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Matthews Calls for English Language Classes for Ukrainian Children

Deputy Steven Matthews, Green Party TD for Wicklow is calling for the provision of free English language classes for children who have fled the war in Ukraine. These classes would be provided over the summer months, before children take their place in their new schools.

Commenting on the matter, Deputy Matthews said:

“I strongly believe that the provision of English language classes to newly arrived Ukrainian children is a necessary step to ensure the integration of these children into our community, I have written to Wicklow County Council and directly to Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and youth Roderic O’ Gorman to request that funding is put in place to provide this service.

“Over the past few weeks, I have been written to by a number of Ukrainian and host families around Wicklow seeking for a facility such as this to be offered. I believe that it would be of particular benefit to help children to integrate into their new school for the coming year. Any improvement to their level of English, no matter what standard it is, will give them an enormous benefit if the language barrier is at least somewhat removed, allowing them to interact with classmates more easily. It will also benefit them hugely in a learning capacity if they get this head start over the summer.

“These children have experienced a hugely challenging few months. I believe that any move that can be made to make their lives easier should be made without hesitation. The huge efforts ongoing at a national level and a local level must be acknowledged and the sacrifices made by host families in particular have to be commended. The provision of English classes is a relatively small undertaking in the grand scheme of things but the benefit it would have is immeasurable.

If any Ukrainian family, or host family would like to get in contact with me regarding this proposal, or any other concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly and I will try and help in any way that I can”, Deputy Matthews concluded.”



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