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01 Jul. 2023

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Language barrier and lack of proper conditions: what difficulties Ukrainian children face in the EU

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Language barrier and lack of proper conditions: what difficulties Ukrainian children face in the EU

Over the past year, more than a million Ukrainians have been forced to seek asylum in different countries. The majority of them are children who face certain problems related to studying at foreign schools. Find out what factors prevent young people from gaining knowledge

Issuing a policy Green card for traveling abroad by car
Issuing a policy Green card for traveling abroad by car
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The full-scale war has scattered Ukrainian refugees around the world. As of today, 44 European countries have provided shelter to Ukrainians fleeing the war. There is a large share of children among the refugees, and many of them have faced certain problems with school education.


We will tell you what prevents young people from acquiring knowledge and whether they want to return to Ukraine.


How many refugees are there in Europe: current statistics


According to UNESCO, 1.9 million refugees live in Eastern Europe. 


Poland remains the leader. This country received the largest number of refugees in the first days of the war, and the statistics have not changed to this day. Currently, there are 1 million Ukrainians with temporary protection status in Poland. Next comes the Czech Republic, which has set a record for the number of refugees per capita: the country has sheltered more than 350,000 Ukrainians.


It should be added that the UNHCR periodically surveys refugees to find out their sentiments about returning home. Recent surveys have shown that 65% of refugees plan to stay in their host country. 


Difficulties with local schools


Many difficulties await schoolchildren, as they find it difficult to adapt to foreign education systems. Because of this, a small percentage of refugee children attend school in their country of residence. 


UNESCO, UNHCR, and the Regional Technical Center for Refugee Education in Ukraine have studied the extent to which students are involved in the school system in seven European countries: Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.


Integration into the school system is an extremely important factor in a child's full life. The All-Ukrainian Online School, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science, has covered most subjects and allowed children to study despite displacement.


However, distance learning affects the well-being of the student and the quality of the knowledge gained. As many Ukrainians continue to change their place of residence, easy integration into another country's school system is essential to create the best possible conditions for Ukrainian students. 


How many children attend schools abroad?


Currently, 57% of children (6 out of 10) do not attend local schools in European countries. Let's take a closer look at each country.


Poland 


Poland is the leader in terms of the number of Ukrainian students - 55% are enrolled in full-time education. In total, Poland is home to about 1 million refugees, 33% of whom are school-age children. 


Czech Republic


Currently, 28% of refugees from Ukraine are children. Only 54% of them are enrolled in schools. 


Bulgaria


Among 169,575 refugees from Ukraine, 38% are schoolchildren. In December last year, 2250 students were enrolled in Bulgarian schools - only 3% of the total. 




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Romania


This country is home to 26% of the total number of children with temporary protection. 71% of students study online in Ukrainian schools, and only 11% attend Romanian educational institutions. 


Slovakia


In this country, the percentage of children attending school is high. Almost 60% of refugee children have chosen to study full-time in Slovak schools.


Hungary


More than 50 thousand refugees live in Hungary. Among them, 34% are school-age children. Less than 30% went to schools and kindergartens.


Moldova


109,645 refugees from Ukraine have been granted protection in Moldova, including 44% of schoolchildren. However, the percentage of children physically enrolled in schools is very small - only 4%. Most of them chose distance learning in Ukrainian schools.


Reasons for low school attendance


There are various reasons for the low rates, but the key factor is the language barrier. Statistics show that in Hungary, 6 out of 10 refugees do not speak the local language, and in Romania the figure is even higher - 7 out of 10. 


The interviewed families also shared other factors:


- Intention to return to Ukraine;

- The need to attend language courses;

- lack of computer equipment and school supplies;

- difficulty in getting to school;

- lack of teachers.


Steps to integrate Ukrainian children into schools


In general, Ukrainians' responses show that the countries surveyed have taken steps to attract Ukrainian children to schools. In particular, schools have eased the requirements for enrollment and passing national exams, invited children to language courses, etc. For example, in Romania, Ukrainian students are exempted from taking a state exam after completing the eighth grade.


Remember to stay safe while abroad


The most important thing to have while traveling is travel insurance. Calling an ambulance, visiting a doctor, or getting tested is often very expensive for foreigners.


Insurance guarantees your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine. You can take out insurance in a few clicks here.


We remind you! Parents and children can apply for passport documents at the same time: a passport and an ID card. Read how and where to do it in our article.




Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.




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