Published on 26 Sep 2022

Refugee students face an uphill climb in German schools as teachers struggle to cope with the influx

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As part of the NTU WKWSCI overseas reporting programme Go-Far, journalism student Megan Cheah wrote about the plight of refugee students, including those from Ukraine, and how it shows up gaps in the German education system.

An estimated 160,000 Ukrainian children attended school in Germany this year, according to the German Culture Ministry. In 2021, nearly half of the 190,800 asylum seekers from countries such as Afghanistan and Syria that came to the country were children aged below 18 years old. Germany wants to help these children, but there are not enough teachers. The stretched German education system took a battering with the coronavirus pandemic, as teachers went on frequent sick leave and were required to be quarantined, or were burnt out from having to adapt to teaching online. The remaining teachers have difficulties handling the influx of refugee children, who come in with different backgrounds and education levels.