practices) of establishing access to education in 15 communities in Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions.

The survey results indicate that despite the war, the majority of children continue to attend school. Additionally, 6% of students attend schools both in Ukraine and abroad.

Most of the communities that participated in the study reported that their schools were prepared for the start of the 2023/2024 school year. 80% of the surveyed local government representatives confirmed this, while the remaining 20% noted that on average, 6% of schools are not suitable for education.

Local authorities face the challenge of attracting and accessing financial resources. According to 83% of local government representatives, communities raise funds to improve education outside the local budget. Foreign aid is mentioned by 59%, regional budget funds by 53%, and assistance from Ukrainian charitable organizations by 27%.

Students and parents believe that education is most effective when all or most classes are held in person, with 62% of students and 79% of parents in agreement. The main barrier to learning is air alarms.

There are differing views on academic performance during peacetime among students, teachers, and school administrators. Teachers and school administrators tend to be more critical in their assessments, with 63% of teachers and 66% of school administrators reporting a decline in students’ performance. In contrast, only 21% of students share this opinion. Additionally, 38% of students believe their performance has improved, while 40% believe it has remained the same. However, most teachers (61%) and school administrators (65%) are satisfied with their students’ academic performance.

Teachers and school administrators hold different opinions regarding educational losses. Half of them report no or insignificant educational losses, while the other half acknowledges such losses. Nevertheless, respondents are optimistic about the prospects for success in the current academic year. 51% of students, 52% of parents, and 58% of teachers expect to see a performance improvement.

Most students report gaps in their knowledge and attribute this to low motivation and laziness. Additionally, students note the large number of subjects and the difficulty level of some. Teachers, on the other hand, emphasize students’ lack of motivation and inability to make an effort. It is important to address these issues to ensure better academic outcomes. Parents and school administrators cite distance learning as one of the most common reasons.

All groups agree that student success in education depends mainly on personal effort. This factor is considered one of the two most important by 63% of students, 67% of parents, 72% of teachers, and 64% of administrators. 33-50% consider it the most important.

The researchers also studied the emotional state of the participants in the educational process, in addition to the educational process and student performance. The study revealed that parents and teachers are better at assessing children’s emotional state than the children themselves. Anxiety is more prevalent among children than parents and teachers realise, with at least three times as many children affected. Students reported feeling anxious at a rate of 12%, while only 2-4% of parents, teachers and administrators believed that children experience anxiety. During the two weeks preceding the survey, 37% of students reported experiencing only positive emotions. 51% of parents reported that their children experienced only positive emotions/feelings in the past two weeks.

Students often feel anxious about the future, and this is reflected in their outlook on the future of Ukraine. Meanwhile, 24% of students hold pessimistic views, and another 25% are neutral. According to a recent survey, only 52% of students are optimistic about the future of the state, with 31% being rather optimistic.

Of those who plan to stay in Ukraine after graduation, 53% want to remain in their current locality, while 23% are open to living elsewhere. 26% of respondents expressed a desire to move abroad, while 77% of students find continuing their education desirable. Specifically, 35% of students aim to attend one of Ukraine’s leading universities, 25% plan to attend another university, technical school or college in Ukraine, and 18% intend to study at a foreign educational institution. After graduation, 6% of students intend to work, 4% plan to do military service, and 7% plan to take a gap year to decide on their future plans.

The results were presented in a hybrid format. Oksen Lisovyi, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, participated in a panel discussion with community representatives on overcoming the consequences of the war in communities. Anna Putsova, co-founder of savED, discussed the impact of digital educational centres on restoring access to education.

The research findings report is available in both Ukrainian and English languages.

Information and photos by the Press Centre of the Ministry of Education and Science