Belgium to open special schools for Ukrainian children

Belgium: The Flemish government is going to set up summer schools mainly for kids and young people from war-torn Ukraine in July and August to help them focus on learning Dutch.

The free summer schools set up were initially set up for children in the region to compensate for learning time lost at the time of the pandemic.

In the previous month, it was announced that these would again be organised this year. Additional ones will now also be set up to accommodate the children from Ukraine.

Weyts and Flemish Minister of Internal Administration, Bart Somers, mentioned in the statement, “Summer schools with an offer tailored to their needs offer opportunities to children and young people from Ukraine.”

As per the nation’s Immigration Office estimates, around 11,000 children and young people from Ukraine could be staying in Belgium at the start of the summer holidays, including more than 2,000 pre-schoolers (aged 2.5 to five), about 6,500 children of primary school age and about 3,500 young people of secondary school age.

Moreover, the ministers stated, “A significant proportion of these children and young people only arrived in Belgium late in the school year: they have only limited contact with our education system.”

While the formula will be similar to the summer schools organised for other children, combining lessons with games, culture and sports, they will get tailor-made courses, which focus on Dutch language learning and takes into account the special situation of families that had to flee Ukraine, including the traumas they experienced.

Weyts mentioned, “We want to prepare children and young people from Ukraine and possibly for the new school year that starts in September. This is a very vulnerable group that can really use the extra support and guidance in July and August.”

Furthermore, the organisation is in the hands of schools and local administrations, while the Flemish Government is responsible for all costs.

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