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MALTATODAY 12 June 2022

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NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 12 JUNE 2022 so o o o o o o o o g o o o o o o o o o d BRAND NEW! Airport Food Court NOW OPEN LUKE VELLA THE Ministry of Education has said that 70 applications for Ukrainian children fleeing the war to get access to Maltese pub- lic schools have been processed so far, with the process taking up to three days if all documents were provided. Ukrainian mothers who des- perately fled the war in their homeland had spoken to Malta- Today in recent days, explaining they were facing a bureaucratic nightmare when attempting to register their children to Maltese schools. They fled their country with very limited resources, which they are exhausting due to the fact that they can't work whilst their children were out of school. As a result, many Ukrainians have been unable to obtain a residence card through Identi- ty Malta, since they were being asked by authorities to provide rental agreement contracts. Yet without their residence card, they are also unable to register for most essential services and benefits. The Migrant Learners Unit had reviewed the registration pro- cess of Ukrainian displaced per- sons. "Other offices and entities working with possible applicants were informed of this process in order to facilitate the use of this procedure," the ministry said. A temporary protection docu- ment issued by the Internation- al Protection Agency was being accepted and used as a replace- ment for the birth certificate and residence permits. Many Ukrainians might not be able to afford to rent or buy their own place and are mostly being hosted by relatives, friends and people of good will, until they are in a position to get their own place. The mothers attempting to register their children for school said that they were being asked to provide proof of residence, but this was proving difficult, as they did not have any official rental agreement available. "Evidence regarding the proof of residence is requested since the child is registered in a col- lege according to locality of residence. The Migrant Learn- ers Unit was aware that various families were residing with host families and so accepts a decla- ration by the host family indi- cating that the child and parent lives in that particular address," the ministry said. The mothers said one of the documents requested was per- mission from the other parent for the child to start attending school. Due to the fact that their partners were constrained to remain in Ukraine and join the military, providing this docu- ment was proving difficult. The Migrant Learners Unit is aware that in most cases only one parent was in Malta with the children. "A short text of a dec- laration was prepared so that the parent could fill in and attach it and forward to the registration office declaring that the other parent is not present in Malta due to the Ukrainian circum- stances." A community liaison team will support the families for any cru- cial documentation still missing such as the IPA documentation. The ministry also informs the parent of other parallel process- es for access to services present within the educational sphere. It added that a vaccination docu- mentation was not obligatory. "Registration at MLU does not depend on the supply of this data and is concluded even when no vaccination records are forward- ed. At school level there may be other practices in place which may necessitate that the parent provides a health screening doc- ument," a spokesperson said. 70 school entrants from Ukrainian refugees Ministry says registration takes up to three days but mothers say certain documentation hard to obtain

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