At the informal videoconference of European Union Education Ministers with the Minister of Education of Ukraine Serhiy Shkarlet last week, Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna assured that Estonia will support Ukraine in every possible way and will ensure that children and young people from Ukraine can continue their education at all levels of education in Estonia in a safe and secure way.
According to the Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna, Estonia stands firmly by Ukraine and will ensure that hundreds of children arriving in Estonia from Ukraine every day have a place in the Estonian education system. “Fleeing the war, today more than eight thousand Ukrainian children and young people have arrived in Estonia, and they can continue their education at all levels: pre-primary, basic, upper-secondary, vocational and higher education. However, the first step is to create a safe environment for children and young people who have suffered the consequences of the war and to provide them with activities to support their mental health. We will then help the children to continue their education,” said Liina Kersna, Minister of Education and Research.
Minister Kersna said that children from Ukraine generally go to Estonian-language schools. However, the ministry is trying to find ways to make the continuation of children’s and young people’s education as smooth as possible. “In cooperation with the Government of Ukraine and the Ukrainian community in Estonia, our schools will be able to use free digital teaching materials in Ukrainian. All Ukrainian education professionals are welcome to support Ukrainian children in our education system. When agreed with the school, children and young people from Ukraine will be able to study at a distance until the end of this school year with the Ukrainian national curricula,” said Minister Kersna.
At the informal videoconference of EU education ministers, the representatives of the Member States exchanged information on the steps already taken to help children and young people from Ukraine to continue their education. They also talked about upcoming actions to be taken at European level and in all states to support the continuation of the education of Ukrainian refugees.
Ukrainian Education Minister Serhiy Shkarlet asked the European ministers while schooling Ukrainian children, to teach them Ukrainian language and culture to Ukrainian, to provide them with psychological support, to involve Ukrainian teachers and to ensure access to Ukrainian digital learning materials and platforms.
Minister Liina Kersna proposed to EU education ministers to jointly share the best practices in organising the education and to establish precise guidelines for the provision of education to Ukrainian children, both in the long and short term. The minister also stressed that she sees a clear need for additional funds in Europe to support the adaptation of Ukrainian war refugees in the Member States.
Education ministers of the European Union stressed the need for an urgent continuation of the education path of Ukrainian children and young people and the importance to integrate Ukrainian children and young people who have arrived in member states into the local education system. Education ministers confirmed that a working group will be set up to share and centrally manage member states’ experiences and information exchange with Ukraine. The EU stands ready to provide all possible support to help Ukrainian students, teachers and educators who are in Ukraine or displaced by the war.