Since the start of the war in Ukraine, many children have been welcomed into schools in France. In France, schooling is compulsory until the age of 16. All young Ukrainian refugees in France who are between the ages of 3 and 16 are therefore registered on French school lists. These students are the subject of a regular census and the last one, from May 24, reveals that national education has which will be able to accommodate 17,677 Ukrainian children and teenagers in its banks.
Everything is in place so that these children, outraged by the war and their forced exile, do not feel lost. National education has made many accompanying steps facilitate their learning and integration in the French school system.
A Ukrainian system that copies the French model
The Ukrainian and French levels are exactly the same. Thus, the main school in Ukraine is organized into 4 grades corresponding to the classes CP, CE1, CE2 and CM1 in the French system. Secondary is composed of grades 5 to 9 corresponding to classes from CM2 through the third year. Upper secondary is composed of grades 10 and 11 corresponding to the second and first classes. For professional training, specific courses are offered at the end of grade 9.
As in the story The Parisian, Ukrainian students are tested on their ability to speak languages and mathematics. Only then will they participate in an acceptance class tailored to their level. The other students continued as well follow the Ukrainian school at a distance. But area classes are often hampered by bombings or connection problems.
Ukrainian students are supported in their learning of French
Mastering French is an important issue for the success of allophone students. Ukrainian students will be enrolled in a regular class. But they can also benefit from reinforced teaching of French as a second language, according to their needs and their language and language skills. It’s a tool that the national education system calls “education units for prospective alophone students (UPE2A)This acronym stands for Pedagogical Unit of Arriving Allophone Pupils.
In addition, the National Center for Distance Education (Cned) provides it training “French as a foreign language”. It can also be activated during school time for middle and high school students with a first -hand idea of French. This independent learning time is requested by the teacher working at UPE2A regarding the needs and skills of each of her students.
Students in France can be mobilized
In Saint-Pierre de Chandieu in the Rhône, 16 Ukrainian children made their “back to school” on March 14. Unable to attend school during the war, the children returned to school benches. France 3 explains that in order to familiarize young Ukrainians with the French language, they are under the “teaching” of French students. Therefore, during the “general” lessons, middle and high school students in Ukraine are assisted by teachers of their age. They are students in France who volunteer to help girls and boys.
The goal is to immerse students as much as possible in the French language. So college or high school age students follow traditional courses, such as math, English, history, geography or even sports and music. Many teachers report a particular refinement of Ukrainian students in mathematics. As reported European 1a young student observes: “Exercises are much easier here than in Ukraine”.
Other courses are taught in English
If teachers try as much as possible to communicate through action, mime or image, the use of “Google Translate” remains the most effective last resort. On the other hand, teachers who can do this will not hesitate translating their lessons into English to allow Ukrainians to understand certain things. This solution, however, is reserved for older students.