The COVID-19 pandemic and full-scale conflict have triggered new ways of learning in Ukraine. More than 1.5 million children in Ukraine are studying online and hundreds of children are using the hybrid modality which combines in-person and online learning.
There was silence in the school corridors. After the school bell rang, the building was immediately filled with children's laughter and noise. However, this was not an original school, but a special school for children with learning disabilities.
This school has a different approach to studying due to the special needs of children. The main goal is to develop those talents and skills that are the best in children.
“Music, rhythm, and exercises cause positive emotions in children. Many of them come to us depressed with various disorders. Sometimes children do not even write or read. But music and art help them,” shares Tetyana Halych, who is an acting director at Lubny Special School of Poltava Regional Council.
According to Tetyana, all teachers who work at this school have at least two or three degrees. Therefore, they can use different educational methods for each child.
“I really like teaching music, especially for such children. For instance, we have a displaced boy in our class who stutters, however, he can sing and it's really a miracle. Other children and teachers know about this, but using music he can still be a part of society,” shares Svitlana Cherneta, who works as a music and art teacher at Lubny Special School.
It has been eight years since Svitlana joined this school. Despite the difficulties she faces every day at work, her eyes still shine bright with the desire to help vulnerable children.
Music, rhythm, and exercises cause positive emotions in children. Many of them come to us depressed with various disorders. Sometimes children do not even write or read. But music and art help them.
“It is all about the children who inspire me, they give me the energy to work with them and for them,” explains Svitlana.
For a long time, Svitlana had been facing some difficulties regarding online teaching. She did not have her modern working laptop so was using the family one.
“My whole family had been using one laptop for their own purposes. How could I work in these circumstances? A laptop is needed at every educational stage. For instance, I need to find information, prepare notes, check homework, turn on music or videos, etc.,” says Svitlana.
Recently World Vision has distributed 1,500 laptops to teachers from 10 oblasts. With support from World Vision UK, more than 150,000 children have benefited from this project as teachers are using the laptops for online classes.
“Just imagine, one modern laptop for one teacher can improve access to education for at least 30 schoolchildren. My son is in the 2nd grade. I often help him set up access to online learning and stay late for his class”, shares Mykola Holyk, who works as a project manager for Education in Emergencies project at World Vision.
He adds, “I see how important it is to have a modern laptop for a teacher to create a useful learning environment to get a child interested in learning through the computer. It is vital.”
Svitlana’s work has completely changed with a new laptop. Now she has a great opportunity to keep serving children with learning disabilities, which makes her very happy.
“The laptop is an incredible gift and help for me. I don't know how you heard my prayers. I am sincerely grateful to you. I would not be able to continue working effectively without it,” shares Svitlana. Another bell rang, the school break was over, and silence filled the corridor again.
Story and photos by Oleksandra Shapkina, Communications Officer