How France organizes the education of Ukrainian children

There are eleven young people, on Thursday, March 10, in a room of the Academic Center for the education of newborn children and children from itinerant and traveling families (Casnav). Eleven Ukrainians, aged 11 to 18, take French and mathematics level tests to study in Paris.

“We are exceptionally organizing evaluation sessions dedicated only to young peopleUkrainiansexplains Stéphane Paroux, coordinator of Casnav. Depending on the results, they will be assigned, from next week, to ordinary classes or to didactic units of incoming allophone students. (UPE2A), that is, not speaking French. If they are received in an exceptional way, they are not treated differently from other migrant children who also receive an education in one or two weeks ”. wants to clarify.

Reinforced teaching

Arriving from Ukraine, often with his mother, most do not speak any French, with the exception of 15-year-old André and 13-year-old Marc, who have some rudiments. The first, a French-Ukrainian, has already come to France twice. The second studied the language at 6i at the French Institute in Kyiv, but he hadn’t spoken in three years.“I’ve been here for two weeks and he’s been back a bit,” he trusts.

They are all focused on their exercises, which they perform with varying degrees of ease. Yanna, 13, says yes in Ukrainian “not understood”. It is his mother, Tatiana, who translates with the few words he knows. For André too, the tests “In French and math, it was really bad”. The teenager is the last to leave the room to reunite with his father, Christian, who is waiting for him next door. This Frenchman living in Odessa brought his son to Paris “protect it”.

→ READ ALSO. Towards a tailor-made reception for Ukrainian refugees

These eleven Ukrainians are the first to pass the assessments in the capital. As many as 68,000 allophone students in France (in the 2018-2019 academic year) will follow a reinforced teaching in French as a second language (FLS), according to their needs. To benefit from the UPE2A system, children must be registered at the town hall, in primary school, and directly at Casnav in secondary school. On Thursday, March 10, 255 students were enrolled and 356 were in the process of enrolling nationwide, according to Marlène Schiappa’s office.

“We have places to accommodate them”

There were only eleven students taking the tests in Paris that day, but the flow could increase a lot. The number of refugees on French soil rose from 7,200 on Thursday to 10,077 on Friday, according to the Interior Ministry. However, this perspective does not concern Stéphane Paroux. “We have places to welcome themassures, mainly because the number of allophone students has decreased slightly in recent months.We are not necessarily accustomed to mass arrivals in a very short time, but in Paris, we are accustomed to a continuous flow. »

→ REPORT. War in Ukraine: French cities open their doors to refugees

The reception is organized throughout the territory. The rector of the Montpellier Academy (Hérault), Sophie Béjean, tweeted on Saturday 5 March that ” as soon as it resumes on Monday, the academy will welcome it[ait] Ukrainian refugee children in their schools, colleges and institutes “. At the academy of Reims (Marne), which registers, on March 11, about twenty young people who attend school, “The procedureregistration has been simplified, with a one-stop shop in the town halls, whatever the school level, to facilitate the organization of families ”, explains the rector, Olivier Brandouy.

Families who, in Reims as elsewhere, will be able to benefit from the “Open school to parents for the success of students” system. Created by the Ministries of Education and Interior, it aims to “Encourage the integration of parents through the acquisition of French, knowledge of the operation of the school and the values ​​of the Republic.”

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