Educational Inclusion

Definition
All children, whatever their citizenship status, should be entitled to a public education in the city where they reside. Schools that work towards inclusion find ways to assist migrants with language deficits but to encourage integration in the dominant language of instruction as soon as possible.

Challenges
Education is expensive and not all school systems have the necessary resources to accommodate student populations with extremely diverse needs. Other cities/countries reject the idea that all children (especially those with a questionable legal status) are entitled to an education at public expense.

What can be done?
Schools, and the education they provide, are the preferred vehicle to assist migrant children in the processes of social and cultural integration. Some migrant children are particularly difficult to reach, especially the children of migrant agricultural workers who tend to be highly mobile. Most countries have laws that make primary education mandatory. But some immigrant children need special attention to insure their attendance and educational advancement.

Examples of good practice

Stuttgart Partnership for Education, Stuttgart, Germany
In 2007, the City of Stuttgart launched a joint municipal/state educational initiative, the ‘Stuttgart Partnership for Education’. This aims to create a coordinated system to keep track of new migrant children’s language and learning development, and ensure adequate progress. The Competence Centre Stuttgart Partnership, which reports to the Mayor, is the main engine of this effort, harnessing local innovation, developing quality criteria for further education, and building strong networks with businesses.

Social Inclusion of Children through Sports
Because migrant children whose language and culture are unfamiliar find it immediately difficult to make friends with local children, sports coaches and trainers play a particularly important role. For this reason, coaches need to be trained in order to give the right kinds of signals to the athletes in her/his charge. This will entail, among other orientations, that the stage/expectations should be set for the purpose of sports activities.

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