Ministry of education plans to attract more Ukrainian teachers and assistants to Czech schools

According to unofficial data, there could up to ten thousand teachers and teaching assistants among Ukrainian refugees in Czechia. However, only between one to two thousand of them are actually working in Czech schools at the moment. The Ministry of Education plans to earmark more finances to support their integration and, at the same time, help Czech schools, which are facing a serious lack of teachers.

According to the Czech Ministry of Education, there are roughly 60,000 Ukrainian refugees who took their seats in primary and secondary schools around the country at the start of this school year. Many of the children don’t speak any Czech and the help of teaching assistants is essential for their successful integration.

Photo illustrative: Václav Plecháček,  Czech Radio

A number of Czech NGOs have already started programmes to bring more Ukrainian teaching professionals to Czech schools. One of them is the organisation People in Need, which has launched a free Czech-language course for Ukrainian teaching assistants.

Tomáš Habart, an educational expert of People in Need, is in charge of the programme:

“We decided to focus on teaching assistants, because we find this position crucial for the success of Ukrainian students in Czech schools. We are also aware that the Ministry of Education has been promoting this position within the Czech educational system.

“We are trying to help them better understand the professional Czech language that is used in Czech schools. We focus on specific vocabulary and phrases and we also want to show them some specific examples of how it works in Czech schools, what situations one comes across and what kind of communication skills they need in Czech schools.”

Who is this course intended for? Is it strictly for teachers and teaching assistants or is it open to anyone interested in working in Czech schools?

“It is open for everyone, because it is free and everyone can download it on our website. However, the main focus are Ukrainian teaching assistants, because it focuses on Czech language for Ukrainian speakers.”

According to your data, how many teachers and teaching assistants are there among Ukrainian refugees in Czechia?

Photo illustrative: Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Karlovy Vary Region

“As far as we know, there are between one and two thousand Ukrainian pedagogical assistants and teachers already working in Czech schools. Or at least that’s the data from June.

“We hope that with the support from the Ministry of Education, the number of these people will increase and there will be more teaching assistants from Ukraine helping Ukrainian children in Czech school, because we find it really crucial.”

Finally, how many people have signed up for the course so far?

“We are very glad that more than 800 Ukrainian teaching assistants have already signed up. So far, we have published the first five lessons and we have a very good feedback. The participants say that it is very useful for them. We are planning to release another six lessons in two weeks’ time.”

Author: Ruth Fraňková
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