KMK president expects 400,000 Ukrainian students

Kiel/Berlin (dpa) – The chairwoman of the Conference of Ministers of Education, Karin Prien (CDU), assumes that several hundred thousand refugee children from Ukraine will have to attend school in Germany in the future.

It is not yet clear how many boys and girls are actually involved, the politician from the Minister of Education of Schleswig-Holstein told Editorial Network Germany (RND).

Prien: 24,000 teachers needed

“Predictions are difficult. The Federal Government assumes that a million people could come to Germany from Ukraine. Of these, 40% will certainly be schoolchildren. This would then amount to up to 400,000 young people, to whom we return justice in the German school. system Need to become.” According to Prien’s calculations, this could translate into a need for around 24,000 teachers.

“The school system is still under massive pressure. The corona pandemic is not over yet. We are currently taking steps towards normality. The challenge of integrating many young Ukrainians is added to the previous tasks,” said said the chairman of the KMK. Neither politics nor schools could choose their own challenges.

The number of Ukrainian students in schools and vocational schools in Germany was just under 60,000 last week – six weeks after the start of the Russian attack on the neighboring country. The Conference of Ministers of Education polls the figures in the federal states every week. With over 12,000 enrolments, Bavaria tops the list, ahead of North Rhine-Westphalia with over 8,700 and Baden-Württemberg with over 8,400 Ukrainian students enrolled.

Education policy makers estimate that around half of the war refugees arriving in Germany are children and young people. Since the start of the war, the federal police have registered 343,237 refugees from Ukraine, as the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced on Twitter on Thursday. “The majority are women, children and the elderly.” Since Ukrainians can enter the country without a visa, the actual number of war refugees who have sought protection in Germany is likely to be higher.

In order to be able to cover the needs of the schools, additional resources are necessary. Prien thinks of higher hours for part-time workers, the reactivation of senior teachers or retirees and students on internships. “And we want to involve teachers who themselves fled Ukraine.”

They are perfectly adapted to welcome children and young people from their country in reception classes. “Big cities like Berlin or Hamburg will certainly be able to attract several hundred Ukrainian teachers. In Schleswig-Holstein, we are happy to now have more than 60 applications.”

Ukrainian system or integration?

Prien expressed skepticism about whether children and young people should be taught according to the Ukrainian system. There have been many discussions recently about this or whether the integration should be done as soon as possible. Ukrainian Consul General Iryna Tybinka called on education ministers to pay attention to the continuity of educational processes and the maintenance of the national identity of Ukrainian children. This is a temporary stay in Germany.

The President of the KMK said: “Integration is inextricably linked to the learning of German by children and young people as the language of instruction. No one knows how long people will stay. If you want to avoid the mistakes of the past, you have to approach them from the start as if they had been there for a long time. It is good if children and young people have contact with their former school in individual cases and can also take advantage of Ukrainian offers online. Prien rightly said that offers in the mother tongue should also be made possible. “But we will not set up a parallel school system for Ukraine in Germany.”

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