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Polish education ministry ready for foreign children: official

The Polish education ministry is prepared to accept not only foreigners but also the bilingual children of Poles, Education Minister Anna Zalewska said on Friday in response to the interior ministry’s plan to school asylum seekers at special centres for migrants seeking refugee status.

Under the interior ministry’s plan, children seeking refugee status in Poland will be able to attend compulsory schooling at the centres where they live.

The interior ministry said this would be better for foreign minors, compared to attending mainstream school alongside Polish children, as is currently the case.

“The potential risk of influx of foreigners, especially the significant increase in the number of school-aged children, and the emergence of negative attitudes of the local community towards foreigners seeking international protection, necessitate the search for solutions that will help to facilitate and improve the teaching method for foreign children in Poland,” the interior ministry said, justifying its new rules.

Zalewska said the education ministry was “prepared not only to receive foreigners – because foreigners are [already] in the education system – but also for [returnees]. We are waiting for Poles who are coming [back to Poland] with their bilingual children”.

She added that the education ministry had the finances and manpower to help foreign children enter the education system quickly.

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