Polish schools strained, thousands of Ukraine kids enrolled daily

Polish schools Ukraine
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Polish schools strained, thousands of Ukraine kids enrolled daily

WARSAW/BUCHAREST, March 22 (Reuters) – More than 3.5 million people have fled abroad from the war in Ukraine, United Nations data showed on Tuesday, leaving Eastern Europe scrambling to provide them with care, schools and jobs even as daily numbers crossing borders ease.

The millions who have left Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began have made their way on foot, by rail, bus or car to neighbouring countries such as Poland and Romania before some travel on across Europe. Most, however, have not done so.

While fewer have crossed borders over the past week, the scale of the task of providing homes to those seeking safety in the European Union is becoming increasingly apparent, above all in Eastern and Central Europe.

Poland, home to the biggest Ukrainian Diaspora in the region even before the war, has taken in more than 2.1 million people and while some plan to head elsewhere, the influx has left public services struggling to cope.

“The number of children of refugees from Ukraine in Polish schools is increasing by about 10,000 per day,” Minister of Education Przemyslaw Czarnek told public radio, saying 85,000 children had enrolled in Polish schools.

Czarnek said authorities were organising courses in basic Polish for Ukrainian teachers so they could be employed in local schools and teach preparatory classes for Ukrainian children before entering the school system.

With men of conscription age obliged to remain in Ukraine, the exodus has consisted primarily of women and children, many wanting to stay in countries near Ukraine to be closer to loved ones left behind. read more

In a video posted on Twitter, Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski said 10,000 Ukrainian students had enrolled in Warsaw schools and that a variety of options, including Ukrainian online classes, were needed to avoid a collapse of the city’s education system.

“We will be flexible, we will act, because we want all those young people who are in Warsaw to be able to study, whichever option they choose,” he said.

Europe struggles to meet mounting needs of Ukraine’s fleeing millions  Reuters.com


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Dean Nestor

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