In the Ministry of National Education, a “Ukrainian cell” dedicated to emergency retraining

We only see them when we enter the small room next to the Jacqueline de Romilly salon on the first floor of the Hôtel de Rochechouart, the headquarters of the Ministry of National Education in Paris: projected onto a flat screen showing a map of France you can see the thirty academies and in each one the number of Ukrainian children who arrived in France and have already returned to school, college or secondary school. It is this number that is transmitted to the tenant of the premises, Jean-Michel Blanquer, every evening from his “Ukraine cell”, set up at 110 rue de Grenelle, a week after the Russian offensive erupted on February 24.

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This Monday, April 11, the tally reached 10,539 newly enrolled students. The majority (60%) of them attend elementary school, a small third go to college, and the rest go to high school. As of March 8, the national education system still only recorded 250 arrivals. “We therefore, in a month, multiplied the numbers obtained by more than thirty, comments Florentine Petit, Head of Department of the Delegation for European and International Relations and Cooperation, who resides in the 7the Paris district, with four other experts to control the unit. Even if the pressure seems a little less for a few days, we know that things can start again. » Around 3,570 young Ukrainians between the ages of 3 and 16 – school age in France – are waiting to be deployed.

” High pressure “

The map allows you to visualize at a glance the “entry points” – the academies of Nice, Versailles, Grenoble, Normandy, Strasbourg and Lyon, where the number of children returning to school per hour is currently the most important. However, other areas appear to have been less affected “Numbers don’t tell everything”admits Amélie Miermont of the General Directorate for School Education, which is also integrated into the ministerial cell: areas like Dijon or Clermont-Ferrand have “Redeemed”in the past week, a ” High pressure “. In the first, the number of school entrants increased from 165 to 268; in the second from 143 to 213. Each rectorate has set up its own unit to facilitate data transmission.

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Beyond the statistical report, it is the “certain time” what challenges the education system: “Welcome and educate non-native children [dont la langue maternelle n’est pas le français], this is nothing new for teachers”, remembers Florentine Petit. Around 68,000 of these students from all backgrounds were enrolled before the health crisis. ” What’s new, the manager continues, it is because these young people are arriving in larger numbers in a much shorter time than in previous waves of migration. »

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