UNICEF Poll shows learning gaps among young Ukrainians
How war-related stress, fatigue and distance education have impacted learning performance of young people
KYIV, 29 September 2023 — A survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through U-Report has shown that war-related stress, fatigue and distance education have impacted learning performance of young people over the last academic year in Ukraine.
As the country’s new academic year kicks off, the results of UNICEF’s U-Report survey indicates that some 60 per cent of young people are keen to catch up on lost learning due to the ongoing war. U-Report is a global tool developed and used by UNICEF for adolescent, youth and community participation. It collects the opinions of young people to help improve policies and programmes that aim to address their needs.
Key highlights of the poll include:
- A total of 59.9 per cent of learners believe that their knowledge of certain subjects has deteriorated.
- The top three reasons for impacted performance were fatigue and stress (55.2 per cent), online learning (51.9 per cent) and lack of adaptation of the curriculum to the learning format (37.6 per cent).
- The subjects in which respondents perceived the highest learning losses or delays were mathematics (68.2 per cent), chemistry (39.7 per cent), and physics (39.4 per cent).
- A total of 64.8 per cent of school and university students said they had missed classes last year.
- Key reasons for missing classes were lack of electricity (50 per cent); alarms and shelling (49.3 per cent) and fatigue (39.3 per cent).
The poll on learning losses was conducted online via the U-Report platform from 5 to 14 August 2023. It reached 2,164 respondents in Ukraine and abroad aged between 14 and 20.
Further findings are presented in the infographics below:
To address learning losses in Ukraine, UNICEF has launched joint initiatives with local partners to engage educators in conducting catch-up classes in math and languages, both in-person and online. These initiatives are being implemented across Ukraine, with a particular emphasis on the eastern and southern regions.
In the 2023-2024 academic year, UNICEF expects to reach at least 300,000 children with catch-up programmes and to build the capacity of over 30,000 teachers on how to identify and address learning losses in their classrooms.
UNICEF is supporting Ukraine's Ministry of Education and Science in developing a national strategy on Catch Up Education programming which is expected to be finalised by the end of 2023. This strategy outlines the principles and approaches for the design and implementation of effective remedial education initiatives.
U-Report collects the opinions of young people aged 14 to 24 on issues that affect them and various areas of their life through surveys. Topics may include the environment, volunteering, media literacy and many more. UNICEF and partners use the results of U-Report polls to convey the opinions of young people to key stakeholders to guide planning and decisions on programmes for youth.
In 2015, Ukraine became the first European country to implement U-Report. Since then, more than 101,000 respondents have participated, with U-Report now helping to lead positive change for young people in Ukraine.