War in Ukraine, “sobriety” in the reception of refugees. NOTE Ministry of Education [PDF]. A special section with useful materials for schools is coming up

The Ministry of Education has intervened in recent hours with a note on the admission of students fleeing the war in Ukraine.

According to the latest data provided by the Interior Ministry, on March 24, there are 65,439 refugees from Ukraine: 33,591 women, 5,910 men and 25,938 minors. According to the latest updates, 65% of childhood students are in primary school.

The head of the Ministry of Education, Stefano Versari preaches “sobriety” and asks to avoid excesses. In a recent interview on the “Vita” website, Versari “predicted” the topics of ministerial intervention: “Solidarity and school inclusion are the two cornerstones of our action. We work to welcome all children and young people on the run from the war. To date, about 3,500 of them are in school, of which 3 out of 4 (about 75%) are in schools in six regions: Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Campania. The prevailing age group is that of childhood in primary school (about 65%). They are welcomed by adopting as a style the “pedagogy of the ladder”. That is, there are many steps prepared to enable you to rise from the abyss of suffering. We need socialization, linguistic, cultural interventions, welcoming styles, “community pacts” with the territory, institutional connections … Last but not least, relations with the community of Ukrainians already living in Italy: about 250,000 before the conflict. Each of these interventions forms a step of the ladder to be built for the ascent and light of every exiled student ”.

It is still: “This migration phenomenon is characterized by three elements: brutality and violence based on flight; the immediacy of the time (about 3 million refugees in about twenty days); the temperature of the Exodus (at least as far as personal hope is concerned). These are special conditions that require specific didactic and pedagogical interventions. They also propose the close connection with the Ministry of the Interior and the prefectures. To try to “govern” the daily problems of “arrival” and initial reception.

Then he explains: The first phase is that of the “slow time for greeting”, until the end of the school year. A time for composing socialization groups, getting first communication skills in Italian, dealing with trauma. A second phase of “consolidating and Reinforcement “of the same elements, also by municipal agreements, can be carried out during the summer period. Finally, with the school year 2022/23 a third more structured phase of” school integration “could start. For this last phase, however, the conditions under which it will move, largely unknown.

For the current first phase, it seems sensible to adopt the pedagogy of return. Let me explain. The time spent in our country will probably not be short: at least one has to wait for the reconstruction of the many destroyed houses and infrastructures. But Ukrainians want to go back to where they came from. Therefore, inclusion paths that are not assimilated are needed. It is good that the Ukrainian language, culture and school are preserved in some way, as far as possible with the support of the communities to which they belong in our country. It is also necessary to avoid educational “slips”. Excess: Exiles must be greeted with open arms, but their grief for all they have lost must be respected. That’s why I believe sobriety should be the rule adopted in hospitality. “

“Along with the traumas experienced, the language barrier is the first obstacle to the pedagogical action of the school, especially in the reception and socialization phase. However, the linguistic mediators are not equal to the needs. With the cooperation of the Ukrainian communities and the exiled teachers, however, he is confident of meeting the multiple language needs of the least communicative type, but it is worth remembering that linguistic and cultural mediators are the responsibility of local authorities and the intervention of the Ministry of Education has the Function of direct support, not as a replacement. I also believe that in a future “Ukrainian law decree” resources will be allocated to the emergency and therefore also to this important point “.

Finally, he adds: “The modalities of the flight suggest that few disabled minors will be able to leave Ukraine. Those who manage to get there, as always, will still be welcomed in a way that suits their condition. The documents , the certifications favor the knowledge of the situations, but they are not set on condition of the welcome.The school, like the hospital, welcomes and cares for the person who with competence, commitment and ethics the everyday Emergency facing.

Ministerial intervention

In line with the above-mentioned educational objectives, the Ministry of Education, through its Head of Department, Stefano Versari, has issued a notice announcing the materials that educational institutions may evaluate, modify and integrate, based on the “proprietary” of the different professional communities and the specific contextual situations that take place in the reception of refugees.

Materials, soon available in the section “Ukrainian pedagogical emergency” under construction on the institutional websiteWorry:

– a first collection of ideas that can be used by teachers for the development of hospitality projects. The collection is, of course, not exhaustive, nor does it claim to confirm undisputed pedagogical or didactic “truths”: Nothing that corresponds to human reality, especially when in developmental age and with traumatic experiences, is undisputed;

– a first list of websites where schools can find information – for example, concerning the school system in Ukraine – and materials for literacy and support for those who have experienced traumatic experiences in emergencies.

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