Parents and students outraged over plan to close Ukrainian language schools in Makiyivka
The authorities are planning to close seven Ukrainian language schools and an orphanage in Makiyivka (Donetsk region) and refusing to talk with parents and children who are against the closure. The Mayor of Makiyivka, O. Maltsev stated last week that due to lack of money the schools would be closed whatever. Those against the move have decided to join forces since their voices are not being heeded.
Hanna Krayeva, mother of a sixth grade student from School No. 1 says that they have a small rural school with 114 students. They went to the Mayor on Monday, but he immediately told them they had only 5 minutes and that the school would be closed regardless of what they said.
If the school closes, the children will have to walk 40 minutes to other schools in a dangerous, criminal area where there is a closed mine and refuse pit. The parents are not willing to accept this and don’t believe that the authorities will provide a school bus.
All of the schools in the city of Makiyivka that the authorities want to close are Ukrainian language schools in contrast to Donetsk. The Deputy Head of the Donetsk regional Prosvita Society, Mariya Oliynyk explains that all 8 schools are Ukrainian language. “The situation is such that when they opened Ukrainian language schools, these were give the worst buildings since it was assumed that they would be small schools that nobody would go to. It’s therefore turned out that as schools that are small and not with full numbers are being closed”.
She says that the social problems of Makiyivka can only worsen because of the closure, since the rural schools for outlying districts of Makiyka, without decent roads, are like cultural centres. People meet there, the elections take place there.
Most of the teachers will be left without work and the children without a centre for cultural recreation. The parents are therefore convinced that the closure will lead to still greater impoverishment and social degradation.