School for Ukrainian refugees: they want to learn, learn

ring of scams – “My name is …”, with these words we begin the German lesson on Monday a week ago. 20 Ukrainian children and young people are seated in front of the teacher Anna von Chossy in the high school in Trudering. The youngest are eleven, the oldest 17, come from different classes and locations.

Children come to Munich with war experiences

A few weeks ago they went to school in their home country. Now I’m in a foreign country where they didn’t understand a word at first. Between home and Munich lie experiences of war: fear of bombs and rockets, days and nights in basements and subway shafts, escape through destroyed cities, news of dead and dead, desperate adults.

Anna von Chossy teaches German in Trudering and music. She is one of the teachers who engages with Ukrainian children. “I went to class with a bad stomach ache,” she says. There was concern about how the children would react to her, the fear of not being able to make themselves understood because she speaks neither Ukrainian nor Russian.

All new students want to learn

And the concern for what the war experiences have done to children. In their situation, can they focus on school? Today Anna von Chossy says: “It’s a great thing. Children really want to learn, learn, learn.”

For its new students, school is a major distraction. “It’s hard enough at home.” Every day two or three families ask if there is a place available

Markus Söder, (l., CSU) and Michael Piazolo, (r., Free Electors) Minister of State for Education and Culture, visit children of Ukraine in a welcome class at Trudering Gymnasium.
Markus Söder, (l., CSU) and Michael Piazolo, (r., Free Electors) Minister of State for Education and Culture, visit children of Ukraine in a welcome class at Trudering Gymnasium.
© dpa / Peter Kneffel
Markus Söder, (l., CSU) and Michael Piazolo, (r., Free Electors) Minister of State for Education and Culture, visit children of Ukraine in a welcome class at Trudering Gymnasium.

by dpa / Peter Kneffel

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Susanne Asam, the principal of the brand new high school (built in 2013), is one of the first to organize a welcome class for Ukrainian children in Munich. “We have set up a task force with five teachers,” she said on Wednesday during a visit by Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) and Education Minister Michael Piazolo (Free Electors).

Markus Söder (left, CSU), Prime Minister of Bavaria, and Michael Piazolo, (Free Electors) Minister of State for Education and Culture, greet Ukrainian children who have attended a welcome course at the Trudering Gymnasium.

“You understand that you are safe here”: welcome group in the Munich school



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More than 300 Ukrainian teachers want to help in schools



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Interior designer Galina Samoschtschin (34) recently joined the school team. She had offered her help as an interpreter, now she teaches German to children. “I know how it is. I came to Germany with my family from Ukraine 30 years ago.”

The child psychologist attends the class full-time

Additionally, child psychologist Alina Golota (44) gets a full-time job. She fled Irpin via Butscha with her daughters (12, 26) and grandson (two months). The youngest daughter was traumatized by the experiences. Alina Golota’s task at school now will be to take care of the children who are withdrawn, withdrawn, therefore probably traumatized too.

“We received funds very quickly,” says director Asam. But that’s not enough. “We urgently need a second teacher.” Furthermore, the demand is huge. “Every day there are two or three families at the door asking if their children can come too.”

After the Easter holidays, the welcome class divided into two age groups. Children should also be integrated into German language classes in sports, art, music, English and math.

Is the Ukrainian baccalaureate recognized in Germany?

For Borys and Matvii (both 15) this is already a new school day. The two already knew some German. In their home country they went to the 11th grade, after which you have your high school diploma in your pocket. But there is no final exam, explains the Minister of Education Piazolo. “We need to see to what extent the Abbitur is recognized here.”

Hall C6, used as emergency accommodation: now there are dividing walls and more cots.

Many Roma among Ukrainian refugees: “Almost nobody wants to welcome them”



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Halls C5 and C6 are available at Messe München to welcome refugees from Ukraine.  (icon image)

For refugees from Ukraine: New arrival center in the fairgrounds



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While Söder and Piazolo go to school, the children in the welcome class fill in the modal verbs: must, must … “It’s very German,” said the teacher. Anna von Chossy also taught the children that when they were asked, “How are you?” you don’t have to tell the whole CV at once. “You can also say so-so.” It would always work in Munich.

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