How German can the refugee school be?

D.he Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) set up a task force with representatives from all 16 countries to school refugee children from Ukraine as quickly as possible, which was breathtaking by their standards. On Friday it met for the first time under the chairmanship of the former Rhineland-Palatinate State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Hans Beckmann. In the future, he will meet twice a week and is in close contact with the KMK conference heads of departments.

Heike Schmoll

Political correspondent in Berlin, responsible for “Bildungswelten”.

“We need to know as soon as possible how many Ukrainian children are arriving in schools and how many teachers of Ukrainian origin are already working in the school,” Beckmann told FAZ. Countries also need to know quickly how many Ukrainian teachers are arriving there as refugees. Ukrainian teachers have studied a subject and have a degree, which does not correspond to a German teaching qualification.

“The recognition goes through the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB), which takes a relatively long time. But we need short and medium term solutions ». It would be possible to work as a support teacher, who is paid less. According to Beckmann, a contact platform is planned for Ukrainian teachers. The federal government, the Bosch Foundation and the Bertelsmann Foundation should be supported.

The educational material has been digitized due to the pandemic

During the pandemic, Ukraine had digitized almost all of the educational material. This makes teaching in the final classes easier. The so-called FWU (Institute for Film and Image in Science and Education non-profit GmbH), the media institute of the 16 federal states, can also link the materials. Further questions about usage have not yet been clarified in great detail in terms of licensing law.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Education is trying very hard to provide host countries with accurate information for individual grades and their teaching system. How important continuity of education is for compatriots who fled Ukraine in many countries is demonstrated by the fact that an international education alliance set up by the Kyiv Ministry of Education met for the second time on Friday. This shows that the Ukrainian Minister of Education not only hopes that children and young people will return after the war, but also wants to allow them to re-enter the Ukrainian education system immediately.

According to KMK reports, the optimism of the Ukrainian government remaining in Kiev arouses the utmost respect from the countries involved, but also puts them in a dilemma. Because on the one hand they should ensure that children have a normal school day as quickly as possible, which is impossible without knowledge of German, and on the other hand they should ensure that children and young people do not lose touch with their Ukrainian identity formation .

What awaits Kiev

It was therefore a list of major requests that the Ukrainian consul general in Hamburg, Iryna Tublinka, presented a week ago to the ministers of education. Basically, you would like to obtain the continuation of the Ukrainian education system in their respective host countries, also and especially in Germany. You have impressively described what education and culture mean for the identity of a country struggling for its existence. You demanded not only the continuity of all educational processes and protection from any psychological pressure, but also the preservation of Ukraine’s national identity. Tublinka pointed out that the history of Ukraine is almost entirely absent from the German curricula.

“Russia and Russian imperialism still dominate Germany’s curricula and guidelines,” he criticized and, from his point of view, Ukrainian children should be protected from this and should continue to be educated under the Ukrainian system. and its study programs. If Ukrainian children do not have access to their language, literature and history, “this will play in the hands of Putin, who dreams of wiping out Ukraine as a state and nation”. And the Consul General went even further, he warned the Ministers of Education against Russian integration associations of the former Eastern Bloc, which are nothing more than tools of Russian propaganda and want to plant the notorious “Russian world” in the mind. of young Ukrainians.

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