THE THREE PILLARS OF UKRAINIAN STRATEGY OF REINTEGRATION OF CRIMEA ARE EDUCATION, CULTURE, AND TRUTH
“The three main pillars of our reintegration strategy are education, culture, and truth (access to information). And our focus is on children and youth. We understand that, in the short term, propaganda always overcomes the truth and power overcomes the idea of "Gandhism". However, in the long term, the truth always wins. The task of the Ukrainian government is to ensure access to high-quality Ukrainian educational and public services,” said Oksana Koliada, Minister for Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, during her speech at the Forum dedicated to the Day of Crimean Resistance to Russian Occupation "Age of Crimea".
Today there are about 1 million children living in the temporarily occupied territories (parts of Luhansk, Donetsk Oblasts and the Crimean Peninsula). Over 300,000 out of them were born after 2014. According to the Minister, all these children are under the constant influence of anti-Ukrainian propaganda and live in the realities of someone else's agenda.
“How can we involve youth in Ukrainian educational institutions? The answer is simple: providing additional competitive advantages. We are talking about the quality of education, the possibility of educational and cultural exchange, the development of creative potential and further employment. Children from the Crimea or Donbas should clearly understand that a Ukrainian diploma opens up the whole world for them (including the quality of education). While the diplomas of educational institutions from TOT will only cut them a window to Russia,” said Oksana Koliada.
To strengthen the encouragement of children who are forced to live in the temporarily occupied territory, the concept of reintegration of children and youth has been developed and submitted for consideration.
Therefore, according to the Minister, we should promptly resolve a number of tactical, but extremely urgent issues. Firstly, simplification of birth and death registration. Secondly, standardization of the work of the EECP. Third, further simplification of crossing the contact line (including through digitalization of processes). Fourth, the expansion of educational opportunities and, in particular, the enhancement of the work of distance education centres.
The "Affordable Education" Program (Donbas and Crimea) has been operating in Ukraine since 2016. Through educational centres, 855 persons entered the "Donbas-Ukraine" in 2016, 1346persons in 2017, 1522persons in 2018 and 1600persons in 2019.
Through educational centres "Crimea-Ukraine" 153 persons entered in 2016, 204 persons in 2017, in 2018 the number was 254 persons, and 265 persons in 2019.
“Despite the positive dynamics, these figures clearly do not meet our needs and national interests in general. So, the direction of reintegration through education needs to be dramatically strengthened,” concluded the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons.