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Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 30 29. May 2022 Possible effects of the war in Ukraine in the German education system

Against the backdrop of the Russian war of aggression, more and more families in Ukraine are seeking protection in Germany. On 5 May 2022, around 242,000 underaged refugee from Ukraine were registered in Germany and the influx of refugees continues.

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Possible effects of the war in Ukraine in the German education system
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 30 29. May 2022

Possible effects of the war in Ukraine in the German education system

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

Against the backdrop of the Russian war of aggression, more and more families in Ukraine are seeking protection in Germany. On 5 May 2022, around 242,000 underaged refugee from Ukraine were registered in Germany and the influx of refugees continues.

At least 3.5 per cent of the children and young people from Ukraine are likely to be in Germany by now, and if the further course of the war should be unfavourable, the number can become much higher. Against this background, it was determined what additional capacities would have to be created in the German education system in order to integrate 3.5 per cent and 5 per cent of the children and young people from Ukraine. In the first case, the population under the age of 18 in Germany would increase by 1.9 per cent, in the second by 2.7 per cent.

Assuming the current staffing ratios at schools, 13,500 additional full-time equivalent teachers would be needed for a 3.5 percent share and 19,400 for a 5 percent share. Based on a class size of 15 pupils, which is desirable for welcome classes, 20,200 and 28,900 full-time equivalent teachers would be required. While school attendance is compulsory for children and underaged adolescents in Germany, it is at the discretion of the refugee families whether they want to make use of day care for their younger children. Assuming that they behave like the families already living in Germany, 11,400 additional caregivers in full-time equivalents would be necessary to maintain the current care ratio with an immigration rate of 3.5 percent. At 5 per cent, this would be 16,300.

The responsible authorities must prepare for this additionally required staff and develop appropriate measures. In particular, they should recruit retired staff for a temporary return to the day-care centres and schools. Moreover, they should take into account that some of the adults who have fled from Ukraine have relevant professional qualifications and give these persons a quick start in employment at schools and day care centres. On the other hand, they should be cautious recruiting teachers who have not previously worked in the school sector, as the flight from Ukraine also creates additional needs in adult education, particularly in the language sector, and staff should not be poached here under any circumstances. Therefore, the strategies for preparing the education system for the reception of refugees from Ukraine should be as holistic as possible.

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Possible effects of the war in Ukraine in the German education system
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 30 29. May 2022

Possible effects of the war in Ukraine in the German education system

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

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