Admission of Ukrainian children:
NRW brings back retired teachers
Dusseldorf Schools Minister Yvonne Gebauer presented a concept on how Ukrainian children should be admitted to schools. We are looking for staff by all means. 8,750 young Ukrainians have already found accommodation in schools in North Rhine-Westphalia.
As far as possible, staff should be hired for schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. More than 1000 additional teaching positions can be regularly filled simply by recalculating the number of students. School administrators across the country are asking retired teachers to return and part-timers to increase their hours. Internship teacher trainees can give twice as many lessons as usual during their training if they wish.
Temporary positions will also be created. There are currently almost 6,000 unemployed teachers in NRW, explained Education Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP): “I have written to them personally.” And Mathias Richter, Secretary of State in his ministry, assured: This “will not take place this year”. that you couldn’t use force because there was a lack of money.
Minister Gebauer presented a comprehensive concept for the education of immigrant children on Monday. They are already arriving in large numbers: by the deadline of April 6, 1985, schools in North Rhine-Westphalia had received a total of around 8,750 Ukrainian children and young people. A good half of them, ie 4,355 children, are of primary school age. According to the ministry, there is an “equal distribution” in secondary schools: in absolute numbers, most children arrived in high schools, namely more than 1,500, followed by comprehensive schools with more than 1,000 children.
It’s unclear how many will be added and when, and dealing with them properly requires not only staff but also space. Especially since elementary school children should also have access to the day program. Municipalities can apply for funds if they want to increase the number of places.
“Creating space to make more places available in schools – that will of course be the big challenge in the coming weeks,” said Education Minister Gebauer. Since the talks between the federal government and the state last week, it is known that one billion euros will be paid to NRW for health, nurseries and schools. How will this money now be distributed, “we will now talk about it very quickly in the cabinet”. And before that, you want to determine as accurately as possible where and how much space is required.
Ukrainian language courses are being prepared “to give children and young people a piece of home after their flight”, as the minister said. In the short term, positions for Ukrainian-speaking teachers are to be advertised. But only until the end of the Ukrainian school year – until May 30 – should children also be allowed to participate in Ukrainian digital lessons.
Ksenija Sakelsek, Deputy Chairman of the State Council for Integration, finds these approaches correct. Digital at-home lessons could only be a temporary solution for young people, she said: “I would see that as a permanent problem.” Studies show how important it is for children to live a normal daily school life, “to go out and think about other things to get”. In turn, Ukrainian lessons in German schools would help them to continue cultivating their mother tongue.
The school management association of North Rhine-Westphalia praised the concept of the ministry in an initial reaction. We are delighted that the document was presented in the short term and that it takes up many of the demands of the associations. “But every concept eventually meets reality,” said Vice President Ralf Niebisch: “The problem we had in 2015 and during the corona pandemic remains. Schools sometimes have great difficulty with rooms. And you cannot solve this problem in the short term.”
The basic process by which young people are assigned to school remains the same: as soon as they are assigned to a commune, they are assigned to a school after consultation.