Children in Novotoshkivske school #10 (Luhanska oblast, Government Controlled Area) were evacuated to the bomb shelter during the classes on November 4, 2019, due to heavy shelling in the area. No injuries were reported and school infrastructure hasn’t sustained any damages in this particular case. As of now, the Child-Protection sub-cluster partner responds to the incident. One of the Education cluster partners also conducts safe school type intervention in this school.
Ukraine Education Cluster reminds that in the time of conflict schools are both a place for learning and a place for children to overcome the psychosocial stress of emergencies. Hostilities have a significant impact on the mental health of children living in conflict affected areas due to continuous exposure to risks of shelling. Children exposed to shelling normally show signs of anxiety, lack of concentration, cognitive difficulties at studies, speech disorders, and bedwetting.
Since the start of the year, 36 incidents resulted in damages to school infrastructure. In addition, the worrying trend this year is that the dynamics of incidents resulting in physical damages to school infrastructure is even higher than in 2017 when 34 education facilities were damaged in the period of January - October. For instance, one single education facility in Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (Luhanska oblast, Non-Government Controlled Area) has reportedly sustained damages 15 times during January-October 2019. While none of those incidents has resulted in massive destruction to the school infrastructure, the reoccurrence of incidents makes attendance of the school extremely unsafe for children and staff.
The Education Cluster strongly condemns these appalling attacks on schools, and calls for all sides to respect international humanitarian law and ensure that schools and other civilian infrastructure are never attacked.