Occupied education: problems and ways to solve them

Occupied education: problems and ways to solve themFrom the very beginning of the occupation of the Crimean peninsula, the Russian Federation has concentrated considerable efforts on ensuring the full integration of the educational space of the Crimea into the educational space of the Russian Federation. The corresponding processes from the beginning were accompanied by the Russification of the education system in the Crimea.

05. 2014 President of the Russian Federation signed the Federal Law No. 84-FZ “On the Features of Legal Regulation of Relations in the Field of Education in connection with the admission into the Russian Federation of the Republic of Crimea and the formation in the Russian Federation of new entities – the Republic of Crimea and the city of the federal the importance of Sevastopol and amendments to the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation”.

By the above law, Ukrainian legislation in the field of education has been replaced by Russian, Ukrainian educational and qualification levels have been replaced by educational and qualification levels of the Russian Federation. Due to the above mentioned innovations, all Ukrainian textbooks were withdrawn, the subject “History of Ukraine” disappeared from the school curriculum, and the Ukrainian language and literature are taught as a school subject only to a limited circle of children, or the teaching is optional. Even the occupation statistics show that the schools and classes with the Ukrainian language are reduced.

In 2013/2014, 8 Ukrainian-language schools operated in the Peninsula (7 in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and 1 in Sevastopol), and none in 2019. The occupation authorities say that Feodosia’s school № 20 is Ukrainian-language, but according to the Crimean human rights group, based on the information of parents whose children attend the educational institution, Russian-language education is provided. The Ukrainian language remained only as a separate subject and only in some classes.

Screaming situation with Ukrainian-speaking classes. In the 2013/2014 academic year, there were 879 of them, and only in 2018/2019, only 5. That is, in the 2018/2019 academic year, out of 200.7 thousand students in the Crimean Peninsula, 194.4 thousand (96.7%) are educated in Russian. language, 249 students – in Ukrainian (0.2%).

Teachers of history, Ukrainian, and literature had to learn to teach other subjects, or to drop out of schools.

Let us identify the main causes that arose from the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and led to the limitation of equal opportunities in the exercise of the educational rights of Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in other regions of Ukraine:

– lack of opportunity for children living in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to study Ukrainian;

– closure of temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine of schools and classes with the Ukrainian language of instruction;

– removal of the discipline of “History of Ukraine” from the school curriculum by the occupation authorities and the time limit for teaching Ukrainian language and Ukrainian literature;

– Absence in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine of educational materials and teachers-subjects for preparation of children for preparation of external independent assessment (hereinafter – EIT) and receipt of the document on acquisition of the corresponding educational level;

– invalidity, in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens and Legal Regime in the Temporarily Occupied Territory” and the Law of Ukraine “On Peculiarities of the State Policy for Ensuring the State Sovereignty of Ukraine in the Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”, Educational Documents for grades 9, 11, diplomas, etc.) received by children residing in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine;

– the additional burden on children living in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and wishing to obtain educational documents of the Ukrainian sample does not meet the standards of Ukraine for the permissible load on children of the appropriate age;

– the need to cross the entry-exit checkpoints (in particular, to pass the STA, EIT or exams);

– the need   submission of the state final certification for children residing in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, while the results of STA are not taken into account during the annual assessment of subjects;

– lack of convenient transport connection of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine with other regions of Ukraine.

To understand whether the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine has sufficient information to implement education policies in the light of the occupied territories, the Crimean Svitlytsia newspaper addressed the Office with the following replies:

 

Question: Is the Ministry monitoring the state and quality of education in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, Crimea and Sevastopol, in particular the militarization of education and its impact on the minds of children?

Answer: (MES replies №1 / 11-9645 of 04/11/2019)

The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, on the basis of current legislation, does not monitor the status and quality of education in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine Crimea and Sevastopol.

Question: Did the Ministry file a request to submit information to the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations with the subsequent opening of criminal proceedings for violation of the rights of children residing in the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimea and Sevastopol to receive education in Ukrainian language in accordance with the UN Decision The Hague of April 19, 2017?

