16:21 03 Dec 2023

Ukraine to establish updated shelter standards for educational institutions

The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding with the Zhytomyr City Council and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) office in Ukraine regarding the creation of new standards for shelters.

The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine reported this.

What is the problem?

Because of the large-scale invasion of Russia in Ukraine and the danger of missile strikes on innocent civilians, shelters were established in schools for children and teachers to seek refuge during aerial attacks.

However, the war continues, and to preserve the quality of the educational process, the old shelters need modernization.

What is the solution?

In Ukraine, it is planned to create a typical design and technical documentation for shelters in educational institutions, which will be used to build new shelters in schools and kindergartens.

On November 30, the Ministry of Education and Science signed the relevant memorandum on creating new standards for shelters with the Zhytomyr City Council and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative Office in Ukraine.

How does it work?

"Its purpose is to create design and technical documentation and design projects for shelters in educational institutions, which will be used for the construction of new shelters in schools and kindergartens in Ukraine," the message reads.

It is noted that such shelter projects will consider children's needs for psychological and physiological comfort and will meet the new state building regulations.

The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine informed that the developed project documentation will be publicly available to all Ukrainians and uploaded to the Diia application [Diia is a mobile application, website, and brand representing e-governance in Ukraine – ed.].

This will allow all communities to save money and significantly shorten the time frame for starting the construction of shelters.

"Within the signed memorandum, project, and estimate documentation will be developed for kindergartens for 100, 150, 200, and 250 people of the project capacity and schools for 200, 300, 500, 700 people," the message states.

According to the Minister of Education and Science, Oksen Lisovyi, currently, each community spends approximately five months on project and estimated documentation and approximately UAH 1-1.5 million for each educational institution.

"Within the framework of the signing of the memorandum, typical projects for the construction of shelters will be developed, allowing communities to reduce the time for project and estimate documentation to 1-1.5 months and to spend money purely on geological works tied to a specific area. This is from UAH 2 billion in total savings, as well as standardization of approaches to building shelters throughout Ukraine," the minister emphasized.

According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Zhytomyr City Council will set up the first shelters according to the new standards in the city's educational institutions in 2024.

In the future, based on these standard projects, the ministry will promote the construction of shelters throughout the country so that every child has access to quality education, even during war.

For reference:

According to the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Andriy Stashkiv, 153 billion hryvnias are needed to arrange shelters in Ukrainian educational institutions, which is a considerable amount. He reminded that 2.5 billion hryvnias are planned for the repair and construction of shelters for the next year.

"This is very little, and that is why we are currently working with international donors and partners [regarding this issue – ed.]," the deputy minister said.

Stashkiv believed that building shelters in educational institutions is actually building underground schools.

"The Ministry of Infrastructure is currently developing typical shelter projects, which will allow studying in them. This is difficult to organize because shelters need ventilation and proper organization of a high-quality educational process. But such typical projects will be made, and unfortunately, we will have territories where we will need to build them," he said.

Rubryka has already reported that the Ministry of Reconstruction has developed a manual for constructing shelters in kindergartens and schools. The practical guide pays special attention to ensuring an accessible and safe environment for students and participants of all age categories in the educational process.

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