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Education Minister Kersna: Europe must stand together for the education of Ukrainian children and young people

5. April 2022 - 19:41

Minister of Education and Research, Liina Kersna said today at the Council of Education and Youth Ministers of the European Union in Luxembourg that the European Union must increase funding for education to provide high quality education to both Ukrainian war refugees and all EU citizens.

"Estonia has received nearly 10,000 Ukrainian children and young people who need to continue their studies safely in our education system. Estonia's population has increased by 2% and this means additional expenditure in all areas, but we see this particularly acutely in the area of housing and education," said Liina Kersna, Minister of Education and Research in Luxembourg today.

According to the Minister, cooperation between member states in this war crisis is very important, as they all face similar challenges, such as the need to agree on common rules for certifying the previous education and graduation conditions of children and young people that have been forced to flee the war in Ukraine.

The EU Education Ministers considered it important that children and young people from Ukraine continue their studies in the existing education system, which also requires systematic language training in the host countries. At the same time, the Ministers considered it important to connect children and young people who have fled the war with the Ukrainian school system via a distance learning platform.

While fighting the enemy in their own country, the Ukrainian Minister of Education Serhiy Shkarlet thanked the EU member states for the fact that their children are well looked after in European countries. According to the Ukrainian Minister of Education, children must know the truth and have the opportunity to choose freedom. "The fact that our children are learning in school today with your children means that we have a common future," said the Ukrainian Minister.

During her visit, Minister Liina Kersna also discussed the crisis with Latvian Education and Science Minister Anita Muižniece and Lithuanian Education and Science Minister Jurgita Šiugždinienė. The ministers agreed that it is very important to accept refugees, first and foremost in state-language general education schools, and to support the integration of Ukrainian students and lecturers in higher education.

Minister Liina Kersna sent concrete proposals to the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel on how to make the EU programs Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps more flexible. The minister stressed that in addition to the budget of the current period, funds from the previous programming period should also be used, and that Ukrainian students should be able to study in higher education institutions without the need for framework agreements between schools.

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