The Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) has been preparing to welcome the massive number of Ukrainian students in its schools in the coming days, as thousands of refugees are making their way to Belgium.
Around 130 students with Ukrainian origins are enrolled in FWB schools; Education Minister Caroline Desir said this number is likely to rise very quickly. Half of the refugees from Ukraine who have arrived in Belgium are minors and therefore of school age.
The Minister held a meeting with the authorities regarding education, the unions, and other school-related actors on Thursday to discuss the reception of Ukrainian children in classes. She said, “We must prepare for a more massive arrival and over time.”
Additionally, these refugee children will also require a lot of psychological support, given the hardships they have been through and the psychological distress that this has caused.
Facing a huge shortage of teachers in Belgium, Desir said that she considers hiring Ukrainian teachers to help educate the refugee children, for which a specific working group has been set up.
As per estimates by federal authorities, Belgium could host some 200,000 Ukrainian refugees in total, including 80,000 in Wallonia and Brussels. Ten thousand have already registered with the Foreigners’ Office.