Ukraine Children and School

By | June 30, 2021

Do children go to school in Ukraine?

Ukrainian children also go to school. They start school when they are six. Then they go to elementary school for four years, followed by secondary school for five years. If you then go to school for three more years and graduate, you can go to university. Often all three school levels are combined in one building. But there are also grammar schools that only include middle and upper grades.

Grades are given from 1 to 12, with 12 being the best grade. Most schools teach in Ukrainian. It used to be different because when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union, Russian was the language of instruction. Today there are only a few schools left where this is the case. Since September 2020, Russian-speaking schools have also had to teach in Ukrainian from grade 5 onwards. The new law that prescribes this is, however, controversial. Many Russians and other minorities also live in Ukraine.

The school year always begins with a big party. The school year begins with the “first ring”: a bell rings and the students enter the school. The first graders are also welcomed. Many students wear blouses or shirts embroidered with traditional patterns, and many boys wear suits. There is also another party at the end of the school year. The national anthem and the school anthem are sung, particularly good students are honored and dances are performed.

The equipment in schools is often not particularly good. There is also a lack of teachers because they are poorly paid and so not many want to take up this profession. The poor pay also means that many teachers are bribed. In addition, war has been raging in eastern Ukraine since 2014, so classes are not held everywhere there. Check usprivateschoolsfinder to see schooling information in other European countries.

As a child in Ukraine

If you lived in Ukraine, you wouldn’t celebrate Christmas until January 7th, would probably like to eat borsch and vareniki and of course speak Ukrainian.

As a girl, you could be Anastasia, Angelina, Alina, Daria, Diana, Kateryna, or Maria. Popular boy names are Nazar, Danylo, Maksym, Vladyslav, Mykyta, Artem or Kyrylo. By the way, the most common surname is Melnik. The ending -ko is often encountered in surnames, for example in Klitschko, Timoshenko or Petroschenko.

For some years now, it has been particularly difficult for children living in eastern Ukraine. There is a war there because separatists have taken power. These are armed fighters who want the East to become independent from the rest of Ukraine or even to belong to Russia. It is mainly Ukrainian soldiers who fight against these separatists. Children who live in these areas experience grenades or rocket impacts, see tanks drive through the streets, and keep hearing gunfire. In school they learn what to do in the event of an alarm and that they must never touch something they do not know what it is – it could be a mine.

Ukraine Children and School

Christmas in Ukraine

How do you celebrate Christmas in Ukraine?

Christmas is not celebrated in Ukraine until January 7th. This is because the Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar. January 7th corresponds to December 25th of the Gregorian calendar according to the Julian calendar. So Christmas Eve in Ukraine is January 6th.

The Orthodox churches have not adopted the Gregorian calendar for the church holiday calculation, but stick to the Julian calendar. Christians living in the Ukraine will celebrate like us on December 25th. But there are only a few Ukrainians who profess Christianity (see also religion).

Christmas eve

That evening, January 6th, the whole family gathers, not just parents and children, but also many relatives. Many dishes are served, but they must not contain meat. Vareniki, borscht and donuts are one of them (see also Eating in Ukraine). Under no circumstances should Kutja be missing. It’s a sweet porridge made from boiled wheat grains with walnuts, honey, poppy seeds and raisins. After dinner, Christmas carols are sung and children’s games are played. There is also a Christmas tree, it’s called Jalinka here.

The Christmas days

On Christmas Day, January 7th, the family goes to church. At lunchtime we eat together again, but now meat is also allowed on the table. On Boxing Day you also visit more distant relatives. In addition, children and young people dress up as carolers and go from house to house.

By the way, there are no presents from Santa Claus, but from Father Frost and he will arrive on December 31st. But New Year’s Eve is not celebrated until January 14th!

By the way, Christmas in Ukrainian is: Різдво. This is pronounced as “Risdwa”.