EU scrambles to fill gaps in education and childcare for Ukrainian refugees – POLITICO

The European Commission announced a series of new measures on Wednesday aimed at alleviating the educational and child-related challenges faced by Ukrainian refugees arriving in Europe.

The proposed EU policy aims to harmonize the recognition of Ukrainian diplomas, give schools access to Ukraine’s national curriculum and provide financial support to children fleeing the war.

“Education is probably the most urgent and concrete task ahead of us,” said Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas at a press conference presenting the proposals together with Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica and Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

More than 3.5 million people have fled to the EU since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine nearly a month ago, most of them to neighboring Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The EU also announced on Wednesday that it would release a further 3.4 billion euros in reconstruction funds to help member states deal with refugees.

Schinas said European schools will soon be able to access Ukrainian educational materials through the EU’s online learning platform School Education Gateway, but acknowledged that this would only be helpful if children were also given electronic devices to access classes.

He also said the EU is in the process of finalizing Ukraine’s national qualifications framework, which would allow refugees’ diplomas and professional qualifications to be immediately recognized as valid. Countries like Romania and Poland have already done so touched to ease similar legal hurdles in recent weeks.

Refugees will also soon be able to access an online platform called the EU Talent Pool, which will allow candidates to virtually showcase their skills and availability to potential employers, having previously tested the tool in southern Europe.

The EU will also provide funding for “psychosocial support and counseling” for children, according to Šuica, and set up a new platform to “strengthen coordination between key children’s rights stakeholders to identify further needs”, the European Union Children’s Rights Network.

The UN estimates 1.5 million children have fled Ukraine since the outbreak of war, with an average of 55 crossing the border every minute.

“This war in Ukraine seriously endangers the safety of children, their rights, and their physical and psychological well-being,” Suica said. “It is therefore a top priority for the European Commission to respond urgently to their humanitarian needs.” EU scrambles to fill gaps in education and childcare for Ukrainian refugees - POLITICO

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