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26% of Ukrainian teenagers want to move abroad after finishing school

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One in four Ukrainian school students wants to move abroad after finishing school, according to research conducted by the Ukrainian polling agency Vox Populi published on Feb. 10.

In total, 1,397 school students aged 14 and older, 1,288 parents of students, and 1,141 teachers were polled in regions across Ukraine, as the country approaches the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

According to the poll, 53% of students want to stay in Ukraine after school, but 23% want to change their current place of residence. While 26% expressed they want to move abroad, the remaining 20% have not yet decided where to live.

The figure of those wanting to move abroad rose to 31% among school students in urban areas, while 16% of students in rural areas wanted to move abroad.

The poll also revealed differences between those in front-line regions, classified in the report as Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Sumy, and Kharkiv, and elsewhere in Ukraine.

In front-line regions, 81% of students learn online rather than in physical classrooms. In the west of Ukraine, 64% of students study “mostly or always” online.

In front-line regions, 87% of teachers said that their workload had increased due to the full-scale Russian invasion, citing security challenges and the need to allocate more time to providing psychological and emotional support to their students as contributing factors.

In total, 63% of teachers across Ukraine said that the academic performance of their students declined during the full-scale invasion.

The poll showed that while 83% of teachers and 70% of parents of school students feel optimistic about the future, only 52% of the teenagers themselves feel optimistic, with 24% responding they feel pessimistic about the future of Ukraine.

The poll also revealed differences between girls and boys. According to the survey, 20% of boys stated there was a need for psychological or emotional support, but this figure rose to 32% among girls.

Among the boys surveyed, 67% said they felt “rather or very calm,” which was the case for 48% of girls surveyed.

The research was commissioned by Saved, a charity focused on access to education in Ukraine, and supported by Ukraine’s Education Ministry and the European Union, as well as EU member states Germany, Poland, Denmark, and Slovenia.

Read also: Guardian: Russia ‘re-educates’ deported Ukrainian children

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