On 9 November, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language. Unfortunately, children and youth, residing in the temporarily occupied Crimea and the city of Sevastopol lack the access to learn Ukrainian and have to choose the alternative instruments: courses, private lessons, self-learning

Since the beginning of occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation, particularly in 2013/2014 academic year, 13 589 children studied in Ukrainian in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

According to the monitoring of the open sources of the occupying state, in 2018/2019 academic year there were 200 700 students in 544 secondary schools, including 194 400 students (96,7% of the total number) studied in Russian, 6100 students (3,1%) – in Crimean Tatar and 249 students ( 0,2%) – in Ukrainian. But these are the data of the occupying State, which, of course, cannot be trusted.

According to the data of the occupying state, more than 75 thousands children studied at 525 kinder-gardens. In 2018/2019 academic year 383 children were taught in Crimean Tatar, 383 children studied in two language groups (Crimean Tatar and Russian). Regarding the above-mentioned we can conclude that children of pre-school age do not learn Ukrainian at all

According to the Crimean Human Rights Group, there is no study in Ukrainian-language at school N 20 in Feodosia, as reported by the pupils and their parents. Although the so-called «Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of the Republic of Crimea» on its website publishes information about this school, in the section «On the status of education in State (Crimean Tatar, Ukrainian) languages and the study of native languages in educational organizations of the Republic of Crimea», as a school where the teaching is carried out in the Ukrainian language.

This is not the only case when the information published on the website of the so-called «Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of the Republic of Crimea» contradicts the real situation with education in native languages.

According to the information of the Crimean Human Rights Group, in the «Gymnasium 11 named after K. A. Trenyova» of the city of Simferopol the only Ukrainian class was liquidated in 2016. Ukrainian is now taught as an optional subject at thissecondary school. However, this gymnasium is still  in the list of five schools in Crimea, where classes with Ukrainian were opened in the 2018/2019 school year. At Zuisk Secondary School 2 of  Belogirsk District, children are taught in Russian, although this school is listed as having Crimean Tatar as the language of study.

Therefore. the Russian Federation, as an occupying State, uses education in the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Crimea nd the city of  Sevastopol as a means of assimilating the population, creating conditions under which education is mainly in Russian. The de facto occupation authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea also disseminate false information on the situation with education in native languages.

“The above-mentioned practice is a result of miscommunication between the citizens of Ukraine who studied at secondary schools in  the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and other territories, because such citizens, without knowledge of the Ukrainian language, have to continue their further education in the Russian Federation, or to make considerable efforts – financial, moral – to study the Ukrainian language independently and to overcome barriers to access to Ukrainian education. That’s why, we fully support the Presidential initiative to introduce preparatory courses at the Ukrainian Universities for children and youth from the occupied territories which can reduce such a gap”, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Crimea Tamila Tasheva said.