Tuesday 25 September 2018
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ZongoNews Radio

ZONGONEWS EDITORIAL: International Migrant Destinations ( Part 46 )

Over the next few articles we are going to take a closer look at the education systems of the countries identified by Gallup as being the worlds’ most accepting of those who migrate.
According to the World Migration Report 2018, between 1970 and 2015 the number of people living outside of their own country has risen from 85 million to 244 million. As a percentage of the world population that’s an increase from 2.3% to 3.3%. Data also indicates that regarding continental migration, the number of international migrants from a different country within the same continent is higher than those that migrate from a different continent.
This however was not true for Africa and Oceania which in 2015 saw 17million and 1million international same continent migrations and 17million and 1million international migrations from a different country respectively.
Iceland was recently voted as the worlds’ most accepting of those who migrate. Well known for its progressive approach to education, in 2016 it was said to be the third most literate nation in the world, the first two being Finland and Norway. With a population of 332,000 (2016), an estimated 9% are of a non-native born nationality. Of itself it says, “A fundamental principle of the Icelandic educational system is that everyone should have equal opportunities to acquire an education, irrespective of sex, economic status, residential location, religion, possible handicap, and cultural or social background”.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture is responsible for the Icelandic education system. Divided into 4 sections it comprises Preschool, Compulsory, Upper Secondary and Higher Education. Children can attend preschool education between the age of 12 month to six years. Although this is non-compulsory, most children attend, and fees are heavily subsidised by local councils. There is a legal expectation for children to attend compulsory education between the ages of 6 and 16 years. Upper Secondary education to the age of 20 years is non-compulsory, however it is expected that any person attending will have successfully completed their compulsory phase. Higher Education can be accessed by those who have successfully completed an Upper Secondary education.
According to the World Happiness Report (Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, j. (2018). World Happiness Report 2018, New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network, “In the most-accepting countries, the native-born and newcomer migrants share the same level of optimism about their lives in five years, but long-timers give their future lives higher ratings than the native born, or newcomers do. It’s possible that since long-timers have had more time than newcomers to establish themselves in their lives and careers, they not only may be more hopeful, but also more confident about what the future may bring.”
This is a very powerful note to end on. Could it be that being accepted in a new location allows the new-comer to focus on and invest in their future? Surely fighting for survival is hard enough without having to fight for acceptance in a foreign land.

Lesley Shepperson
Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd

Source:Lesley Shepperson / /