What are the consequences for Ukrainian students educated in France at the end of the year?

This Friday evening, they will be on vacation like other students in France. But Ukrainian students will not welcome them with the same enthusiasm as their French comrades. There will be very few who will leave, and those who will get this opportunity, it is difficult to give way to negligence when war is going on in his country.

Whatever he is, they can congratulate themselves for the course they have already completed in our country. Because as of February 24, 2022, 18,832 Ukrainian students have come to French institutions: 19% in kindergarten, 39% in primary, 32% in college and 10% in high school, according to data collected by the ministry. 20 minutes. Academies in Nice, Versailles, Grenoble, Normandy, Strasbourg and Lyon have the highest number of children. It is impossible to create a uniform picture of their last months in France, “because there is a great variability in the situation. We are more tailormade than single menu, ”notes Remy Servant, National Secretary, SE Unsar.

The condition of different schools, from one city to another

Some Ukrainian students are enrolled in an educational unit for incoming Allophone students (UPE2A). A device that allows you to benefit from strong teaching in French as well as connect to a general class to follow all subjects. Unfortunately, not everyone benefits from this: “UPE2As are often concentrated in large cities. However, children are welcome where there is accommodation, so usually in small towns where they are not, ”the trade unionist observed. “In this case, the children are completely immersed in a class held by teachers who usually do not have a common language with them,” said Guisline David. PSpokesperson for SNUipp-FSU (First Degree Union).

For secondary school, the lucky students had a place in UPE2A. “And middle and high school students studying French on LV2 in Ukraine were placed full-time in general classes in the hope that they would manage. Sometimes with a class of 35 students already, the learning situation was not ideal,” Sophie Vanite reports.S.Secretary of SNES-FSU.

To overcome language barriers, teachers resort to skills and use translators on their phones, even if a few municipalities hire translators to help teachers. It is not easy for them to adapt their education to these students who did not have the same school system. The Kasnav (Academic Center for the Education of Allophone Students) Rector has made online learning tools available to them. Goal: To advise care for these children who have experienced the trauma of war and deportation, but to find their way around the Ukrainian education system, to know the school’s vocabulary in the language, to create order … Of course, some non-native speaking children are taught subjects more than others. Easy: “Teachers can easily impart knowledge of math, digital language and sports to them,” observes Remy Servant.

“The younger they are, the faster they develop a foreign language.”

In addition to teaching time in French schools, some students were able to benefit by continuing to learn their mother tongue. The Ukrainian language and culture course, coordinated by CND, was offered by Ukrainian teachers recruited by the Academy. And some teachers who remain in Ukraine continue to teach from a distance. To facilitate student integration, a tutoring system for students has often been established.

Of course, the beginning was not always easy, as Remy Servant noted: “It was not easy to keep the children most troubled by war in educational situations”. But after a few months, many have found the feet. Those who don’t know a word of French have improved, Guisline David observes: “The younger they are, the faster they progress in a foreign language.” And even if they lag behind in Ukrainian educational programs, this is not the most important thing, according to Remy Servant: “The main thing is that they are in an educational situation. A

Returning to multiple challenges

A positive sign: some are going to or have passed ZNO, Ukrainian high school leaving certificate, the equivalent of graduation. “As of June 7, 823 candidates have confirmed their participation in the License Entry Test, meaning that almost half of the students enrolled in French high schools so far. The tests will be conducted at academies in Paris, Bordeaux and Marseille, ”the ministry said.

And the next school year? This will be a new challenge. Because even if some people try to go back to Ukraine, they will not be able to do a big part. “The war may be permanent, so students will come up with the idea at the beginning of the school year that they will be in France,” Remy underlined Servant. Teachers also know that there will be new students who will set foot on French soil. “We must plan to open up space in UPE2A and recruit more teachers in FLE (French as a foreign language),” insisted Guisline David. “We need more school psychologists to support these students, who are missing some of their relatives and their lives will last in France.”

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