Over half a million Ukrainian school-age children already in Poland

Artur Reszko/PAP

The Minister of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek, said on Wednesday in Warsaw that today in Poland there are over 500,000 children of Ukrainian refugees who are of school age, so far 11,500 have registered in Polish schools.

Czarnek said that "the best way to organise education in the Polish education system for Ukrainian refugees, who overwhelmingly do not speak Polish and do not understand Polish, is to create preparatory units".

"This is why we have included in the special act the possibility of creating such school, inter-school and inter-municipal divisions," he added.

Preparatory units may function outside schools, outside the site of the educational institution. "For this purpose, one can use the entire infrastructure that is not intended for educational purposes… State Treasury companies will offer hundreds of such locations throughout Poland, which can be used for the needs of preparatory departments," the minister said.

Czarnek also noted that of the students who have already enrolled in Polish classes, it can be assumed that most are probably children who either speak Polish or understand Polish and "it is the right thing to do, for them to attend classes with Polish children." Children who do not speak Polish will be enrolled in schools next, he added.

According to Czarnek, in the whole of Poland there are over 11,000 teachers with a working knowledge of Ukrainian and Russian who have already declared their willingness to teach in the preparatory departments".

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