Out of School: Assessment on barriers to school enrolment for Ukrainian refugee adolescents in Poland

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English, Polish,Ukrainian


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CARE,IRC, International Rescue Committee,Save the Children International

The education context for Ukrainian refugees in Poland has been characterized by both commendable efforts on the part of governmental, nongovernmental, and international actors and significant challenges for service providers and Ukrainians alike. Following the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine in February 2022, as of November 2023 an estimated 957,305 Ukrainians have been displaced in Poland, the majority of whom are women, children and the elderly.2 More than half of Ukraine’s children are believed to have been displaced by the war.³ In Poland, the parliament passed the “Act on Assistance,” on 12 March 2022 which granted legal stay for Ukrainians and afforded Ukrainian children the right to access Polish education, and codified international standards for compulsory education. For Ukrainian adolescents in Poland, education⁴ options include Polish schools, continuing Ukrainian curriculum online, or attending the few Ukrainian schools established in Poland. Despite efforts made to ensure access to Polish education, a substantial number of adolescents do not enrol or drop out. This study was commissioned to better understand what impacts Ukrainian adolescents’ participation in the Polish school system, including barriers to entering Polish schools, push-pull factors that may inhibit enrolment, what support or coping mechanisms are used when children and adolescents don’t attend school in person, as well as what strategies might support enrolment in Polish education and resilience of Ukrainian children and adolescents.

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