Children need time to rest alongside their families

Pilsen advises refugees to prioritise children’s rest and recovery over education

Pilsen advises refugees to prioritise children’s rest and recovery over education

They must have time to process fleeing their homeland before enrolling into a new school

Over the past two weeks, cities in Europe have seen an influx of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and searching for safety. Besides having to find and secure accommodation in a foreign country, the families must also search for employment and enrol their children in schools and kindergartens.

Acknowledging how challenging this is, the City of Pilsen has released a statement advising families to prioritise their children’s wellbeing over their education. More specifically, it noted that there is no need to secure a school or kindergarten immediately upon arriving in the city.

Giving children time to process

Instead of securing children a place in education, it is best to first allow them to process the traumatic experience of fleeing their homeland. What is more, they will need time to rest alongside their family and get used to the new city, language, and environment.

“Before the family starts to address the enrolment of children, it is necessary to ensure their mental wellbeing and health. It can take several months for children to get used to the new environment. I therefore urge the parents in Ukraine not to rush anything. It is not necessary to start compulsory pre-school education or compulsory school attendance during the first three months of the stay in Czechia,” explained Lucie Kantorová, Pilsen City Councillor for Education.

According to the municipality, starting school in the middle of an academic year is difficult enough. Therefore, enrolling children into education before they have had time to process the current situation can cause more damage as they will likely perceive it as another stressful event.

Those who would like to enrol their children in primary schools and kindergartens can do so from April and May, respectively. The City of Pilsen has further prepared detailed instructions on enrolling Ukrainian children in educational institutions on its website.



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