Ukrainian children experience everyday life again in schools

Ukrainian children experience everyday life again in schools

In the classroom for the elderly: the Ukrainian teacher Olga Kuziuk (left), who fled when the war began, along with Isabell Weipert from the Schwarz school. Photo: Gajer, Simon

More and more children and young people from Ukraine have fled the war to the Heilbronn region. They visit day care centers and go to classes. There are very different approaches: Some may go into regular classes, while others are initially accommodated in their own classes.

While the Education and Science Union (GEW) regrets the bureaucracy of getting Ukrainian teachers into public schools, the Josef Schwarz school had it easier: As a private school, it quickly announced positions for two welcome classes, the Academy for Innovative Education and Management Heilbronn -Franken offers two rooms at Heilbronn’s place of education. Olga Kuziuk now teaches the elderly Ukrainians there; the teacher himself fled at the beginning of the war.

The teachers know: The kids just need to be able to talk

The Ukrainian publishers make the textbooks available free of charge in PDF format, says Isabell Weipert, who heads the high school at the Schwarz school. But the focus is not only on the teaching. “The children just have to talk,” says Olga Kuziuk – contact people of the same age, talk. It is important for the 43-year-old to create a friendly atmosphere. The parents of the Josef Schwarz School, who prepared the classrooms on a voluntary basis, also contributed to this. Games are on the shelf, sofa and sofa invites you to turn off.

In their own classes, the children have a protected environment

The lessons again give the children structure. They must “have relatively normal days” in a protected environment, says Isabell Weipert. Ultimately, all schools in the region want to help refugees ignore the war at home. It works.

“The kids are happy,” says Olga Kuziuk. It also helps her briefly forget about the horrors at home. “I can not read the news so often.” And even though she’s feeling bad, she does not want to show it – because of the children. “I must be happy and not spread bad mood.”

The Josef Schwarz school currently has two classes for Ukrainians, but it remains so for the time being. The goal, says Isabell Weipert, is for students to switch to regular classes. For the new school year, it may be so far that the first children make the transition.

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The State Parents' Council wants school peace

The teachers praise the city administration in Heilbronn

In Heilbronn, the town hall connects the Ukrainians with educational institutions. It gives a good overview, says Melanie Haussmann and praises the work of the city administration. In fact, there is also a central test procedure for refugee children and young people in the city to find the right school, says the CEO of the Heilbronn schools. Because of Corona, it is currently determined that it will start again for the summer – “so the kids can get better educated,” says Melanie Haussmann.

As in Heilbronn, children from Ukraine receive various forms of education in Neckarsulm. Some go to their own class, while others go to high school as usual, says Marco Haaf, who represents the educational institutions in Neckarsulm as the principal of the school. Haaf describes the time leading up to the summer holidays as an exploratory phase. It is important that the children receive education and thus a structured everyday life. After the summer holidays, he expects more children to switch to regular education.

The GEW union apologizes for the bureaucracy

“Schools are open to accepting and integrating children,” said Harald Schröder, spokesman for the GEW district in the Heilbronn area. At the same time, however, he deplores the formal obstacles that Ukrainian teachers must overcome in order to be employed in the country as teachers. “The Josef Schwarz School can do it faster.”

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