Tallinn to open temporary Ukrainian school for displaced children

Classroom window.
Classroom window. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Tallinn City Government will open a temporary school for children who have fled from the war in Ukraine, daily newspaper Eesti Päevaleht reported on Wednesday.

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said the facility will be open until the end of the school year and then, from September 1, children will be able to enter the Estonian education system.

While Ukrainian children already living in Estonia learn in Estonian and Russian schools, the mayor said exceptions need to be made for the new arrivals because they cannot be expected to study in Estonian yet.

"The situation is different, the children are traumatized, we cannot create additional pressure for them," said Kõlvart. 

He said each child will be accessed individually and, if ready, they will be able to join schools quicker.

The city also hopes it will be able to find some additional teachers among the Ukrainian community and new arrivals.

"All children must have the opportunity to go to school, and in cooperation with the private sector, we will also create opportunities for their free time," said Kõlvart.

If necessary, the temporary school will stay open past September and the mayor said the council will react to and access the situation as needed.

Additionally, a new reception center was opened in Tallinn on Wednesday for displaced people.

At the opening press conference, Kõlvart said Tallinn could accommodate a maximum of 18,000 refugees but this would mean using temporary spaces such as gyms. The council wants to put people up in hotels instead.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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