Russia-Ukraine crisis: Ukrainian teachers take online classes, Indian students say

Sofia said that it is difficult to prepare for a class after listening to sirens all night “but we are adults"


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Published: Tue 15 Mar 2022, 8:24 AM

Indian students who have gone back home from Ukraine have started attending online classes. Medical universities are conducting online classes which are being held by some teachers in the western part of the country.

“For the past year, we conducted online classes due to Covid, so we were prepared,” Nakonechna Sofia, associate professor, physiology, Ternopil National Medical University (TNMU), said to an Indian newspaper. “Our online study material is available on our website, including material for practical classes."

Sofia said that it is difficult to prepare for a class after listening to sirens all night “but we are adults".

"Even if we sit in shelters the whole night, we have to take classes the next day. If the sirens stop, we spend the nights in shelters because we don’t know when the bombing will start. If we miss a part of the class, we try to finish it the next day,” she added.

She said that most of her students are Indians and many of them asked her about the conditions in the war-torn country. “But there’s no time to discuss war or politics. The focus is on finishing their semesters,” she said.

After spending the night in a shelter hearing sirens, she was back at the TNMU department, conducting four classes one after the other. “Even if I was sitting in a shelter the whole night, I should teach the next morning. It doesn’t matter if I have slept or not. Our reality is horrible right now but we are trying to do our best for our students,” added Sofia.

The university has 1,800 Indian students. The Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University in Lviv has about 1,000 Indian students, many of whom are now attending online classes.


“We are so relieved,” said Ahtesham Zahid, an MBBS student, who returned to Uttar Pradesh.

“At least, we can keep pace with the syllabus. We are just so thankful to our teachers who are taking classes even during the war.”

Prof Andrii Bazylevych of the university, who had spent Sunday night hiding in a basement, began online classes from Monday. Fourteen Indian students attended that class. He said online classes resumed at universities in the west including Lviv and Ternopil.

“The situation is worse in cities directly affected by war, where the Internet is not stable,” he said. “We do not want our students to lose due to temporary changes in our country. But for how long we will be able to conduct online classes is unknown. According to the university rector’s order, we will study this way till the end of the semester.”

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