Residents of unamalgamated territories fear that hromada establishment and optimisation will lead to closing of schools and unemployment of teachers. However, as the experience of the Smyrnovska AH in the Zaporizhzhya Oblast shows, it may be quite the opposite. The school is seen as a priority here. Almost half of the state support for AH infrastructure projects is directed towards education. In 2016, UAH 3.5 million out of 6 million were spent on renovation of educational institutions. In 2017, almost UAH 1.5 million out of 4 million were allocated to the hub school development.
“Two schools were closed in our community before the amalgamation, in 2009-2010,” says Iryna Synhur, head of the Department of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport of the Smyrnove village council. “Two more schools were reorganised. People had fears that after AH establishment other ones will be closed as well. Not everyone understood the notion of a hub school. Therefore, it was necessary to personally go from yard to yard explaining what it would be – about state support, school buses, improvement of the quality of education.”
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