Every child has a right to education despite the circumstances. Unfortunately, the lack of hospital schools in Ukraine remains a burning issue. The first conference of Ukrainian hospital teachers took place on February 10, 2021 which we organized with the help of The Democracy Commission Small Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to determine the achievements of the Ukrainian hospital education program and introduce our teachers to the modern teaching and therapeutic practices for working with young patients. Speakers from Ukraine, Estonia and Israel were invited to join the conference.
Evheniia Smirnova, the founder of the Superheroes School network told us about the difficulties of opening the first schools and how this process works: “When the first Superheroes School became operational in the Okhmatdyt Hospital we saw the eyes of the kids glow from happiness after communicating with teachers. We then started thinking of how to make even more kids happy. That is how the social franchise and the guide to opening a Superheroes School in a hospital were born”. The first city to open a Superheroes School was Zhytomyr. Mariia Misiurova, Deputy Mayor for Zhytomyr City Council Executive Bodies told us about the opening process of the Schools and how they are operating now. So far, seven hospital schools have been opened in Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Kherson, Dnipro and Khmelnytskyi. The eighth educational space is being prepared for opening in Kryvyi Rih.
Nataliia Moseichuk, curator of the Superheroes School, the “Right to Education” project, and news presenter for 1+1 channel, is working with us to protect children’s right to education, after all “A teacher in a hospital is not just a teacher, but also a friend, mentor and psychologist for young patients”, explains Nataliia.
International experts also shared their experience. Estonian teacher Anastasiia Kozitsyna told us how communication between a young patient, a hospital, a school, and parents is organized in her country. At least 8 lessons per week must be held according to the state. There is also the so-called “360” system in place which involves professionals from different fields (teachers, child psychologists and even family therapists) that do everything to help a child stay healthy, grow, and develop in harmony, while taking into account natural abilities and predispositions.
A therapist from Israel Olena Bohopolska joined us by virtue of cooperation with the Embassy of the State of Israel in Ukraine. She told us about her work at the Jerusalem Medical Center. In her country, hospital education focuses not only on learning, but also on psychological assistance for children and their parents. The professionals use art therapy (music, drama, drawing) and even zootherapy. Each patient gets assigned an individual educational program which takes into account the child’s preferences and predispositions.
Ukrainian experts compared these practices with those used in our hospitals. Bohdan Yarema, head of UNICEF’s educational programs spoke about the access of Ukrainian children to high-quality inclusive education. He also presented new opportunities for the teachers to cooperate with the Fund and provided resources that they can use in their work.
The access to the conference was possible through online registration which was completed by 180 people. Moreover, 115 experts who weren’t indifferent to the fate of young superheroes, attended the conference as well.
Videos of the expert’s presentations can be viewed on the channel.
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