During 2019, the Ukraine Education Cluster has received reports regarding 36 conflict-related incidents resulting in physical damages to school infrastructure, 2 education facilities that have been temporarily closed, 8 cases of military presence in close vicinity to the education facility and 10 incidents resulting in the threat of death or injuries to students, teachers and parents. It brings the total number of incidents resulting in damages to schools to the 95 during 2017-2019.
At the same time, the number of incidents in 2019 doubled compared to the total number of attacks throughout 2018. 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 and was temporarily closed due to the insecurity for almost a month in February-March 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.
However, despite the continuous hostilities along the contact line, there was not any reported incident resulting in the damages to school infrastructure during November-December 2019. Another positive achievement was the endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration by the Government of Ukraine in November 2019.
Since the beginning of the conflict in 2014 over 750 education facilities have been damaged and many more experienced disruptions to education. The Ukraine Education Cluster estimates that over 700,000 children and teachers in more than 3,500 education facilities in eastern Ukraine are affected by the hostilities and in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 400,000 children experience the direct impact of the conflict as they live, play and go to school within the 20-km on both sides of the “contact line”, where shelling and extreme levels of minecontamination threaten their lives and wellbeing.