German school in Kiev continues, focal points

“We are together,” says the website of the German school in Kiev. Only the guards are still in the building. But the school will not drop the war in Ukraine.

Berlin / Kiev (dpa) – The German school in Kiev was orphaned by the war in Ukraine – but the lessons continue. “Everything is online,” said headmaster Gerald Miebs of the German news agency. “The lessons actually take place, a lot of them.”

About half of the students are still taught online. “Some of them are in the Carpathians or western Ukraine, many are in other countries and many are in Germany and hope to be able to return.” The school has around 180 pupils and 50 children in the kindergarten.

Not all teachers can participate online due to the war. “German teachers do the online lessons from Germany,” Miebs said. “Many of the Ukrainian teachers are also in Germany and also teach online.” Some teachers even teach from western Ukraine. “But everyone else can’t take lessons because they don’t have the technical requirements or some of them are just sitting in basements or bunkers and obviously don’t have an online connection.”

According to its director, the school has even expanded part of its offering. In elementary school, classes 1a and 1b were merged and classes were expanded to include afternoon care, Miebs said. In classes 5 to 12 there are online lessons according to the timetable. “Of course, due to the situation, not all students from our school participate, as many have emigrated or enrolled in schools in Germany.” There are only guards at the school, otherwise no one is on the spot. Emergency equipment stored for safety with water, blankets and dry food was donated to a church.

The principal hopes that the school will continue after the war is over. “The school will continue as long as there is peace and there is no war,” Miebs said. “I get that from my families, who say, ‘When this is all over, we’ll be back.’ They love their country, they want nothing more than to return. I also know from my colleagues that they are ready to return. ” However, the whole development set the school back several years. “It will take a lot of development work,” he said. “But the will is there.”

That year the school had its first high school graduates who were there for all school years. “They have passed all the written exams and the war between written and oral maturity has just broken out,” said the director. Thanks to the help of the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK), a solution was found whereby they would still have obtained the baccalaureate with the available grades. “Some of the students were with us in kindergarten and spent 13 years preparing for their Abitur and then saying three weeks in advance that there was no Abitur, obviously not possible.”

The headmaster, 66, who teaches in his ninth year in philosophy / ethics and his tenth year in German, currently lives in Berlin. The news reached him that all German employees would have to leave Ukraine on the Friday before the outbreak of the war. “The situation for my school was that we went on a winter break that Friday,” said Miebs. “Fortunately, many of our colleagues went to Germany anyway.” A few days ago, Miebs participated in a panel discussion at the Marie Curie High School in Hohen Neuendorf in Brandenburg.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220319-99-585541 / 3

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