Answer: (MES replies №1 / 11-9645 of 04/11/2019)

Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine requests to submit information to the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations with the subsequent opening of criminal proceedings for violation of the rights of children residing in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to receive education in Ukrainian according to the UN Decision The Hague of April 19, 2017 was not filed.

Question: Number of children living in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, who have entered higher education institutions under the simplified system through Crimean-Ukraine educational centers, broken down by higher education institutions and years of entry according to the table provided.

Answer: (MES response №3.4.4 / 133-19 of 06/11/2019)

In accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens and the Legal Regime in the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine”, the Procedure for Admission for Higher Education and Professional (Vocational-Technical) Education of Persons Residing in the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine has been developed. about general secondary education and peculiarities of admission conditions for obtaining higher and vocationally technical persons residing in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.

To organize admission for training for such persons in 2019, as during the inaugural campaign 2016, 2017, 2018, 35 Crimean-Ukraine educational centers were operating on the basis of authorized higher education institutions in the cities: Dnipro, Zaporozhye, Kiev, Lviv , Nikolaev, Kharkov, Kherson, Odessa.

The peculiarities of obtaining the documents on the Ukrainian education and the peculiarities of admission to the FEA are that a person who did not have a document on the comprehensive secondary education of the state model, had to apply to one of the educational centers for the annual assessment, state final certification and admission to higher education under the simplified procedure. Such entrants had to pass two state final certification exams: the Ukrainian language and the history of Ukraine, as well as one entrance exam – a profile which set the institution. Subsequently, applicants received a temporary certificate at a comprehensive educational institution, which will be replaced with a state model education document within three months.

The orders on the enrollment of the names of the entrants were encrypted.

Entrants residing in the occupied Crimea had the right to enter authorized ZVO at the places of state procurement within the established quotas (20%). In 2019, this quota was more than 2,600 seats.

Through educational centers “Crimea-Ukraine” entered the higher education institutions of Ukraine in 2016 – 153 people, in 2017 – 204, in 2018 – 254, in 2019 – 265.

Question: Number of children living in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, Crimea, and Sevastopol, and studying by distance / external education in educational establishments in other regions of Ukraine. Please provide information by region and year, starting in 2016.

Answer: (MES replies №4 / 2896-19 of 04/11/2019) Statistical information on distance education is collected from the 2016/2017 academic year. So in 2016/2017 1293 students enrolled in distance learning, 3050 in the 2017/2018 academic year, and 5535 in 2018/2019.

Question: Are programs designed for your social and psychological adaptation and integration into Ukrainian society, children / youth living in temporary occupied territories developed by your institution and implemented in educational institutions? If so, what are the (name) programs and in which higher education institutions or institutions have they already been implemented?

Answer: (MES replies №4 / 2896-19 from 11/04/2019) In the education system according to Art. 76 of the Law of Ukraine “On Education” is a psychological service. Safe Space Correction and Development Program was developed for the specialists of this service. The purpose of the program is to increase the resilience to the effects of stress of preschool children, primary school children and adolescents after psycho-traumatic events.

Question: What is the number of issued to children living in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, who have completed distance / external education in educational establishments in other regions, certificates of completion of grades 9 and 11? Please provide information broken down by year.

Answer: (MES replies №4 / 2896-19 from 11/04/2019) According to the statistical report in the 2015/2016 academic year, 1419 persons who received external education received certificates of basic general secondary education, in 2016/2017 – 2014 students , in 2017/2018 – 2480 students, and in 2018/2019 – 2457. Certificates of complete general education in the 2015/2016 academic year were obtained by 4115 students in 2016/2017 – 3959 people, in 2017/2018 – 3621 students in 2018 / 2019 – 3916.

Comment by Oleg Okhredko, Education Expert at the Almend Center for Civic Education, to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine:

According to the answer of the Ministry of Education №1 / 11-9645 of 04.11.2019, the Ministry of Education and Science does not monitor the educational field of the temporarily occupied Crimea, which indicates that there is no systematic approach to the educational situation of citizens who are on the occupied peninsula. The lack of information on the state of education in the occupied peninsula not only does not provide an opportunity to develop strategic plans for the reintegration of the occupied Crimea, but also to respond to the current situation, to correct the actions of state authorities in the education system.

