Ukrainian school opens for refugee children in Tallinn

Lilleküla Gymnasium.
Lilleküla Gymnasium. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Almost 70 children started school in Tallinn on Monday (April 11) at a newly opened school for Ukrainians.

Lilleküla High School is the only school in Estonia where so many Ukrainians will be able to study together in one place. The school will have space for 200 refugee children.

On Tuesday, ETV's evening news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" looked around the building and discussed the new students' studies with the school's project manager.

AK said the day begins with a discussion about how the children are feeling and whether someone needs help or wants to be alone. As many children are still distance learning with teachers in Ukraine, time for this is also factored into the day. The lessons start.

"Some have Estonian, others Ukrainian or mathematics. And on Mondays, we have a teacher who will start doing robotics, which all the children can do. On Tuesdays, for example, we have art. On Wednesday we will have street dance, again for all the children," said project manager Natalja Mjalitsina.

While children at the school speak Russian, there is no intermediary language. Lilleküla High School is one of the most experienced schools in Estonia using this method and is an integration competence center.

Children are also assisted by teachers from Ukraine and there are many who want to continue their profession in Estonia. 

"I worked in the same area in Kharkiv as a primary school teacher." said teaching assistant Marharyta. She told AK she left Ukraine to keep her child safe when the war started.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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