GEW: The educational success of refugee children is in jeopardy – everything is lacking in day care institutions and schools

SCHWERIN. The Education and Science Union (GEW) in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania jeopardizes the educational success of refugee children and young people from Ukraine. In day care institutions and schools, there is a lack of staff, money, space and materials as well as a general lack of a good overview of actual needs, the union stated when presenting a position paper in Schwerin. To master the challenges, she calls for a better exchange between the educational institutions.

Millions of people – including many children – have been flown out of Ukraine. Photo: Shutterstock / Drop of Light

Only about 2,000 students from Ukraine are currently enrolled in schools in the country. “However, nothing is known about how many children and young people are currently entitled to education in day care centers, leisure centers or are subject to compulsory schooling in public and vocational schools,” said Nico Leschinski, president of GEW. According to the Interior Ministry of Schwerin, about 17,000 people from Ukraine are currently in the northeast.

According to the union, there is a strong divide between city and country when it comes to receiving refugees in schools. According to the information, calls have already been received due to the lack of staff and the lack of hourly tasks. Overall, a whole list of gaps in the authorities’ supply, information and communication is mentioned.

“We need additional funding for the entire education system, we need an analysis to quantify the needs”

According to GEW, there is already a round of talks with the Ministry of Education from the time of the pandemic. In view of the requirements, however, a larger framework is needed to exchange ideas between schools and day care institutions and to discuss possible solutions. If the ministry does not tackle this, the union can imagine initiating such an exchange of those responsible.

Her co-chair Annett Lindner emphasized that the best interests of the child must be a priority. “We need additional funding for the entire education system, we need an analysis to quantify the needs.” In addition, transparency is necessary when recognizing the qualifications of employees from abroad.

Overall, GEW confirms that Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is unattractive to future teachers when it comes to the shortage of skilled labor, especially in schools. The ratio of hours to work, pay and school equipment is simply better elsewhere. But the shortage of teachers and day care specialists is a nationwide problem.

“Should an additional need arise, additional posts will be made available, funded and advertised immediately”

Education Minister Simone Oldenburg (left) called the accusation of lack of overview “unfounded”. “Compulsory schooling begins with the registration of refugees. As a rule, all Ukrainian students are admitted to the local school. Every student is registered in the reporting system, “it said in a statement.

Oldenburg also referred to the € 24 million funds planned in 2022 for the schooling of refugee children and young people – this will also fund additional teachers. “Should there be an additional need, additional posts will be made available, funded and advertised immediately.” Leschinski had previously complained at the GEW press conference that there was a big gap between the post and the actual occupation of a position: There are no vacant teachers in the labor market. News4teachers / with material from dpa

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