Ukraine has agreed in principle to recognize the education systems of five EU countries, including Estonia, so thousands of refugee children studying in these countries will not have to repeat their schooling when they return home.
The agreement has been struck with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic, where thousands of women and children have fled since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February.
But concerns have arisen that children are continuing to study online with Ukrainian teachers rather than in schools in their new countries, Friday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported.
The details of the agreement will be confirmed within the next month, Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) said.
"Parents are afraid that if they [children] enter the Estonian education system, they will be switched out of the Ukrainian system and when they go back they will either have to start from scratch or, at the very least, their studies will not be recognized," he told AK.
"Now, even if people study in Estonia for a few months or a year, they can safely go back to Ukraine knowing their intermediate studies will be taken into account."
It will also help children studying in two schools at the same time.
However, AK spoke to Natalja, a parent whose child Tanja is having to repeat a year of school in Estonia. She said the decision will not help her.
Despite finishing fifth grade with good results, 11-year-old Tanja was assigned a place in the same grade in Estonia at Lilleküla School in Tallinn.
Tanja is now studying sixth-grade assignments after school so she does not fall behind.
"If we are given a document stating that we went to fifth grade in Estonia, when we return home we will not be able to continue studies in seventh grade because we missed sixth grade," Natalja said.
She thinks children should be assigned to a class based on knowledge, not only age.
Recently, Minister Tõnis Lukas visited Ukraine. In a plenary meeting with colleagues from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechia and Ukraine he was reassured that the education of refugees in Estonia, however long it lasted, will be recognised whenever they return to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/Pb2Fd9npLF— Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia (@haridusmin) October 10, 2022
Editor: Mari Peegel, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera