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22:40 17 Mar 2024

Survey reveals psychological state of Ukrainian teachers worsened amid full-scale war

Photo: Іstoc

Results of a survey conducted by the NGO "Smart Education" in partnership with the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation show that Ukrainian teachers' psychological well-being has worsened since the start of the full-scale war. 

Specifically, 78% of surveyed teachers noticed an increase in negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, sadness, and anger, Rubryka reports, citing the survey findings.

The survey, which involved 600 teachers, said educators also reported irritability (40%), low motivation for work (31%), low levels of concentration (28%), and vulnerability to criticism (23%).

The research found that the majority of teachers need assistance. Specifically, 70% said they wanted to improve their skills in providing psychological support, both for themselves and for students.

Schools also need school psychologists (52%). This need is particularly acute in eastern regions of Ukraine, where most of the hostilities take place. In other regions, however, it is less pronounced with 21%.

In villages and small towns, 22% of surveyed teachers do not have access to quality support from school psychologists, compared to 21% in cities.

"When asked how to improve the provision of psychological assistance, the most popular answer was the need to develop a clear algorithm for teachers to deal with complex cases. We assume that this also indicates the need for ready-made solutions," sociologists said.

Researchers said that teachers needed strengthened collaboration with practical psychologists during professional development to address this problem. There should also be compensation for school psychologists.

The overwhelmed state of teachers affects their ability to conduct lessons and create content for them. To address this issue, the NGO "Smart Education" proposed adapted programs for distance learning and a database of ready-made educational materials (presentations, illustrations, tasks, etc.).

Since the start of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian schools have switched to distance learning, and educators claim to feel more fatigue and exhaustion.

"It's just awful, to be honest. Because preparing for a lesson takes a lot of time, and preparing for distance learning takes much more time," said a Ukrainian language and literature teacher during an interview. "Selecting tasks, videos, presentations, pictures, assignments — it all adds up. To make this lesson enjoyable for the kids, you have to prepare for it. You can't just turn on Zoom and talk to them."

Earlier, Rubryka reported that a Rakuten Viber survey showed that over the past two years, more than 90% of Ukrainians have not sought psychological help.

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