Czech Republic Schools Prepare for Influx of Ukrainian Students

Primary and kindergarten schools in the Czech Republic can now accept 128,416 new children from Ukraine, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MŠMT) in April 2023. The survey focused on the number of Ukrainian refugees in regional education.

As of March 31, 2023, schools have recorded 51,281 children and students from Ukraine, representing 2.8% of the total number of 1,850,751 students that schools reported in performance data by September 30, 2022. According to the survey, the most significant proportion of Ukrainian students is now in preparatory classes (7% of all children here) and students in primary schools (3.9% of all primary school students).

Last year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provided Prague with over CZK 22 million to create “zero grade” classes in secondary schools for children from Ukraine. The program aims to allow young Ukrainians to continue their studies and provide them with training in the Czech language and cultural environment. The zero-grade classes are meant to provide intensive Czech language education and introduce the students to the Czech school system so that they can develop their study potential in traditional Czech secondary schools the following year.

In kindergarten, the most significant percentage of children from Ukraine is currently in the districts of Cheb (4.3% of all children in kindergarten) and Karlovy Vary and Plzen-city (both 4.1%). The highest percentage increase compared to the number of Ukrainian asylum-seeking children reported as of September 30, 2022, occurred in kindergartens in the Jeseník district (up 81.3%) and the Tachov district (up 66.7%).

In primary schools, Ukrainian students currently make up the most significant percentage in the Cheb district (7.6% of all primary school students), Karlovy Vary (7.5%), Tachov and Plzen-city (both 7.1%), and Prague (6.7%). The highest percentage increase compared to the number of Ukrainian asylum-seeking students reported in performance data as of September 30, 2022, occurred in primary schools in the Jeseník district (up 21.6%), Děčín (up 14.6%), and Rychnov…

The MŠMT plans to create a project to support schools and kindergartens with the integration of Ukrainian children and students. The project aims to develop Czech language skills and support their psychological well-being. The MŠMT will provide the schools and kindergartens with financial and methodological support.

According to the Ministry, the survey results provide a reasonable basis for planning school capacity for the upcoming school year. They will help ensure that schools are prepared to accept the expected number of new students from Ukraine and provide them with the necessary support to integrate into the Czech educational system.