20,000 refugee children in German schools

Bergisch Gladbach.Schools across Germany have already welcomed more than 20,000 refugees from Ukraine. At a high school near Cologne, many of the new students also live with their classmates. Federal states face a huge task.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

+++ You can read all the latest news and developments in our live blog. +++

Konstantin (15) fled Ukraine before the war. He has been living for a few weeks in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne and attends high school there. “I’m stressed and nervous about the situation at home, but I feel safe here. It’s a 50-50 feeling,” the young man says in English. He spends half of his teaching time at the Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium (AMG) in the German support group. The other time he is taught in a fixed class in subjects such as English, mathematics and physical education. He is not very dependent on the skills of the German language.

“Shouldn’t waste time”

“I keep in touch with my friends in Odessa, I tell them that I study here and I ask them about the war, how they are and if our house is still standing,” says Konstantin. To welcome him and his family, relatives from Bergisches Land moved in together. Five have become ten residents – and Lola, an AMG student, now shares her room with her grandmother. “I also feel responsible, it’s not a burden,” says the 15-year-old. She offers Konstantin help with his homework. His father immediately enrolls him in school: he learns German, you make friends ”.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

The AMG welcomed ten Ukrainian students aged between 13 and 17. “First of all, it’s about arriving, about structure and community,” explains Principal Rolf Faymonville. Everyone learns in the Deutsch-Fördergruppe (DFG). Each is also assigned to a regular class, which works well for some in subjects such as English or math. The next step could be geography or history, offered bilingual in German and English. “We are building on the knowledge we brought with us from Ukraine. A sense of accomplishment is important ”. Each class has a sponsor for newcomers.

Most Ukrainian students live with their classmates’ families or are assisted by them. By the summer, they want to see if the older ones will move on to vocational school. Faymonville says it’s still an open political question whether they can complete their Ukrainian baccalaureate through distance learning. “We already have small-scale online lessons. The war has not interrupted connections everywhere ”.

Task force of the Conference of Ministers of Education

The Conference of Ministers of Education of the federal states recently established a task force to coordinate the school attendance of Ukrainian children and young people. It also deals with the issue of Ukrainian online final exams and the recruitment of Ukrainian teachers.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

High inflation: how long will prices continue to rise?

Life in Germany is becoming significantly more expensive. For the moment, the end of the price increases is not in sight.

Oksana Kamyshanska is a literature and German teacher in Ukraine and had to flee a suburb of Kiev with her son (16). She now also has a private residence in Bergisch Gladbach. The teacher supports ten Ukrainian students and teachers on a voluntary basis. “The longer the students are here, the safer they feel,” she says. Some were heavily loaded, others seemed more stable.

She herself is afraid for her mother (83), whom she had to leave behind. “The Russians are approaching, we are very worried.” Her son follows the news tense until late at night. Faymonville hopes to be able to hire Ukrainian as a teacher soon. “We are waiting for the police clearance certificate.”

The principal stresses: “Ukrainian students have experienced terrible things. But the school is not a therapeutic center “. They want to pave the way for newcomers to normal everyday life. If needed, there are offers to talk about psychosocial support. “We see that the students miss their fathers. Some older students did not want to leave their country, but they wanted to defend their homeland with their fathers.

The Teachers’ Association expects 250,000 students

The Ukrainian Consul General Iryna Tybinka had called for continuity in the educational process and for the maintenance of national identity. However, educational actors also see integration as important. According to the KMK, over 20,000 young Ukrainian refugees are currently studying in German schools. The teachers’ association expects about 250,000 students in the future.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

According to the Media Integration Service, there are preparatory or welcome classes in eleven of the 16 federal states where refugees are taught separately from other students. In most of them, they learn some subjects at the same time as their German classmates. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Thuringia, they are assigned directly to regular classes and receive additional German lessons. In Bavaria and Bremen, Ukrainians initially learn completely separately from regular students.

At the AMG, welcome dialogues are practiced diligently and early texts are being worked on, reports DFG German teacher Ruth Bongartz. “Many are very motivated and open-minded, which is quite surprising when you consider the situation the students come from.” Everyone congregates at school, despite the shortage of staff due to the crown and in the middle of the maturity stage. A sponsored run is meant to collect donations for people in Ukraine. Faymonville says, “A wish that came from the students. All age groups participate, the willingness to help is enormous “.

RND / dpa

Leave a Comment