Photo: KB for Brno Daily

Approximately 50,000 Ukrainian Children Enrolled in Schools Across Czechia

Czechia has integrated nearly 50,000 Ukrainian refugee children into its education system in the two years since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and has also enabled more than 3,500 Ukrainians to continue their studies at Czech universities, the Education Ministry said yesterday.

Czechia has accepted hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees since the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The costs of the Education Ministry’s measures aimed to have the Ukrainian refugees integrated in the Czech education system are estimated at 2.89 billion crowns in 2022 and 2023. The measures included the funding of language courses and Ukrainian teaching assistants, among others.

“We have allocated funding for language education for Ukrainian children, for Ukrainian teaching assistants, and have adjusted the entrance exams to secondary schools so that children from Ukraine can apply for these studies. I thank the schools, teachers and all those who contributed to ensuring a promising future for these children,” said Education Minister Mikulas Bek (Mayors and Independents, STAN).

In the current school year, Ukrainian refugees make up 1.6 percent of the total number of children in kindergartens, 3.7 percent of the total number of pupils in primary schools, 1 percent of the total number of pupils in secondary schools and 2.5 percent of the total number of pupils in conservatories.

The ministry has mainly supported the inclusion of Ukrainian refugee children in mainstream education. The position of Ukrainian teaching assistant is used for this purpose. From January to December 2023, the ministry supported these positions with 333 million crowns. It has thus secured more than 700 full-time Ukrainian teaching assistant positions in more than 500 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools.

From September to December 2022, 583 schools have received support of about 114 million crowns for the work of Ukrainian assistants. The support continues in 2024, schools are to receive about 200 million crowns until the September start of the new school year.

The ministry is preparing further adjustments to make it as easy as possible to integrate Ukrainian children into the Czech education system, including the possibility of recognising Czech education upon their eventual return to Ukraine. The ministry’s aim is to ensure that the time these children spent in Czech schools is not lost and that they do not have to repeat all subjects upon their return home.

In two months’ time, the ministry will launch universal testing of the Czech language skills of foreign pupils in primary schools. In the second half of this year, the capacity of teachers of Czech as a foreign language should be strengthened. The ministry also wants to focus on greater involvement of Ukrainian youth in secondary education.

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