The long summer vacation started for over a hundred Ukrainian schoolchildren who have been studying at a school in Tallinn after having to flee their home country following the Russian invasion starting February 24, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Monday.
Natalja Mjalitsina, project manager at the Lilleküla High School in the Tallinn distrcit of the same name, told AK that: "We are still using the Estonian curriculum as a basis, but we still have to look a little at what a child's previous knowledge is, what they have learned in Ukraine and where to go from there."
As to the language of instruction, this would be skewed more towards Ukrainian in the beginning, with the aim of reaching a 60/40 split (in favor of Estonian) later on and in the next academic year starting in the autumn, Mjalitsina added, a target which might necessitate extra lessons in Estonian initially.
A total of 130 schoolchildren finished their school year at the Lilleküla high school – for most of them an academic year disrupted by the conflict in their home country and which only started, in Estonia, after February 24 – ranging in age from six to 14 (first to ninth grade)
One pupil, Margarita, told AK that: "I did well. My favorite lessons were English and physical education. I have been at this school for a long time and I would like to have a day off."
Another, first grader Alexander, said: "It's going well here, is' going great. Speaking honestly, I haven't been here for two months, but rather, for a month."
Elizaveta meanwhile said: "I can read and I know a little of the animals [names]. A dog. And all of them."
The children also received certificates which differed slightly from the norm, to reflect the tailor-made education they had been receiving so far, Mjalitsina added.
Ukrainian children in grades one to six are set to return to the Lilleküla school, on Räägu, in Lilleküla, southwest of the city center, while children from seventh grade upwards will continue their studies at the Vabaduse school, close to Tõnismägi in central Tallinn.
Editor: Andrew Whyte