Our research project "Good Beginnings, Promising Futures. Migrant Children in Polish Schools" officially started on October 3, 2022 when we signed an agreement with the Polish National Science Center. Not sure if it was an auspicious beginning, after all we did not consult with any astrologists ... but we certainly hope we will be successful.
The team is in place. It includes two anthropologists, a sociologist, a public health expert, and a psychologist. Professor Izabella Main serves as a senior Researcher. Professor Main and I worked together on several projects before. You can read blog post from our project on migration of nurses to Norway here. I look forward to our continued collaboration. Doctor Anzhela Popyk has joined the team as a post-doc. Anzhela has written quite a bit about migrant children in Polish schools in Warsaw. Two doctoral students, Larysa Sugay and Wiktoria Moritz-Leśniak, are also part of this project.
Mapping out our research
We are currently mapping out our research in Poznań and Wrocław. Both cities have a growing migrant population.
Ukrainian students in Polish schools
Of course, in recent months, the largest number of migrants hail from Ukraine. Poznań hosts 101,489 Ukrainians. According to the Poznań Education Bureau, at the end of November 2022, 872 Ukrainian children enrolled in Kindergartens, 3,849 in primary schools, 460 in secondary schools, and 88 children were studying in musical and other specialized schools. The total of Ukrainian pupils reached 5,270 children. In Wrocław, there are 187, 281 Ukrainians; Ukrainian newcomers constitutes 23 percent of the total population. Some 42,090 Ukrainian children study in Wrocław schools.
Other foreign-born students in public schools
According to Katarzyna Gmaj, citing data from the Ministry of Education, in the first decade of the 20th century, the number of foreign-born children in Polish primary and secondary schools oscillated between 4,000 and 6,000. Between 2015 and 2019, their number increased rapidly from
9,944 to 41,724. Sadly, there is very little information on where these students come from. We can say with some certainty that this group doesn't include many Ukrainian students as most immigration from Ukraine before the Russian invasion of the country included adult labor migrants, both men and some women. With few exceptions, there is also some conflation of children of immigrants with foreign-born children. We do hope that we will be able to enroll both Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian pupils in our sample to show the diversity of the school population ....
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