STA, 16 March 2022 - A total of 87 school children from Ukraine have found refuge in an aliens centre in Logatec. The state is now looking for solutions to integrate them in the education system as soon as possible, Education Minister Simona Kustec said as she visited the centre on Wednesday.
Kustec held a meeting with the head teachers of three primary schools in the area and the director of the local kindergarten on how to integrate the refugee children.
"Our basic duty is to take care of their well-being, which also means providing for the educational process," the minister told the press after the meeting, noting that the schools had already received the first guidelines on how to start the integration.
She said this would be a difficult task, in particular in Logatec, while adding that "we need to approach the children and their mothers in an appropriate manner and start gradually introducing them into the system."
The head teachers of local primary schools noted that experts would have a say in how the children would be integrated, adding that it was important that mothers or legal guardians of the Ukrainian children applied for formal refugee status.
This is a prerequisite for them to become part of the formal education system. "Until the legal status is regulated, the focus will be on the emotional integration of children," said Jure Kramar of the Tabor primary school.
"They will first be given the chance to attend after-school activities ... maybe a camp will be organised to try to make them forget about the war," said Kramar, who thinks that the Ukrainian children are not yet ready emotionally to enter the Slovenian school system.
Karmen Cunder, the head teacher of another primary school in Logatec, added that the children only wanted to return home as soon as possible, so it was important to keep them in touch with their school system.
She thinks that they need education in their native language and socialising with their peers outside the accommodation centre, so distance learning from Ukraine should be organised on the premises of the primary schools.
There are another 50 Ukrainian school children elsewhere in Slovenia who are being integrated in the school system, Minister Kustec said, adding that the ministry was in touch with individual schools and that the procedure was running smoothly.
The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC), the state-owned bad bank, has meanwhile offered three buildings in its ownership for the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine, with the government assessing two of them as suitable.
These are office buildings in Velenje and in Celje, BAMC said, adding that the facilities would be equipped by the Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants, with all costs to be covered by the state.