German state contemplates teaching Ukrainian in schools

(MENAFN) In a significant development, the German state of Hesse has announced the introduction of Ukrainian as a second foreign language for the upcoming 2024-25 school year. The decision, revealed by the local Ministry of Education and Culture, marks a departure from the norm as Ukrainian has not been previously taught as a foreign language in German schools, although some states offer individual courses in the language.

According to the ministry, the initiative aims to facilitate the integration of Ukrainian refugees residing in the region, which includes approximately 20,000 students and 300 teachers. Armin Schwarz, Hesse’s minister of education and culture, emphasized the goal of providing enhanced educational and career opportunities to young people and educators from Ukraine, thereby supporting their potential contributions to both their host country and their homeland's reconstruction efforts.

Describing the upcoming school year as a trial period, Schwarz indicated that the addition of Ukrainian to the curriculum could become permanent based on factors such as student interest and school willingness to incorporate the language into their offerings. Notably, students without prior knowledge of Ukrainian will also have the option to select it as a second foreign language, further broadening access to language education.

In response to Hesse's decision, Ukraine's ambassador to Germany, Aleksey Makeev, expressed gratitude to the state authorities for their "exemplary decision." Makeev underscored the significance of recognizing Ukrainian as an important European language and highlighted the positive impact this move would have on Ukrainian students, while also setting a commendable example for other regions in Germany.

The introduction of Ukrainian language instruction in Hessian schools not only reflects a commitment to supporting Ukrainian refugees but also signals a broader recognition of linguistic diversity and cultural integration within German society.



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