Ukraine: Kharkiv schoolchildren continue receiving lessons while sheltering underground

A teacher delivers an art lesson to a group of schoolchildren sheltering underground.
A teacher delivers an art lesson to a group of schoolchildren sheltering underground. Credit: AP

Schoolchildren have continued to receive art and history lessons while sheltering in a subway station in Kharkiv as the city strives for normality under continued Russian attack.

All Ukrainian schools and universities closed at the start of the war, with some students able to continue their learning online from the end of March, but restarting education in Kharkiv is more complex when the city remains under the threat of Russian shelling.

Teachers such as Valeriy Leiko come to subway stations being used as shelters to give lessons to the children staying there.

"It helps to support them mentally. Because now there is a war. Many lost their homes," Leiko explained.


Children continue receiving lessons while sheltering underground in Kharkiv


Meanwhile, National University of Kharkiv associate professor Mykhailo Spodarets has been delivering lectures on Ukrainian literature online from his basement.

His student Anna Fedoryaka told the Associated Press her friends were finding it difficult to keep up with learning due to limits on their internet access, as well as the psychological pressures of the war.

"It is hard to concentrate when you have to do your homework with explosions by your window," Fedoryaka said.

National University of Kharkiv associate professor Mykhailo Spodarets teaches literature lessons from his basement. Credit: AP

A number of the National University's buildings have been destroyed in Russian shelling of Kharkiv, while many of its students have gone abroad to flee the war.

Regional authorities claim 75 schools have been damaged within the Kharkiv oblast.

Kharkov - Ukraine's second biggest city - has been under sustained attack since the start of the war. On Tuesday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said troops were gradually pushing Russian forces away from the northeastern city.Russian strikes on Thursday killed at least two civilians on its outskirts, local authorities said.

But Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia’s focus on the Donbas has left its remaining troops around Kharkiv vulnerable to counterattack from Ukrainian forces, which recaptured several towns and villages around the city.


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