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Children of Ukrainian war refugees will not hold positions in Czech primary and kindergartens. Headteachers will first decide on the admission of children permanently residing in their catchment area. Only then will it be the turn of the students who fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Principals can start registering the first years of primary schools in the following school year on Friday, April 1. It must then intervene at the latest at the end of the month. The school decides on a specific date.
For two years, registration has not been systematic due to covid. And this year, the admission of students will be more complicated. Due to the war that Russia has started in Ukraine, the number of Ukrainian refugees is increasing every day in the Czech Republic. Some of them are also preschoolers who would start primary school at home this year. The Ministry of Education announced a “special registration” for them in the period from June 1 to July 15.
“The obligation to announce a “special registration” also applies when the current capacity of the school is full, because the number of applications submitted is a signal for the founders that they must deal with the situation”, explains the spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Aneta Lednová.
First Czech children, then Ukrainians
In all cases, the directors first decide on the admission of students after the normal registration. Any vacant places will then go to the children of Ukrainian refugees during the “special registration”.
“All Czech pupils must be accepted in the first term and then it is possible to accept Ukrainian pupils until the capacity is filled”, explains Luboš Zajíc, director of the Pečky primary school in the Kolín region and President of the Association of Primary Schools. Principals.
According to the methodology of the Ministry of Education, the special registration for Ukrainian children should be primarily a signal for the founders of the school, that is, a specific municipality. If the number of applications for admission of Ukrainian children exceeds the capacity of schools, the founder may exceptionally increase the maximum number of places in certain schools under the new legislation “Lex Ukraine”.
“In the event that the position within the founder is filled, he will inform the regional authority. If there is no free capacity even in the region, the regional office will contact the Ministry of Education. This will be determined by another regional authority, which will select the school for education, after consultation with the director of the school concerned and its founder,” adds spokeswoman Lednová.
In such a case, however, the place of residence of the foreigner in the Czech Republic will be taken into account, so that the children do not have to travel to school unnecessarily.
“It would certainly not be good for us to create a situation where it will not be possible to accept our children, because the capacity will be filled with pupils, whether they are Ukrainians or not. Of course, such a decision would cause a great wave of resentment among the population, so this solution seems to me technically reasonable, ”explains Zajíc, why, in his opinion, it is appropriate to divide the entries for children living permanently in the Czech Republic and newcomers from Ukraine.
All Czech students must be admitted in the first term, then it is possible to accept Ukrainian students until capacity is filled.
Enrollment in preschool education in kindergartens will take place in the same way. The only difference is that the administrators will announce the first date of the period from May 2 to May 16. The Ministry of Education has decided to distribute the registers because it is currently impossible to predict how many refugees will remain in the Czech Republic in the following school year. However, UNHCR is monitoring the number and age structure of incoming refugees and preparing various scenarios to address the insufficient capacity of primary and kindergartens.
“In the first phase, it is necessary to use the existing capacities throughout the Czech Republic, which are unevenly distributed, in the next stage, it is possible to use the premises of other educational establishments that offer conditions for the provision of preschool and primary education, .
In an interview with Seznam Zprávy, Deputy Minister of Education Jan Mareš said that, for example, the use of basic art schools would be considered. These are usually empty in the morning and some nearby primary schools may use the classrooms to increase capacity for newly admitted pupils.