There are currently 4,694 Ukrainian children enrolled in Dutch-speaking schools across Belgium, according to statistics announced on 18 May by Flemish Education Minister Ben Wetys.
Notably, there are 1,321 children enrolled in nursery schools, and three in special education. In primary schools, there are 2,077 Ukrainian children and 7 in special education.
In Dutch-speaking secondary schools, there are now 1,296 Ukrainian pupils as well as 1,158 students in OKAN classes, which are designed for foreign-language students.
Ukrainian arrivals are spread across Dutch-speaking regions, as well as the Brussels-Capital region. The highest concentration of students enrolled in Dutch-language schools are found in Antwerp (1,408).
Elsewhere, 939 Ukrainian students are enrolled in East Flanders, 857 in West Flanders, 741 in Flemish Brabant, 660 in Limburg, and 89 within the Capital Region.
Since the last publication of statistics at the end of April, there has been an over 57% increase in the enrolment of Ukrainian students in these schools.
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The arrival of Ukrainian students poses a significant problem for Dutch-speaking schools across the country.
There is already a distinct shortage of Flemish teachers. The Flemish government cannot accurately predict how many additional places will be needed to accommodate the influx of students to Dutch-language schools.
After refugees are listed in the foreigner’s registry, they have 60 days to comply with mandatory education requirements in Belgium. The Flemish Parliament has already freed up extra resources for schools to receive Ukrainian refugees and to allow for education in the Ukrainian language.