“The goal is that every child is in good hands”

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Of: Catherine Kleinschmidt

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Classes are not yet the priority for Ukrainian children (symbol image). © Bernd Weißbrod / dpa

There are many children among Ukrainians who have fled the war. The first of them goes to schools in Weilheim. Teaching is not (yet) the goal for them.

Weilheim – Rolf Schleich reflected, involved the school psychologist and spoke to the classes. He wanted to prepare the children and young people of Wilhelm-Conrad-Röntgen Middle School in Weilheim well for their new classmates. But when the first girls and boys arrived from Ukraine, the principal realized that he had thought too much of himself. “The children adapted very quickly, they are not afraid of contact,” he says. “You can see how the children are doing.” The new students are already integrated relatively well, even if the first of them hasn’t even been there for two weeks.

Middle school had received eight or nine children and young people by Tuesday. Others will surely follow. “We are awaiting the assignment from the school authority,” says Schleich. The authority has established a steering group for the district. It should help with questions about the integration of Ukrainians into schools.

There are still only a few new students in Weilheim schools

There have not been many new classmates in Weilheim schools so far, as confirmed by Schleich and three other principals when asked by the local newspaper. According to Sabine Kreutle, no Ukrainian children had been enrolled in state secondary school by the middle of the week.

Even at the primary school on the Ammer it is “still very quiet”, says headmistress Ulrike Höß. “We are in a waiting position.” So far one child has taken part in the lessons. He also receives “individual funding as far as possible”. This is not unusual in school either. “We continue to have children who do not speak German.” In the school there are also boys and girls who speak Ukrainian and who could translate in the future. A student’s mother has already offered to help.

Refugee school is not yet compulsory

School is currently not compulsory for children and young people who have fled to Germany. This only occurs in Bavaria three months after arrival. That’s why schools are currently focusing less on learning new things quickly and more on making girls and boys feel comfortable in the new environment.

So in middle school, kids have a lot to say. They currently take part in normal classroom lessons lasting between one and four hours. “So that they have social contacts,” Schleich says. Otherwise, they have the opportunity to learn German, get to know Weilheim or do something else. “We have some who want to start running and would like to learn six hours of math. Others would prefer to play, ”says the principal. Depending on their needs, the children only come three, about five days a week. “We are looking into what their needs are now.”

Children should be given perspective

This is also taken into consideration at Weilheim High School. “The primary goal is that every child is in good hands,” says rector Andrea Martin. About a handful of Ukrainian children and young people are currently attending the all-day afternoon school. You need to carefully consider what they need and whether classes are an option. Martin wants to give them time. “Children are smart, they will learn German quickly. But it just takes some time. “

But the high school principal sees an obstacle to overcome in order to integrate Ukrainian children and young people in the long term: “The problem is that students should end up in the right kind of school,” she says. “You have to try to find ways to do that and involve students so you can give them perspective. “

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