Answering a question from CSV deputy Diane Adehm, Meisch explained that the state expects between 1,000 and 2,000 refugee children from Ukraine to come to Luxembourg. “The war has brought a new reality for thousands of children,” he explained, adding that children had to leave behind families, fathers, education and extracurricular activities to get here. It is Luxembourg’s duty to take care of them, he said.
With an annual intake of 2,000 immigrant children in Luxembourg’s school system, the grand duchy is well equipped to handle the transition from one educational system to another, according to Meisch. The challenge will lie in finding space--communes don’t have enough capacities in their school buildings--and personnel to teach these youths and children.
Another difficult task will be to help students continue the education they have already started. Some may have learned English or German but, just like many other immigrant children in Luxembourg, they might struggle in a system that is taught in French and German exclusively. The question will be to see whether Ukrainian newcomers should be placed in separate classes, integrated in the normal curriculum, or assigned to European and international--English-language--schools.
Meisch also noted that many of these children hope to return home at some point and that the Luxembourg ministry should make an effort to align their educational programme so that they don’t struggle once they return to Ukraine. Whether classes in Ukrainian will be organised has not yet been determined, but the idea is not being dismissed.
Each child will be considered separately to make sure it gets the best support possible, Meisch explained. Most importantly, everything should be done so that “children can be children and youths can be youths” as quickly as possible.