Polish students follow workers out and away

The Krakow Department of Education is collecting data this school year to determine how many pupils have left the city schools. One fact is known: The number of pupils who leave Poland is increasing every year. This could become a big problem soon for Polish schools, said the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. Parents who have decided to work and live abroad are changing not only the country but also the country’s schools.

Barbara Nowak, director of Primary School No. 85 in Krakow, called the wave of child migration from Krakow last year “something incredible. There was a genuine boom.” “Eleven pupils from my school went to England, Ireland, U.S. or Australia,” Nowak said. “This is more than half of the class.”

One class has been eliminated by transferring the children to other classes. The migration phenomenon has implications for teachers, too. “Fewer pupils means fewer workplaces for teachers,” explained director Nowak. That may lead to some teachers being fired. The Krakow Department of Education does not have data on how many pupils have left Poland since the country joined the EU in 2004.

“We will collect this information from this year,” Jan Zadlo, director of the department, told Gazeta Wyborcza. A psychologist said parents who move abroad should take their children as soon as possible because a younger child adjusts to a new environment easier than an older one. Foreign schools are reported to be treating Polish pupils very leniently. The pupils are given plenty of time to adjust to their new surroundings. And individual, specialized programs have been created for them.

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