As more than 3 million children have fled Ukraine since war escalated three months ago, Save the Children CEO Inger Ashing is urging European governments to do more to help refugee children return to school as soon as possible.
Poland hosts the largest number of refugees from Ukraine, with immediate additional funding and resources needed to enroll around 800,000 school-aged children who have entered the country into the Polish education system, with only around a quarter enrolled. until now.
Save the Children has welcomed the efforts of the Polish authorities to get Ukrainian children into school, but help is needed to increase the number and training of Polish teachers and to recruit Ukrainian teachers. Additional funds should also be allocated to local municipalities to hire intercultural assistants and language teachers and for non-formal education activities – including Polish lessons – during the summer holidays to prepare children to enter in Polish schools.
Although there is no substitute for in-person education, children who cannot attend Polish school in the short term should be helped to access distance education, the Ukrainian authorities have developed online platforms allowing children to continue to learn the Ukrainian curriculum. It is essential that children can access devices and the Internet for free to use these online learning materials, whether they are in Ukraine or in neighboring countries. Remote learning needs to be complemented with other activities that allow children to experience the other benefits of school, such as playing with their peers.
Visiting a school set up for around 250 Ukrainian children in Warsaw on Thursday, Ms Ashing said:
*”A child’s right to a safe, inclusive and quality education does not stop in an emergency. Children fleeing Ukraine carry with them the terrible experiences they have had and schooling plays a vital role in their recovery Being in a school environment allows children to survive and thrive in times of great uncertainty and vulnerability School builds their resilience and social-emotional development It provides them with a safe space to be children again, play and establish positive connections.*
*”We must not deprive these children of their right to education, access to skills and knowledge, personal fulfillment and the path to a better life. Without education and without protection, these children are deprived of both their childhood and hope for the future.” *
Ms Ashing was accompanied by Angela Ahrendts DBE, Chair of Save the Children’s Global Board. Ms Ahrendts joined Save the Children in January 2021 as the first independent chair of the board. She was previously CEO of Burberry and SVP at Apple Inc.
In addition to helping set up the new school in Warsaw, Save the Children is setting up seven digital learning hubs in libraries across Poland to help children continue their learning through the Ukrainian Ministry of Education’s online resources. Education and Science. Working through a local partner, these centers will provide support from a Ukrainian teacher and a Polish librarian and provide access to social-emotional learning and mental health support and resources, Polish lessons and other community activities.
Across Europe, Save the Children is supporting refugee families in the country by supporting children’s access to the services they need, including through immediate continued access to education through digital platforms.
In Ukraine, the organization provides educational kits for children to continue learning wherever they can, as well as bunker kits with toys and educational tools for children who take shelter in train stations and underground to stay. free from conflict.
For more information, please contact:
Samantha Halyk / [email protected] / +44(0) 7235 19077 (based in London)
Kimberley Gardiner / [email protected] (based in Ukraine)
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