Ukraine’s minister of education has said more than 280 educational facilities have been damaged or destroyed by “bombing and shelling.”
“The enemy ruthlessly destroys kindergartens, schools, vocational schools, colleges, universities,” Serhiy Shkarlet said.
“But the most brutal and painful losses are hundreds of lives lost at the hands of the aggressor.”
The ministry has developed an interactive map to track damage to schools.
Attacks on schools in Ukraine are endangering the lives and futures of the country’s 7.5 million children with reports of up to dozens of children killed in the fighting and educational facilities being bombed across the country, Save the Children said.
Since 2014, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine has destroyed, damaged or forced the closure of more than 750 schools, disrupting access to education for thousands of children, with many too scared to attend and distressed by the presence of armed soldiers in and around their schools.
Schools in eastern Ukraine closed on 21 February as hostilities escalated, leaving an estimated 350,000 children with no access to education. Some schools in other areas of Ukraine had closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but others have remained open, with reports that some parents are sending their children wearing stickers denoting their blood type as they fear for their safety.
Attacks against schools and hospitals are classified by the United Nations as one of the six grave violations committed against children.