March 18, 2022 – 17:12 Clock
Hamburg (dpa / lno) – The Hamburg school authorities are preparing for thousands of schoolchildren who fled Ukraine after the March holidays. “We currently assume that around a quarter of all Ukrainian refugees are children and young people of school age,” said a spokesperson for the German news agency’s school board. Most of them, about 80%, will be taught in general schools, about 20% in vocational schools.
However, according to school authorities, it is not known how many Ukrainian students actually show up in schools on Monday. On the one hand, not all schools were reached due to the holidays. “On the other hand, at the moment we do not know how many enrollments have already been received directly in the school offices and how many students could simply show up directly to school on Monday,” reads Friday.
The school authorities are now asking all those involved to act in a pragmatic and non-bureaucratic way, “so that the obstacles for the families who are currently arriving in Hamburg are minimized and welcomed here”.
According to domestic authorities, some 15,000 war refugees have arrived in Hamburg since Russian troops invaded Ukraine in violation of international law. A good 8,400 had already been fully surveyed in the initial reception center, which means that the data on children and young people also ended up with the school authorities. “Education is compulsory for all refugee children,” the spokesperson stressed.
“We want to be well prepared and be able to welcome at least as many refugee children into schools as were at the peak of the refugee wave in 2015/16,” the spokesperson said. At that time, according to information, there were 525 so-called international preparatory classes and core classes in the Hamburg schools. There are currently 225. “It is planned to set up another 300 preparatory classes in the coming weeks.”
With a regular class size of 15 children and young people, this would result in a capacity of 4500 seats. When school starts after Monday’s holidays, 107 additional preparatory classes in 41 locations are expected to be ready to start. There are a total of around 470 general and vocational schools in Hamburg with around 254,000 students.
In order to find a sufficient number of teachers for additional students, it has already been written to former teachers and teachers with good knowledge of German whose teaching qualifications have not yet been recognized in Hamburg. “Ukrainian teachers are also sought to teach refugee students, teach their mother tongue, translate and take exams,” the spokesperson said. The school authorities’ crisis management team has already asked Ukrainian auxiliary staff, representing the community, that Ukrainian-German teachers who arrive in Hamburg and are registered report directly to the authorities.
Meanwhile, the Hamburg House of Parents has asked for the donation of school supplies for the large number of expected Ukrainian school children. “We ask all parents, grandmothers and grandparents, aunts and uncles and legal guardians and all those who can: Help other parents to make starting school for their children as pleasant as possible in a new environment and a new language” , said the Parents’ Classroom President Alexandra Fragopoulos. Satchels, school backpacks, sports bags, pencil cases and water bottles would be needed.
The Conference of Ministers of Education (KSK) has meanwhile established a Ukraine Task Force for central coordination in order to quickly help refugee Ukrainian students and teachers. The former secretary of state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Hans Beckmann, chaired the task force, announced the KMK after his meeting in Lübeck. All 16 federal states are sending members to the task force. The group will exchange information and coordinate with each other on a weekly basis, and more frequently if necessary, and with the federal government on individual issues.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220318-99-571444 / 3