Sunday 22 July 2018
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ZongoNews Radio

ZONGONEWS EDITORIAL: International Migrant Destinations – ( Part 24 )

Global Education – International Migrant Destinations

An important aspect of teaching and learning is being able to determine where learning needs to begin, what knowledge is already present and the ability to assess whether or not any learning has actually taken place; did the expenditure of energy, time, resource and effort have any impact? This is true for both the teacher and the student or pupil so that both performances can be reflected upon and improved. This is also true for any educational setting, whether education is being delivered in a so-called formal place such as a classroom or lecture theatre with a prescribed curriculum or otherwise.

As an educator with a passion for learning, being flexible in the delivery of information, and being able to effectively respond to an individual’s learning requirements are not only critical but essential.

With the current world population standing at nearly 7.6 billion; 17% (1.3 billion) living in Africa, 60% (4.5 billion) in Asia and 10% (742 million) in Europe and around 26% of the world’s inhabitants being under the age of 15 years, the importance of effective educational policy cannot be overstated.

Many educational policies have been introduced in the attempt to close the educational gap and the significant obstacles that often stand in the way of educational attainment for children with a migrant background. In February 2017 the European Parliament published a document called Migrant Education; Monitoring and Assessment that outlined the results of a commissioned study which explored approaches to the monitoring and assessment of migrant education (MAME) in Europe. 27 countries took part in the study. The report showed “Most EU (European Union) countries have developed to a greater or lesser extent, educational policies for migrant children. Yet, this has not been accompanied by a comprehensive system of monitoring or assessment. Some countries have made greater efforts than others, in accordance with the relative size of their foreign-born population and, to a lesser extent, the level of integration policies in the realm of education”.

In Germany, our second top migration hotspot, the study reported that according to the Federal Statistics Office of Germany “20% of its residents have an immigrant background. Immigrant children made up 33% of the total child population in Germany in 2014, according to micro-census data. The most numerous group consists of Turkish, Polish, Italian and Romanian immigrants”. In terms of best practice the study recognised Germany as “An example of how data gathering can improve school settings for migrant populations and predict future needs” and that “The continuous monitoring of entrance in the school system and of its dynamics is extremely thorough”. Through a programme of pre-school preparation of six to twelve months that includes language support, it has been found that children have the ability to integrate into the available education provision. The study also found that “Despite this, there is no system for evaluating the policies and monitoring is only carried out by the statistics office, which collects data on access and to education and other demographic aspects”.

The report includes a number of recommendations such as a common framework at Member State level and a collaborative framework at school level which encourages the sharing of information when monitoring the introduction of innovative practice on migrant education.

Although I agree with the report’s sentiments that the challenges of creating a system to monitor and evaluate the results of educational policies for migrant children can not be underestimated, and this can be applied globally, I also believe that its difficulty does not excuse its absence.

Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants LTD

Lesley Shepperson /