Several hundred Ukrainian children arrive in France every day: an exceptional, urgent situation. Within two weeks, the number of students admitted has increased sevenfold: from almost 800 to over 5,000 Ministry of Education revealed March 29, 2022, there are 5,266 students, distributed for 3,301 in schools, 1,508 in colleges and 439 in high schools. The academies that accept the most children are those of Nice, Versailles or Strasbourg.
In the very short term, maybe as early as next week, there could be 10,000 school children, according to the ministry, which emphasizes “still have capacity”with one central goal: to get them into school as soon as possible so that they can find some kind of normalcy after the traumas of war.
The heart of this device: the “Ukraine cell” on rue de Grenelle in Paris, set up from March 3rd. Marion Mallet-Petiot is one of the four people working there. “There is a peculiarity related to the Ukrainian situation at the gates of Europe. An unprecedented situation given the number of children we are taking in in a very, very short time.”analyzes them.
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What also distinguishes these arrivals of Ukrainians from other nationalities is the constant connection with their country. In addition, the children continue to take Ukrainian courses via the Internet, explains Florentine Petit, who coordinates the cell: “Access to the Ukrainian culture, language and education system is a wish of the Minister of Education of Ukraine. There is a Ukrainian platform that offers training videos, exercises for middle school and high school students, but also an assessment to see how the students are progressing. “
Some families hope to be able to return to Ukraine soon after the end of the war. Others are just passing through to southern Europe, such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, where large Ukrainian communities are located.
In the meantime, the children are being taught in regular classes with the other students. But they benefit from specific support to learn French like other allophone children, thanks to the UPE2A, special educational units. your grade level issatisfactory‘, Judge Florentine Petit.
“In Ukraine there is a very high literacy rate, they are very connected students, used to digital technologies, their school programs have subjects very similar to those in France.”Florentine Petit, member of the Ukrainian cell
The Ministry of National Education expects the arrival of many young Ukrainians in the coming days, who will very quickly reach the threshold of 10,000 students. Various scenarios for caring for these children are being explored in order to accommodate more of them. At the moment, schools do not lack weapons to integrate these students as quickly as possible. The administration observes a strong mobilization of the teaching community.