01 Oct EFEE and ETUCE case study visit to Serbia on integration of migrants in education
On 26 to 28 September, the second case study visit took place of the joint ETUCE and EFEE project “ European Sectoral Social Partners in Education promoting effective integration of migrants and refugees in education”. Aim of the case study visit was to learn from experiences, challenges and good practices from governmental and non-governmental officials, teacher trade unions, school leaders, teachers, students, parents, project leaders on promoting the integration of migrants in education. On behalf of EFEE, Sarah Kik, Assistant General Secretary, and Brenda Lynch of Education and Training Boards Ireland participated in the event. The first day, a meeting was organised with representatives of NGOs (including UNICEF) and teacher trade union representatives. The second day, participants visited the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development to get insight in the policy landscape and the manual for schools and teachers the Ministry has developed since 2016 (marking the big influx of migrants and refugees in Serbia) for migrant children in education (based on the experience of schools in a pilot programme). Participants learned that from the beginning education was provided in the refugee/asylum centres, but now more and more children from the centres are included in the regular education system. The fact that the migrants often see Serbia as a temporary station on their way to the EU poses however challenges to their integration in schools. To get further insight in these challenges, participants visited a ‘transit’ school (“Jovan Ristic” in Bor?a) providing tailor-made education to adolecents who have a gap in their education (including roma children and now more and more non-accompanied minors) to enable them to enrole in regular education programmes. Furthermore they saw in the asylum centre “Krnjaca” in Belgrade how the informal education of refugee children is being organised and how the asylum centre cooperates with schools in the region. The third day, the participants visited the city of Subotica near the border of Hungary, were they went to the Subotica Refugee camp and insights on models of migrant children education in camps, partly provided by NGOs and partly by schools (and their teachers) in the area. During the meeting at the City Council, participants learned that from the 1st of October all refugee children will follow their education in regular schools. For this purpose a press conference was organised during which also the project partners (ETUCE and EFEE) were invited as speaker (herewith a link to the press conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rpo73VZSf4&feature=youtu.be). After the visit of Subotica, the participants continued their trip to the city of Sombor, where they visited a kindergarten (Preschool Institution Šikara), spook to the local political and administrative leadership, and visited an elementary school (Avram Mrazovic) and secondary school (Ivo Lola Ribar) where they met with the school principals, teachers, refugee children and their parents.
In the course of 2018, one more case studies will follow to Belgium. The outcomes of the case studies will be shared and discussed with all EFEE and ETUCE members during two training seminars foreseen for 2019. Invitations will be send out in due time.