Irish schools ‘will find no shortage’ when it comes to helping thousands of Ukrainian children adjust to life here – Education Minister Norma Foley

Education Minister Norma Foley promised the government “will have no shortage of providing critical additional resources to Irish primary and secondary schools” so that they can accommodate thousands of Ukrainian children fleeing the Russian invasion.

s Foley, speaking at the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) conference in Cork, commended the “outstanding efforts” made by Irish teachers and school staff to help the children of refugee families who are now arriving in Ireland.

Thousands of Ukrainian children will start classes next Monday after arriving as part of Ireland’s humanitarian response to the war.

“We already have quite a large number of students from Ukraine in our schools,” she said.

“I want to recognize and applaud the generosity of schools in providing space, capacity and space to welcome (these) students.”

“We have more than 2,000 students in the elementary school and almost 1,800 in the secondary school.”

“But you’re right – after Easter there’s a lot more to come.”

“We have already committed significant resources – we have more than 260 elementary schools that have applied for additional hours or additional teaching positions.”

“They have been set up. We also have REALT teams led by the Education and Training Board (ETB) to ensure students get a place in a school.”

“We are very aware that we have significant capacity in some places and less in others.”

“So the REALT teams will work through there. We have made significant resources available in relation to (the) English language and are now working with the Department of Further Education and Higher Education to introduce a new system of English as an additional language, where we will provide tutors for primary school students and also for adults in their families – almost a community-family-wide initiative to ensure language is available.”

“There is an intergovernmental view here – (we have) an obligation to source and provide the resources needed to support Ukrainian families and students.”

“We at the Department of Education are not lacking in providing the (necessary) financial resources – but also in recognizing that there is exceptional goodwill locally from staff, students and entire communities to ensure that a (school) place created is available.” Irish schools ‘will find no shortage’ when it comes to helping thousands of Ukrainian children adjust to life here – Education Minister Norma Foley

Fry Electronics Team

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