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17 April 2024

Poland: Ombudsman calls for action on education for children displaced from Ukraine

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Poland's deputy ombudsman for children, Adam Chmura, appealed to the Ministry of National Education to establish the number of Ukrainian children in Poland and ensure that they attend Polish schools. He also emphasised that Ukrainian children should have the right to learn the Ukrainian language and take classes to help maintain their national identity, similarly to those children belonging to other national or ethnic minority groups in Poland.

These proposed solutions aim to address problems highlighted by the Supreme Audit Office. These problems include a lack of knowledge - on the part of the Polish government - regarding the number of Ukrainian children residing in Poland and the inability to verify whether Ukrainian children are studying remotely within the Ukrainian school system. Furthermore, there is a lack of information about Ukrainian children who do not attend school at all, whether Polish (in person) or Ukrainian (remotely).

These issues were also raised by the Polish and Ukrainian ministers of education during a recent meeting. They jointly agreed that Ukrainian children should attend Polish schools while also having access to Ukrainian language classes and classes aimed at maintaining their Ukrainian identity. 

According to the Centre for Civic Education, approximately 185 000 Ukrainian children attend Polish schools, with around 135 000 being war refugees. It is estimated that approximately 150 000 Ukrainian children remain outside the Polish education system (or approx. 60 000, according to the estimates of the Ukrainian Ministry of Education).

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Posted by
Magdalena Lesinska
Country Coordinator

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