Dresden (dpa/sn) – Many teachers are still missing, but classes have started at the first “Ukrainian school” in Dresden. “The more teachers we have, the more subjects we can offer,” said Tobias Jäger, principal of the 116th Lyceum in Dresden, on Wednesday. At the moment German and English are taught and a geography teacher is expected soon. A chemistry teacher is already there. For the head of the nursery Matthias Rentzsch, it is above all a question of giving the children a feeling of security. It’s not about “educating, educating, educating” right from the start, says the educator: “Children have the right to come here.
The term Ukrainian school does not quite describe it. There are currently two primary school classes and two high school classes at the facility south of Dresden. They are affiliated with the 49th Elementary School and the 116th Secondary School. There are 23 girls and boys in each class. Another class for primary students will be added soon. You have everything that makes a school functional on site – from the janitor to school meals to IT technology, says Katrin Düring, head of the Dresden school authority. Tobias Jäger describes the level of education in Ukraine as extremely high. The students are very ambitious and the parents are determined to get good grades.
Juliia Didenko, a German teacher from kyiv, can understand that her compatriots are reluctant to send their children to a German school. This may be due to concern about “losing” the children to Germany. Some prefer to stay in their new home and take online classes from their old school in Ukraine. According to Jäger, however, this offer varies greatly depending on the war situation. In some places there are simply no more schools, some children have arrived in Germany “with nothing”. First you have to find a balance and deal with the different conditions.
Hagen Kettner, head of the State Office for Schools in Dresden, has other concerns. So far, 6,772 applications have been submitted in Saxony for Ukrainian children to be admitted to schools in the Free State, 4,108 of them have already been admitted. However, the same number of other students are expected by August 1. “I’m the last to lose my optimism, but it’s not just going to be a challenge, it’s going to be really exciting.” There is already a shortage of teachers and courses in Saxony today. In cities like Dresden, there is also a lack of space, the classes are “full”: “There is no recipe. We have to develop the concepts ourselves.
Other circumstances also make action difficult. According to Kettner, there are initial trends that children who have already been registered do not end up coming because their families have moved away. There are also differences in teacher training. Unlike Germany, in Eastern European countries they are usually only trained in one subject and therefore not available for multiple subjects. So far, 32 Ukrainian teachers and 14 assistants have been hired in its state education authority, which includes the city of Dresden and the districts of Saxon Switzerland-Osterzgebirge and Meissen – initially for a limited period until the end of l ‘school year.
The war and its uncertain outcome make accurate planning difficult anyway. Dresden’s education mayor Jan Donhauser (CDU) – a teacher by profession – is already preparing for a possible envy debate among stressed parents. The education of Ukrainian children will not be at the expense of others. “What we are doing here is something completely normal: helping others who are in need.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220427-99-62860/3