Home Globe Defense and Education. In Ukraine, the issue of state priorities during the war is being discussed, with Israel serving as a point of comparison

Defense and Education. In Ukraine, the issue of state priorities during the war is being discussed, with Israel serving as a point of comparison

by editor

Photo: Celebration of the “last bell”‘ at one of Kyiv’s schools. Source: Channel 5 (Ukraine)

Journalists have noted a lack of attention to education from politicians. Parents of schoolchildren believe that the Ukrainian authorities lack a strategic vision for their children’s future.

A full-scale war is no excuse to ignore educational issues. This topic has been widely discussed in Ukrainian media broadcasts and print over the past few weeks. On Friday, July 5, a television program aired on Ukraine’s “Channel 5,” highlighting the insufficient coverage of education topics in the media, particularly in politicians’ statements. Additionally, the program compared the educational policies of Ukraine and Israel during wartime. Earlier, on June 26, the Ukrainian analytical portal “Comments.ua” published an article titled “War and Graduations: Education in Ukraine is Not in the Information Trend,” which covered a similar topic.

Journalists from “Channel 5” attended a graduation and the “last bell” ceremony at a school in Kyiv. These ceremonies, traditionally held in June, mark the end of the school year in Ukraine. The interviewed teachers and parents expressed concerns that educational issues have taken a backseat during the ongoing war.

Parents feel that the current societal focus is detached from the needs of graduates. “Most Ukrainian media primarily cover the war, followed by football and scandals involving Ukrainian Deputies,” said Olesia Luchaninova, the mother of a Kyiv graduate, in the report.


Olesia Luchaninova. Source: kp.ua

Olesia Luchaninova, an urban planner and public figure originally from Donbas, moved to Kyiv in 2014 with her husband to escape Russian occupation while she was pregnant. In 2022, despite the city being besieged by Russian troops, they chose to remain in Kyiv. In June, their 9-year-old son Klim graduated from primary school. The family is committed to staying in Ukraine and does not plan to emigrate, but they see a lack of strategy in the Ukrainian government’s policies for the younger generation.

“Children continue to learn during the war. Teachers, despite everything, remain dedicated, educating children even under bombardment. Our teachers are like the great educators of World War II; they stand by the children. This is the future of our country! Children are the future of the country! We are not leaving. We are going to build this country,” Luchaninova said in an interview with “Channel 5.”


9-year-old Klim Luchaninov. Source: kp.ua

The report cites official statistics: in 2024, the number of graduates in Ukraine increased compared to the previous year. Specifically, 225,000 students received full secondary education (an increase of 3,500), and 376,000 received basic secondary education (an increase of 8,500). This indicates that many Ukrainians are returning home from European countries despite the ongoing military threat. Previously, the trend of school-aged children returning to Ukraine was noted by the Ukrainian Ministry of Education.

The program draws parallels between Ukraine and another warring state, Israel, regarding state education policy during war. It is noted that Kyiv has much to learn.

“Israel has a perspective because it devotes 80% of its time to peaceful life and 20% to war. Therefore, this country has a high GDP, modern medicine, and education. That’s why people move there instead of leaving. The state is a brand that every citizen is ready to defend,” expressed Ukrainian Olesia Luchaninova.

“Israel maintains stability by focusing 80% of its efforts on peaceful life and 20% on war. As a result, the country boasts a high GDP, modern medicine, and strong education. That’s why people move there instead of leaving. The state is a brand that every citizen is ready to defend,” said Luchaninova.


Israeli school. Source: Channel 5 (Ukraine)

Journalists emphasize that Israel has been at war for over 70 years, yet its population continues to grow steadily. In contrast, Ukraine has lost almost 20% of its population in two years of full-scale war. One reason for this difference could be state priorities. At the end of last year, after the escalation in Gaza, Israel increased its military budget from 17.5% to over 25%, while maintaining expenditures on education (14.3%) and healthcare (9%). Conversely, the Ukrainian government, while similarly increasing defense spending (to 35.3% in 2024 from 8.5% in 2021), simultaneously halved the education and healthcare budgets (to 2% and 6%, respectively).

It is important to remember that the full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine has been ongoing since February 24, 2022. The Russian army is advancing in the Kharkiv region, Donbas, and southern Ukraine, and is shelling Ukrainian cities daily, destroying civilian infrastructure, and killing civilians.

On the morning of July 8, Russian missiles hit the “Okhmatdyt” building – the largest children’s hospital in Ukraine, located in Kyiv. Overall, the combined Russian attack killed at least 36 Ukrainian civilians in Kyiv, Kryvyi Rih, Pokrovsk, and Dnipro.

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