The influx of Ukrainian children has caused problems for international schools in the region. There is an urgent shortage of teachers. This also applies to the schools in Schiedam, such as the Wereldschool (primary education) in Nieuwland and the Internationale Vos (secondary education) in Groenoord.
The World School saw 22 Ukrainian students enter in two weeks. Ukrainians also entered the International Vos, 14 students so far. “A class is 15 students. The expectation of the municipality is that we will get 45 to 60. That means three to four extra classes”, says Inge van Wingerden, location manager of the Internationale Vos in Schiedam.
“It is very difficult to find new people. Also for this situation. So we are now going to have an extra problem with that,” says Van Wingerden. Renée Veltenaar, director of De Wereldschool, also thinks that there is a real problem looming. “There is almost no response to the call for additional teachers. There are few available teachers in the area. Let’s just be honest about it.”
In addition to staff, secondary education also needs rooms. “We have a regional function, because we also serve Maassluis and Vlaardingen. That is why we are also discussing these problems with three municipalities. I am confident that it will all work out,” said Van Wingerden. The location problem is less acute at De Wereldschool. An extra group can enter the building there. Veltenaar: “But if it becomes more, we should also start a discussion with the municipality about this.”
The Ukrainian students are mixed in the now overflowing classrooms. And as a teacher, more is required than just teaching, such as dealing with emotions in the right way. Because many Ukrainian refugee children have been through quite a bit in recent weeks. †
The Ukrainian students follow a similar program at De Wereldschool as the other students. “The students walk first. They are being watched. After a few days you will notice whether they are ready to learn. And then a language program of about 40 weeks starts in which she is taught the Dutch language.”
However, there is a clear difference with students from other countries. “People from Ukraine don’t know at the moment whether they want to stay here,” says Van Wingerden. She also sees this in the form of education, because some Ukrainian children are already busy enough with education from their home country. “We keep room for that. They are still in contact with Ukrainian schools through online classes, especially from the west of the country.”
Register as a teacher
Van Wingerden: “We benefit most from teachers who are available for two or more days.” Suitable candidates can apply to the various schools. The municipality of Schiedam has set up a special page on the website with information about this.