DESCRIPTION OF TRAINING CONTENT
According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), over 1 million asylum-seekers and migrants reached the European Union via the Mediterranean in 2015 alone; that is, nearly five times as many as in 2014. The UN’s refugee agency estimates that 84 percent are from countries that, because of war or other circumstances, qualify them as refugees. This overwhelming refugee crisis poses many immediate challenges that should be addressed at different levels within the European Union. And clearly one of the biggest challenges in the years to come is how the EU will manage to integrate the men, women and children who remain in Europe after the crises subside; this will be the real long-term test for EU policy makers and EU communities, in general. The integration of refugees and immigrants in Europe has seen a plethora of academic and policy prescriptions; this fact itself shows that there are few absolute answers to this challenge that EU will face in the years to come. It is worth noticing that international human rights law does not address explicitly the ‘integration’ issue and the rights to non-discrimination and equality appear to be the cornerstones for a successful integration policy. A recent study has concluded that ambitious integration policies do work, and those countries who embrace ‘inclusive integration policies’ tend to provide the best conditions for social cohesion, to the advantage of refugees and immigrants and the societies that host them. ‘Integrating minority, migrant & refugee children at European schools & society’ is a course that offers the participants the opportunity to involve in discussions on the role of education in the overall effort to integrate refugees & immigrants in European societies. This is an essential course for all those involved in education, such as school principals/directors, teachers of formal and informal education, trainers, public employees responsible for educational policies, community leaders, social workers, NGO and civil organisation staff.
According to an independent report submitted to the European Commission (EC), migrant students are disadvantaged in terms of enrolment in type of school, duration of attending school, indicators of achievement, dropout rates, and types of school diploma attained. Nowadays, it is widely accepted that the degree to which migrant student achievement is related to socio-economic origin depends much on the specific national education system and context. It has been found that the educational attainment of migrant students is comparatively higher in countries with lower levels of economic inequality, high investments in child care and a well-developed system of preschool education. Moreover, investing in quality early childhood education and care is crucial, as it is at this stage that the foundations are laid for subsequent learning and achievements, and also because it is shown by research to contribute significantly to breaking the cycle of disadvantage. Undoubtedly, integration into the culture of the immigration country is a major function of schools in immigration countries. Therefore, the relative absence or distorted presentation of migrants in the school curriculum, in textbooks and in other materials and in school life, harms the self-image and self-esteem of minority group children and youth and negatively affects their chances of school success.
Quality of school research supports the hypothesis that schools of good general quality are also good for migrant children and their educational opportunities. Peers have a substantial influence on the achievement of migrant children, since minority children exposed to classmates with better performance and higher educational aspirations tend to increase their own. Moreover, various studies have also shown that low teachers’ expectations towards minority students generally have a negative influence on their performance and that teachers of a migrant and minority background have a positive influence on migrant achievement in schools.
Discrimination is often a major factor affecting the achievement of migrant students. Research shows that denied support is the most significant form of discrimination in the education of migrant children.
Finally, it is widely accepted that although parent involvement is positively associated with achievement of children in school, immigrant parents generally do not seek contact with schools. Therefore, mentoring in different forms and by different actors can substantially improve school attainment.
Who to attend IRIE?
The IRIE course is ideal for:
School principals & directors
NGO‘s working with minority groups, migrants & refugees
Civil organisation staff