Challenges for Polish educational policy related to the influx of students from Ukraine


Educational policy, Ukrainian students, Polish schools, educational law


Every humanitarian crisis is also an education crisis. Beyond learning, education offers a protective environment that is even more relevant to crisis-affected populations, particularly children. As a result of the intensified wave of refugees following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nearly 200,000 Ukrainian students were sent to Polish schools. This is an unprecedented situation that authorities at various levels and schools have to deal with. The article is an attempt to answer the question to what extent such a large influx of foreigners is a challenge for the Polish education system, or more broadly for the education policy of Poland. What are the directions of the necessary changes in the existing legal rules and the functioning educational system, and who should implement these changes? A thesis was formulated that for a long time the problem of educating the children of foreigners (both immigrants and refugees) had not been of much interest to the central educational authorities, and the introduced solutions had not been implemented on a large scale. In a situation resulting from the war in Ukraine, the influx of refugees exposed the shortcomings of this system. The COVID-19 pandemic and the related operation of the school in a remote formula, changing the previously known grammar of the education system, also had an impact on the existing situation.