GBC-Education announces ambitious education projects – including a Museum of Mathematics – to support Ukrainian children’s education

Visualisation of the final Museum of Maths in Kyiv, Ukraine. CREDIT: Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine

News, Press Release

  • GBC-Education is collaborating with the Ukrainian government on a state-of-the-art Museum of Mathematics to help children who have fallen behind in school
  • It is also developing an initiative to help the country’s youngest children get the best start in life
  • On the second anniversary of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian government says that education must be “the cornerstone of the country’s reconstruction”

GBC-Education has today announced a raft of innovative projects to support Ukrainian children’s education as part of a drive to help rebuild the country following the Russian invasion.

The projects include support for a £5m state-of-the-art Museum of Mathematics in Kyiv, which will deliver workshops, tutoring and teacher training to help pupils who have experienced four years of interruptions in their education due to the pandemic and the ongoing war.

The new museum – only the fourth of its kind globally – will house more than 120 exhibits across six thematic zones. It will also have an “innovation lab” to enhance the skills of mathematics teachers across the country, reaching 300,000 pupils every year.

Visualisation of the final Museum of Maths in Kyiv, Ukraine. CREDIT: Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine

Scheduled to open later this year, the museum will embark on a nationwide tour to ensure that children in rural and remote areas of the country benefit from the multi-million-pound investment.

GBC-Education will also collaborate with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine on a national childhood education and development initiative to support children in the important first eight years of a child’s life, during which time 90% of the brain develops.

Quality early years support is crucial to a child’s development, but since the Russian invasion began, more than 100 early childhood schools have been destroyed and more than 1,000 damaged. Many are being used as shelters for internally displaced people.

GBC-Education’s package of support for Ukrainian children’s education builds on the charity’s commitment to ensure that pupils and teachers displaced by the war have access to digital devices to help them learn and teach remotely.

Since the start of the conflict, the charity has helped to distribute more than 70,000 laptops to young students and teachers in Ukraine and neighbouring host countries, as part of a partnership with HP, Microsoft, and First Lady Olena Zelenska’s Foundation. The initiative has reached an estimated 1.5 million learners either via their teachers or directly.

The charity is now an implement partner for a new device coalition launched last month by the Ukrainian government with the goal of delivering an additional 125,000 devices by the middle of the year.

Dr Yevhen Kudriavets, Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister for Education and Science said: “Even as the bombs continue to fall, we must ensure that education is the cornerstone of Ukraine’s reconstruction. We must invest in the foundational skills that will empower our children to be the doctors, nurses, architects, teachers and scientists of tomorrow. They will be the future of Ukraine.”

Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of GBC-Education said she hoped the charity’s support would give hope to the “children of Ukraine whose lives have been upended by the war.”

War doesn’t just wreck lives, it wrecks education and children’s futures.

Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of GBC-Education

In September 2023, Sarah met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv when he requested GBC-Education’s support to focus on accelerated learning programmes for science and mathematics, and comprehensive support for early childhood education.

“Four years of interrupted learning have had a devastating impact on children’s attainment in mathematics, reading, and writing. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children have been forced to learn remotely in homes on the frontline, in bomb shelters and in host countries far from family and friends.

“As Ukraine marks the second anniversary of this brutal conflict, we want to let Ukraine’s children know that they are not forgotten and that they can dream of a brighter future. So many young lives have been lost in this war. As we mourn their lives, we must rebuild the talent in Ukraine so that their sacrifices are not in vain.”

Justin van Fleet, Executive Director of GBC-Education, said that the charity’s investment in the early years would provide a “lifeline” to children suffering with trauma.

“Investing in quality early years support is critical for every child, but especially so for children who have suffered trauma due to war or displacement, like those in Ukraine,” he said. “Quality early years interventions can protect young children from the worst effects of a crisis, providing nurturing care and psychosocial support, and restoring a sense of normality and routine.”

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