Creating classrooms that are responsive to the mental health needs of learners, including refugees (Poland)

Refugee children from Ukraine are engaged in learning alongside Polish students.
UNICEF/UN0647119/Evgene Kanaplev and Julia Leidik


After two years of war, the Ukraine refugee crisis remains one of the largest displacement crises worldwide. According to UNHCR, nearly one million refugees from Ukraine are hosted in Poland – approximately 40 per cent of them children.

Polish schools have been responding to the learning needs of children who have fled the war in Ukraine. This has posed various difficulties in classrooms, including differences in educational backgrounds, cultural dissimilarities, and language barriers. Children coming from Ukraine experienced life-threatening situations and faced psychosocial distress related to forced displacement, separation from friends and families, and uncertainty about the future. In response, UNICEF, in collaboration with the Polish Ministry of Education, launched the Learning Passport – a collaborative initiative between UNICEF and Microsoft. Poland's Learning Passport now offers teachers access to resources and training to support their students' learning and mental health and well-being.