The MES’s self-removal from implementation The decision of the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague of 19 April 2017 exacerbates the situation of protection of the rights of Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied Crimea in the field of preservation of civic and national identity, which creates a critical situation with the possibility of training Ukrainian citizens and occupied territories the lack of public policy in this matter.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science №4 / 2896-19 dated November 4, 2019, the Ministry of Education and Science concerning the teaching of distance / externally children from temporarily occupied Crimea, the Ministry of Education and Science provided no general information about Ukraine, which does not contain any information on the education of children with temporary occupation Crimea.

With the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ukraine has developed a Correctional and Stress Resilience Program for Preschool Children and Schoolchildren “Safe Space” (Approved for use by the Institute for Modernization of the Education Content of the MES of Ukraine (Letter No. 21.1 / 12-G-300 from 0827.06.2017), which is positioned by the development due to the fact that “Ukrainian society today is experiencing another crisis associated with many factors. The most devastating circumstance today is the armed conflict in the east of the state.” However, it is not known today with general information about the implementation of this program, its effectiveness, correction and dissemination, as well as information about other programs.

The answer of the Ministry of Education and Science №3.4.4 / 133-19 from 06.11.2019 can be said that it is a simple answer that does not answer the question posed, but simulates the answer by providing different information in the field of the question itself (concerning entry through the Education Centers Crimea – Ukraine). That is, the request concerned statistics, without which the MES would not have been able to summarize and issue an overall figure, but this information is missing.

Ways to solve:

For more than five years of continuing armed aggression, the state has unfortunately failed to change approaches to meeting the educational needs of children living in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, so that the number of those who choose Ukrainian education grows exponentially. Pay attention to such glaring figures – on the Crimean peninsula annually more than 13 thousand children become graduates, in five years it is approximately 65 thousand graduates , and through the educational centers “Crimea-Ukraine” in four years of its existence entered the Ukrainian institutions of higher education 876 children from the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimea and Sevastopol.

Undoubtedly, the state needs to urgently review approaches to providing educational services to children living in a temporarily occupied territory. It is necessary to know these children, but without systematic monitoring and analysis of the educational field in which they grow, learn and form – it is not possible. Without understanding their needs and problems, without considering that they live in the occupied territory, it is not possible to move towards reintegration and de-occupation.

Ways to address access issues for the education of children with TOT:

  • improving the systems of distance and external forms of education in schools and higher education institutions;
  • abolishing the compulsory passing of the state final certification (STA) as a form of control over the compliance of the educational level of graduates of general educational establishments and vocational-technical educational institutions providing full general secondary education to state requirements;
  • organizations for students who have resided in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, additional training in such subjects as the history of Ukraine, the Ukrainian language;
  • organization of psychological assistance to children who resided in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine during their studies in higher education institutions;
  • compilation of statistical information on entrants residing in the temporarily occupied territory (those who entered through EITs and educational centers, broken down by year, region from which they came to study, and by districts where they entered);
  • continuous monitoring of the educational field and the quality of education in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, and the establishment on the basis of such monitoring of special educational standards for children living in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine;
  • cessation of discrimination against children on the basis of residence (registration) in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine;
  • taking into account the factor of armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and peculiarities of residence of the citizens of Ukraine under conditions of temporary occupation during the preparation and adoption of normative legal acts in the field of education;
  • providing the population of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine with reliable, prompt and up-to-date information, establishing the process of informing citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine about the educational opportunities provided by the state of Ukraine.

On January 6, 2017, Ukraine filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice in order to bring to justice the discrimination of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in the annexed Crimea. On April 19, 2017, the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague announced a decision partially granting Ukraine’s request for interim measures against Russia. The measures relate to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The court stated that Russia should refrain from limiting the ability of Crimean Tatars to preserve their institutions, including the Majlis. On the same day, the judges unanimously decided that Russia should guarantee education in Ukrainian in Crimea.

Lyudmila BOZHENKO,

education columnist