Ukrainian children trapped. Czech lessons in the morning, then distance lessons from Ukraine

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When he finally finishes his chores at eight o’clock in the evening, he sometimes cannot stop crying. Seven-year-old Olexandra misses her father and grandmother, who remained in Ukraine, but above all, she is exhausted. He spends the morning in a Czech school, but when he returns home he cannot rest much. Tasks from her home Ukrainian school await her.

“It’s a lot of stress for Sasha. Try to imagine it. The fact that she ended up in the Czech Republic, came to a completely unknown country, started going to school without knowing Czech, unknown children around her, she is also the only one from Ukraine in the class – she needs a lot of energy to adapt at all, ”says her mother Valerija Donets.

List of messages in Ukrainian

“So after the Czech school, there is no more strength to do homework for the Ukrainian school. We have no free time – when we have it, we learn Czech, me and her. From plus, she does chores in Ukrainian in the afternoons and evenings,” he adds.

Online tuition fees or confiscation

Valerija and her daughter have been in Prague for less than a month. He therefore addresses the same problem as most war refugees before the Russian aggression in Ukraine. It is not yet clear whether they will stay permanently in the Czech Republic or return home to Krivoy Rog, the steel capital of Ukraine, where, by the way, current President Volodymyr Zelenkskyj also grew up. But there have been fierce battles around the city since the early days of the war, so returning may not be easy. But if Olexandra does not complete the tasks, he may fail his school.

“We didn’t leave her school at Krivoy Rog, she’s still an official pupil, so they want the same for her as for the children who stayed. I understand that because we don’t know if we’ll come back – if c “If so, Sasha will need a Ukrainian education. The teacher told us that if she doesn’t complete the homework remotely, she won’t be able to go to third grade,” adds Valerija. than Olexandra, if they knew exactly what she had to do in order not to fall in. Sasha still cannot follow the whole lesson, so she mainly catches up with mathematics and Ukrainian.

Anna Zajčkovska-Sitar approached it differently in the case of her son Arťom. He, like Olexandra, enrolled in a Czech school. But it turned out that online education from Ukraine has no chance to manage. He attends a private school there focusing on English and math.

“Local schools and kindergartens have accepted Ukrainian children, for which they deserve special thanks. It is important because the children have had access to education and also the opportunity to adapt after all what they had to go through at home. But many Ukrainian schools, whose teachers could travel to safer areas of Ukraine, started teaching online,” says Anna.

He and his son thought about the educational path they should take.

It’s a lot of stress for Sasha. Try to imagine it. Having found herself in the Czech Republic, coming to a completely unknown country, starting school without knowing Czech, unknown children around her, she is also the only one in Ukraine in the class – she needs a lot of energy to adapt at all.

Valerija Donets, mother of seven-year-old Olexandra

“We had to decide whether to keep Artyom in a Czech school or continue online in Ukrainian, because two schools at the same time are a big burden for him. I decided it was important to finish the school year in a Ukrainian school, and then we will decide depending on the situation”, Anna is convinced. Her son will not continue to Czech school yet.

Compulsory education is not, but necessary

Ukrainian children and their parents are a bit trapped. They have only been living in the Czech Republic for a few weeks and intend to integrate as soon as possible. But they certainly do not want to close the way back to Ukraine, in the case of their children to local schools. The list The reports therefore approached the Czech and Ukrainian Ministries of Education as well as the Ukrainian Embassy in the Czech Republic, asking if the children could be helped in any way. In short, to make it easier for them in a difficult life situation, so that they don’t have to take a double dose every day. Only the Czech Ministry of Education responded.

“If a Ukrainian child is admitted to our school, fulfills his compulsory education here and is not obliged to follow distance education in a Ukrainian school, his attendance in the Czech Republic will be “recognized”. This is also the statement of the Ukrainian Ministry of Education,” said Aneta Lednová, spokesperson for the Czech Ministry of Education.

So when children enter a Czech school, Ukrainian schools must respect this. This means that they will not be covered by distance learning. In case of return, they will however have the possibility of returning in their year. The principal of the Český Dub primary school, Jan Goll, also agreed with the main schools of his new pupils from Ukraine.

Teachers noticed that Ukrainian children tend to be tired and at the same time annoyed when given homework. After several interviews, however, they discovered that the children are certainly not lazy, they just know that they will have distance learning from Ukraine at home. And so they don’t enthusiastically welcome new work.

“I called three Ukrainian schools and we came to the conclusion that when the child proved that he was admitted to a school in the Czech Republic, he was not continuing his education with them. If the school exempts an online education, she also offers it to students in the Czech Republic, but she is not obliged to participate,” found out director Goll.

She doesn’t have to, but the kids are under pressure to take care of her. Otherwise, they could complicate their return to their country of origin if they so decide. Therefore, they prefer to grit their teeth and try to manage both, at least temporarily. Until they know for sure that they will stay in the Czech Republic.

“I don’t know what will happen next. I’m afraid to come back now, so I’m not thinking about it. By the end of the school year, we have to deal with both Czech and Ukrainian schools Adds Valeriia Donets.She and her daughter Olexandra spend long evenings doing their homework.

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