In autumn 2018, old and buzzing light bulbs were replaced in Severodonetsk school number 20 in Luhansk region. Instead, 250 LED-lamps worth almost a million hryvnias were installed. These and hundreds of other projects in the east of Ukraine are being financed by the EIB under the Early Recovery Programme.
Severodonetsk I-III grades secondary school No. 20 was opened in November 1991. And for a long time it was believed that the school is new, everything is in order there and investments would be unnecessary for a long time.
Compared to other educational institutions, situation did not actually seem catastrophic. However, the old-fashioned illuminating devices represented a long-standing problem, and this problem has been ignored for years. And apart from the dim light, old lanterns generated noise and vibration.
Currently, illumination issue is solved. Due to the assistance of international organizations.
251 students attend the school. On a scale of Severodonetsk, this is not many.
“On the other hand, we are able to pay more attention to every pupil” – assures Konstantin Kinal, the school director. And clarifies that the number of pupils is gradually growing.
During the last year, teachers have remotely taught 23 pupils, residing at that time on the non-controlled territories. After passing the state final attestation or the external independent certification, pupils received state certificates confirming education at a Ukrainian school.
“The level of education of children living on the non-controlled territory differs primarily in subjects that are not taught there — Ukrainian language and literature, history of Ukraine” – states the director. He himself teaches the world history, law and homeland defence.
“Turn off the light, please!” — the school cleaner approaches the director. He is a little embarrassed.
“You see, I have told you that we pinch pennies”, – he says. And explains that wanted to demonstrate the new illumination in operation.
Procurement and installation of this illumination resulted from the efforts of the director, Konstantin Kinal, himself. Starting from August this year, from the moment he has been appointed the school director, he started knocking at all doors. Previously, others have also attempted to solve the problem, however without effect.
“Old lightning devices have been useless even when they were needed – during the autumn and winter months. Their vibration and noise exceeded all imaginable and unimaginable standards, — tells Konstantin Mikhailovich. Within my recollection, they have never been used. In some cases, lighting has been replaced by modern equipment owing to contributions made by parents. However, most of lightning equipment remained old.”
The first step to solve the problem was to procure 72 LED-lamps. Procurement was financed by the local budget. The director had practically to install these lamps with his own hands, together with workers. Eventually, only 60 deflectors have been installed in the school over the first year.
Even if the missing lighting devices would have been bought, their installation would have lasted for years. Yet, the school has got an award under the “Emergency loan program to restore Ukraine”, financed by the European Investment Bank. UNDP is responsible for the technical coordination and monitoring the projects implementation. The loan program is aimed at improving the social infrastructure and accessibility of public services in communities affected by the conflict and those which accepted a large number of migrants.
And exactly participation in the competition and the award allowed prompt solution to the lightning problem in the 20th school.
100 percent of funds spent for projects in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts will be remunerated by the government. In case with the other three eastern regions, remuneration will be performed based on the co-financing with local budgets.
By enhancing the EU assistance, the European Investment Bank promotes to restoring the private and governmental infrastructure within the Early Restoration Program for 240 000 migrants in the eastern Ukrainian regions. The Bank is supporting the social infrastructure projects in the East of Ukraine for the total amount of EUR 200 Mio.
In the framework of the project “Energy saving in the secondary school No.20, Severodonetsk town, 113 Haharina str.”, 250 lanterns have been procured for the total amount of UAH 950 thous. Despite the works have been performed during October and November, it did not affect the educational process.
“Today, vibration-free and noise-free lanterns are installed in the school. They are energy-saving, but we still switch on light only when required — we continue to save. This principle has been adopted here from the very beginning, and we continue applying it: we save everything, starting from water and electricity and ending up with heating”, — explains the director.
Except for the comfort allowed due to the good lightning, absence of noise and vibration, the director especially emphasizes that the lanterns satisfy the present-day ideas on the design of such devices. After all, we all want beauty around us!
“The problem with the design was of course not the most essential one, but according to the new Law of Ukraine “On Education”, a nice-looking space has to be created around kids, a child has to be surrounded by beauty and comfort. Therefore the child-centrism (child-orientation) is the basic principle of our educational institution. We respond to every request, every wish and desire of a child. Currently, it is very important for us to receive 30 new design school-desks required according to the New Ukrainian School educational reform, which is introduced by the Ministry of Education and Science with the EU support. Tenders have been finalized, appeal terms are over, and school-desks start to arrive to schools”, – says the director.
School No.20 combines the child-orientation with the very old physical infrastructure. And if the child-centrism mentioned by Mr. Kinal is the choice of the school personnel and the vector of the state educational system, then availability or absence of infrastructure has always been restricted by humble resources of the local budget. However, situation has changed – many international organizations are active in the Eastern Ukraine, and institutions able to show existing problems to these organizations and to prove the importance of finding solutions would benefit from that.
By Ivan Bukhtiyarov
Source – OSTROV