Ukrainian students must have access to their own curriculum, says Cork principal

Fergal McCarthy of Kinsale Community School said that special measures are needed as many of the students who are coming to Ireland plan on returning home and continuing their education in Ukraine when possible.
Ukrainian students must have access to their own curriculum, says Cork principal

Kinsale Community School principal Fergal McCarthy has suggested that it be made possible for Ukrainian teachers coming to Ireland to help teach the students online.

A CORK principal is calling for Ukrainian students who come to Ireland to have access to their own curriculums via online teaching.

Speaking with The Echo, Fergal McCarthy of Kinsale Community School said that special measures are needed as many of the students who are coming to Ireland plan on returning home and continuing their education in Ukraine when possible.

“For the first time, Ireland has been challenged to cater for the education of refugees whose ultimate ambitions are to go home. Refugees that we’ve dealt with up until now have been seeking to establish a new beginning in Ireland. That’s not what a lot of Ukrainians want,” Mr McCarthy said.

“The education that we should be delivering to them is the Ukrainian curriculum. I want a Ukrainian child coming to our school to not lose a day’s teaching and learning in the context of where they want to be, which is at home.” 

To facilitate this, Mr McCarthy has suggested that it be made possible for Ukrainian teachers coming to Ireland to help teach the students online.

“During the pandemic, we have developed the skills and competency that will allow Ukrainian teachers in Ireland to teach remotely,” Mr McCarthy said.

“The teaching council ultimately needs to fast track the registration of Ukrainian teachers and we need to think outside the box of the teaching that we usually give to refugees.” 

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) said that additional support from the Department of Education for initiatives to help refugee students would be welcome.

“Some migrant and refugee students already have access to supplementary teaching in their native language and home curriculum outside of the education system. This is typically provided by community groups and migrant support groups,” a spokesperson said.

“The idea of additional departmental support for these initiatives, including for Ukrainian students, is one that should be considered.

“The most important support we can currently give to Ukrainian children is a safe learning environment in our schools, sufficient English-as-an-additional language supports and supports to enable Ukrainian and other migrant communities to sustain their language and culture in out-of-school learning environments.”

The Teaching Council and Department of Education were contacted for comment.

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