The Education Minister of Poland, Przemyslaw Czarne, has announced that Polish schools are gearing up to accept more than 300,000 Ukrainian students in the new academic year. The Russia-Ukraine war has displaced millions of academics and students from Ukraine, disrupting their studies.
In fact, Poland has become the #1 destination for Ukrainian refugees, with an estimated one million residing in the country. Moreover, according to statistics, approximately 200,000 Ukrainian students joined Polish schools from February to May. Thus, to meet the growing demand, the Education Minister has promised to create a flexible system with the local authorities and government to admit more Ukrainian students to Polish schools.
Several people have raised concerns regarding teacher shortage and the inability to maintain a proper student-teacher ratio in classes. However, Czarne has admitted that problems might arise in seat availability in large cities like Warsaw and Kraków, where too many students might try to apply to the same school.
Despite the Minister’s reassurance, principals and trade unions across Poland fear that teacher shortages will continue to rise over the next few years. Currently, Poland has 689,000 teachers, which is 6000 less than the previous year. Furthermore, schools across Poland have recorded teacher shortages even before the admittance of Ukrainian refugee students.
Therefore, it is up to the Polish government to figure out the solution before admitting more Ukrainian students in the new academic year.