A month since Russia brutally invaded Ukraine. More than half of the country’s child population, 4,3 million children, have been displaced according to UN’s estimates. While Ukrainian children are going through this horrific reality of war, our obligation is to ensure that these children keep their faith for the future. The future progress of Ukraine depends on that faith. Education can be a major driver in this positive mindset change.
Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.Nelson Mandela
Finnish education expertise has for years contributed in developing schools in Ukraine as well as helped to commercialize science innovations. This co-operation should be continued soon on a much larger scale.
Ukraine’s president Volodymir Zelenskyi spoke to the parliament of Finland in April 2022 and mentioned that during the first six weeks of the Russian invasion, 928 educational institutions in Ukraine have been destroyed or damaged. He invited specialists from Finland to restore the educational sector and modernization of education in Ukraine. Finnish globally acclaimed pedagogical expertise should take a major part in rebuilding Ukraine and cultivating goodness in people’s minds.
Investing in the future generation in Ukraine with its population of 44 million is important because of the country’s huge potential for the world. I have been consulting the development of schools and entrepreneurship in Ukraine for four years and have become familiar with the highly talented youth in Ukraine.
For instance, the respected Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine is a national center that provides science education for talented youth with an impressive 150 000 participants annually, guided nationally by 6500 teachers. The youth center is under the auspices of UNESCO and it has generated over 1000 inventions and 160 patents into the global market.
Ukrainian Future incubator, UF incubator, has been founded to develop science innovations into commercial solutions. The Ukrainian Future -program utilized Finnish expertise in the modernization of teaching and coaching skills for teachers who mentor students in developing a startup venture. Ukrainian Future’s office facilities, a modern co-working space and FabLab was opened in Kyiv 2021. Over 88 StartUp teams have been kicked off, acquired first investments and created partnerships across the globe.
The world cannot afford to lose one generation of skilled young Ukrainian talents due to this tragic war. Luckily there is nothing that can silence the power of minds. Seeds of democratic, entrepreneurial and growth striving mindsets have been planted in the youth of Ukraine. Surely, with the support of the western world Ukraine will thrive and win the war of minds.