Catholic Division seeing Ukrainian newcomers enrolling

Herald file photo.

In early October, the province announced amendments to the Education Regulations to ensure that all Ukrainian school aged students arriving through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) Program receive tuition-free Kindergarten to Grade 12 education.

Since then, the Prince Albert Catholic School Division has seen some Ukrainian children enrol in their schools, although a complete total is not available.

“We are seeing a little bit of everything,” education director Lorel Trumier said. “Some (have) no English at all, or very limited, and we have to call some staff that have some Ukrainian and they are interpreting.

“In fact, it has been really wonderful to see some of our staff step up and support them. Then, there are others where the English is very functional, and they are able to cooperate.”

To date, more than 400 students from Ukraine enrolled through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program have registered in Saskatchewan schools. During the meeting Trumier explained some of the processes.

“We are just working with different organizations, we are working with families to welcome families and get them into our schools and several came in that way,” Trumier said.

The CUAET program was specifically established to support Ukrainians and family members fleeing the ongoing war. This new program offers Ukrainians and their family members free, extended temporary status and allows people to work, study and stay in Canada for up to three years if they continue to meet the criteria of the CUAET program.

“I am pleased with how our province has been able to welcome Ukrainian citizens dealing with unimaginable circumstances to Saskatchewan,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said in a release. “Providing tuition-free education for these students is an essential step to ensuring these newcomers are able to settle as easily and comfortably as possible.”