The children’s right to school education under threat despite EU funding


Teachers paid around 100 EUR per month


By Willy Fautré, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers


HRWF (15.09.2021) – At the beginning of September, the EU Delegation to Ukraine announced the implementation of a number of projects related to school education in Ukraine with EU funding, such as the renovation of School Nr 41 in Odessa under the European Investment Bank’s Ukraine Early Recovery Programme (UERP). A press release published by the EEAS (European External Action Service) stresses that 4000 pupils will benefit from this renovation. There is however no reason to boast.


Despite the EU financing renovation of school premises in Ukraine, the future of children’s education is under real threat because teachers and professors are dramatically underpaid and leave their job. For the same reason, young people do not want to teach for a miserable wage.


A comparative study


A recent study has revealed dramatic figures. In average, Ukrainian teachers are paid

5 times less than in Russia

13 times less than in Poland

27 times less than in France

33 times less than in the US

42 times less than in Germany


In 2020, the minimum wage for teachers was 2,800 UAH (90 EUR) from January to April. From May to November the minimum salary was considered to be 3000 UAH. At the beginning of 2021, the minimum wage rate was increased to 3,300 UAH (110 EUR).


After three years of service the teacher is required to attend an in-service training course, after which his pay increases by 150 UAH (5 EUR). After three years of seniority he/she is entitled to a raise of 10% of his/her salary.


Some in Europe may think life in Ukraine is very cheap but it is not. According to an article published earlier this year by LB/UA/Economics, the cost of communal maintenance of a one-room apartment for January was 2300 UAH (about 75 EUR). It is easy to calculate how much is left for teachers to “survive.”


With such a situation, you cannot expect to see many Ukrainian teachers spending their holidays on the beaches of Spain or Italy.


They prefer to look for another job in Ukraine or to emigrate. While they make their studies in their own country on the state budget, the return on investment is dramatically collapsing and the quality of state education is following the same curve downwards.


Another issue impeding the quality of school education that never makes the headlines in Ukraine and in EU countries is the closure of school premises for weeks and months for lack of heating due to the lack of budget to this end.


The full and detailed report about the situation of teachers can be found here. Using the website will make it easy to understand the content of the research work.


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