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Children from four municipalities go to the elementary school in Strupčice in Chomutovskogo. From all the local mayors, the school director Jana Mišková should have a list of Ukrainians who are required to attend school and live here. At least the Education Act and the manual of the Ministry of the Interior say so. But in reality it is not like that.
“I asked the municipalities for the data, but they all said that they did not have access to the register where they could get it,” explains Mišková.
A colleague from the municipal office at least found out that there are apparently some Ukrainian refugees temporarily housed in the neighboring village.
“I then asked the place if we had any school-age children there, but it turned out that they had all already found rentals elsewhere,” the director continues, adding that she has no other way to find out if there are others living in the catchment area Ukrainian schoolchildren. “Perhaps go around house by house and ask if Ukrainians are staying there,” he adds with exaggeration.
Two hundred extra for lunch
School canteens are becoming more expensive across the board. Six crowns in Prague, four crowns in Liberec. Last year, for example, parents paid 600 crowns per month, this year it can be over 800 CZK.
The honest search of the headmistress thus showed that probably no schoolboy was forgotten in Strupčice. However, principals should definitely not fall behind the foreign police in this way, as the Ministry of Education confirms.
“The legal concept is currently set in such a way that the school director received from the municipality a list of Ukrainian children of compulsory school age who were present in the territory of the municipality at the end of June, and checked it with the number of children who came to the special registration. If he found any differences there, he forwarded this information to the municipality, because the municipality is also the body for the social and legal protection of children,” says Pavla Katzová, deputy for managing the economic and legislative section of the Ministry of Education.
Incomplete lists. But somewhere it is missing completely
But in many cases, this was not the case.
“At the moment, a list is just being completed,” Jan Křikava, director of the 3rd elementary school in Central Bohemia, Rakovník, is waiting for the list of names.
“I had to urge it from the village. Šlapanice only has a list of those who are placed in the municipal accommodation center. We only found out about the others because they simply applied to our school,” adds Pavel Vyhňák, director of ZŠ Šlapanice in Brno.
It is not surprising, however, that especially smaller municipalities failed to obtain information. The application manual alone has 22 pages. But it was successful, for example, in Cheb.
“We requested the current lists from the Ministry of the Interior and provided them to both kindergarten and elementary schools. They are now being tracked down according to their slope in kindergartens and primary schools,” confirms Cheb City Hall spokeswoman Simona Liptáková.
Who will look for the children?
In Prague, the city districts again fail to create lists of only Ukrainian refugees. Although they manage to get a list of names, it includes not only new arrivals, but also Ukrainian children with a long-term stay in the catchment area.
“We haven’t figured out a way to get a list of Ukrainian children who are with us on the basis of temporary protection,” explains Iveta Němečková, head of the Prague 3 Department of Education.
It is not just an administrative step. In reality, the Czechia still does not know how many Ukrainian refugees it has on its territory. And it is only by checking the names of child refugees that children can be prevented from being completely excluded from education. But schools can’t check this if they don’t have the full list.
“However, only the children will pay for it again. If they do not get the opportunity to go to school, segregated islands of the uneducated, but the unintegrated, will really be created. They will probably still continue their online education from Ukraine, but they will no longer adapt to the environment in which they are growing up,” adds Vyhňák.
In addition, the current legislation is clear – regardless of whether the pupil continues distance learning or not, he must enter a Czech school within 90 days of the start of his stay. This means that on the first of September, all refugees who are required to attend school and who were granted temporary protection on or before June 4 must sit in the pews. Those registered later can also register, but the obligation will not apply to them until September or October.
“However, at the moment OSPOD is approaching this primarily in a positive way, that is, they inform Ukrainian families with temporary protection about our legislation, inform them about the obligation to attend school and appeal to them,” explains Deputy Minister of Education Katzová, explaining that sharp enforcement will be expected for the time being .
Ukrainian children will be tracked down as well as Czech children who were not enrolled in school by legal representatives. Compulsory school attendance will be enforced by the municipality, or later by the police.