Integration of Ukrainian children: Teachers’ associations demand concrete help

Status: 15/04/2022 14:41

Germany expects hundreds of thousands of children fleeing Ukraine to be educated in the future. Teacher organizations demand better financial and human resources.

The teachers’ associations are calling for greater efforts and concrete measures to be able to cope with the integration of refugee children and young people from Ukraine. “As the staff and spatial situation in schools is getting worse all the time, I expect the Conference of Ministers of Education not only to calculate the needs but also to say what they will do concretely,” said the President of the Minister of Education. Uddannelses- og Træningsforeningen (VBE), Udo Beckmann.

Financial and personal help

“It is good that the chair of the Ministerial Education Conference, Karin Prien, is now saying how big the challenge will be for the schools – and that we need 24,000 teachers for 400,000 refugee students,” Beckmann told the editorial network Germany (RND). . However, it is also clear that this additional need can not only be met by hiring Ukrainian teachers.

The head of the Education and Science Union (GEW), Maike Finnern, also told RND that it was good that Prien “has a realistic view of the challenge of integrating Ukrainian children and young people into schools”. But schools now also need “additional financial and human resources as quickly as possible to master the challenge”. The federal, state and local authorities are required to do this.

Additional teachers are required

Prien had previously calculated that about 60 extra teachers would be required for every thousand students. “The school system is still under massive stress,” the KMK chief said, referring to the corona pandemic that has not yet been overcome. The challenge of integrating many young people from Ukraine comes on top of previous tasks.

The number of Ukrainian students in schools and vocational schools in Germany was almost 60,000 last week.

part-time employees, pensioners and students

To ensure teaching, Prien is thinking of increasing the number of hours for part-time employees, reactivating senior teachers or pensioners and students in internships. “And we want to involve teachers who themselves have fled Ukraine.” They are suitable for caring for children and young people from their countries in welcome classes.

Prien expressed skepticism about whether children and young people should be taught according to the Ukrainian system. Ukrainian Consul General Iryna Tybinka warned that the continuity of educational processes and the maintenance of the national identity of Ukrainian children should be ensured. This is a temporary stay in Germany.

“No parallel school system”

Prien said: “Integration is inextricably linked to children and young people learning German as a language of instruction. No one knows how long people will stay.” If you want to avoid the mistakes of the past, approach them from the beginning as if they were here longer. It is good if children and young people have contact with their old school in individual cases and also take advantage of Ukrainian offers online. “But we do not want to create a parallel school system for Ukraine in Germany.”

346,397 refugees in Germany

As the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced on Twitter, 346,397 refugees from Ukraine have so far been registered in Germany. Since Ukrainians are allowed to enter the country without a visa and there is no registration requirement, the numbers are actually assumed to be significantly higher.

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