In Extremadura there are already 26 Ukrainian children enrolled in educational centers. They have fled the war and are now trying to forget what they have experienced in recent weeks after the Russian invasion. They do it more than 3,000 kilometers from their home and supported by a protocol launched by the Ministry of Education.
For the time being, the 26 school children from Ukraine have come mainly to urban centers in the region such as Plasencia, Trujillo, Navalmoral de la Mata, Badajoz, Don Benito and Zafra. That number is expected to increase every day and new places are added.
These are data that the Board has provided to the central government, as detailed to this newspaper by the Secretary General for Education, Francisco Javier Amaya. Since the war broke out, the Ministry has been in permanent contact with the Executive of Pedro Sánchez and on March 23 the General Education Commission will be held, which Amaya will attend. In it, one of the points they will deal with is the arrival of Ukrainian citizens of school age.
Given this, the Board has prepared a protocol by which all the presidents of the Extremadura schooling commissions must have foreseen what are the vacancies that the schools and institutes have, as well as the centers that have additional spaces to assume new units. or groups if the arrival was massive.
“School enrollment is immediate, from one day to the next, in 24 hours. In addition, there are no vacancy problems because, in fact, there are centers that we have below their capacity. In no locality in the region is there a problem in this sense, ”emphasizes Amaya, who for the moment cannot detail how many children could arrive in Extremadura during the entire conflict.
This schooling will be both in public and private schools. For this, families have to go to one of the four schooling commissions that exist, which are in Badajoz, Cáceres, Mérida and Plasencia. In those municipalities where this entity does not exist, they should go to the educational center where they wish to send the child to school. If there are no vacancies in that center, they will inform you where there are vacancies.
“At the moment that the Inspection sees the need to incorporate new teachers, it will be done”
Francis Xavier Amaya
Secretary General for Education
Initially, Extremadura will not have Ukrainian translators in the education sector. “We understand that children have to establish a mode of communication with host families and what we will do from the educational field is to help them integrate into the school or institute and into the population. We will try to overcome these difficulties and we will not skimp on all the resources that are necessary, “says Amaya.
To do this, if the language in which the little ones communicate is English and they need reinforcement, the Board will put it in, indicates the Secretary General of Education, who clarifies that above all they will affect compensatory teachers who can teach them Spanish as a foreign language. “We have already done it on other occasions in educational centers where at some point there have been children from other countries and it has worked,” adds Amaya.
The main measures
All the presidents of the schooling commissions have a list with the vacancies that the centers have and must inform of possible spaces in case new groups have to be created.
The Librarium platform will feature books in Ukrainian.
The first few days they will be able to make their schedule more flexible so that there is an adaptation.
A bank of emotional resources will be created, as well as a protocol of action with the host families.
If necessary, they will have English teachers, if they communicate in that language, and Spanish for foreigners.
Regarding the economic resources that will be allocated to this extraordinary situation, Amaya indicates that all this protocol and implementation of measures are supporting it with ordinary investment and for now they have not allocated any extra economic resources.
«The staff of our centers, precisely reinforced by the covid, can assume this particular situation without any extraordinary effort. We are welcoming the children and at the moment that the Inspection, which works closely with the educational centers, sees the need to incorporate new teachers, it will be done ».
The protocol includes a package of educational and social measures to promote the integration of Ukrainian children. Among them, the flexibility of school hours the first days so that there is an adaptation, a bank of resources to work on emotional issues, as well as access to books in Ukrainian on the audiovisual lending platform of Libraries of Extremadura Librarium. “That’s almost ready,” Amaya specifies.
“In addition, from the moment the child arrives at a center, they will establish a protocol of action with the families in case they have any emotional circumstance that makes them suffer,” explains Amaya.
The counselors and technicians of Community Services will be aware of it. «If we detect that a number of Ukrainian citizens arrive that saturates the work of the counselors, we will provide the necessary resources. We are clear that exceptional measures must be adopted, ”concludes Amaya.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.