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14 December 2023 - News

Save The Children Poland joins the British Council in talks about empowering education

Panel discussion

“First, we need to learn about what Ukrainian children really need and listen to their voices. They well understand their needs,” stressed Małgorzata Stodulna, Save the Children Education Programme Manager duringEmpowering Education: Understanding Teachers’ Needs in Multicultural Classrooms” conference organized by British Council.  

Primary objective of this meeting is to unite individuals from diverse fields who can offer mutual support. We meet here for discussions, networking and needs assessment” – said in her opening speech Rachel Launday, British Council Country Director Poland. The conference was attended by many professionals who work with Ukrainian students, among them English teachers, intercultural assistants, head teachers and NGOs workers. Save the Children Poland was represented by Małgorzata Stodulna who spoke about the overall situation of Ukrainian children in Poland and what is Save the Children Poland response in this regard. 

“We have supported Polish schools and Ukrainian children for 18 months now. And we see that the situation in many schools is still rather worrying. In many cases Ukrainian and Polish students learn together, but they are divided into two separate groups, and they don’t connect with each other.They don’t play, they don’t spend time together” – said Małgorzata Stodulna, talking about programmes aiming to encourage integration of Ukrainian children with their peers. She also mentioned that children who attend schools and have a chance to learn face to face are in much better situation that many others.Around 200 000 Ukrainian children are outside the educational systemDisruption to education may aggravate their chances on labour market or possibilities to support their families which can lead many to frustration and aggression. Their life is on hold, they can’t fully start building their life in Poland, because they might go back any time. This situation, along with loneliness and isolationhindertheir mental health” – she stressed.  

Every day out of school is a day you cannot bring back to the child” – agreed Joseph Field, Head of English and Empowerment at British Council, who spoke also about the organization’s work of teaching English and thus empowering refugee children in Uganda and Jordan. 


The panel discussion gathered also Ewa Puzdrowska, Head Education, British Council in Poland; Małgorzata Bukowska-Ulatowska, Vice-president of IATEFL Poland; Tomasz Remiszewski, Headteacher at Primary School No. 361 in Warsaw, Larysa Vychivska, Deputy Headteacher and multicultural assistant, Materynka Ukrainian School. They spoke about their experiences challenges that Polish educational system facestried to answerburning question, such as:How can we work together to empower Ukrainian children at schools? How to enhance cooperation between schools and organizations to include all children in educational system? What initiatives are available, and what are the current needs? How to improve children’s mental health and wellbeing?  

First, we helped these children, and now they help us. To have this multilingual, international perspective in Polish schools. Now we speak three languages in the classroom, and English is a safe bridge between students” – summed up Tomasz Remiszewski, Headteacher, Primary School No. 361 in Warsaw.  

The panel discussion was followed by focus groups for NGO representatives, school principals, intercultural assistants and English teachers.