Davina Patel
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20 July, 2017

A new report has been launched by Initiatives of Change and The Commonwealth Education Hub looking at how migrants and refugees access education and how can educators support the inclusion of migrants and refugees settling into their new countries.  

The report combines responses from education policy makers and intergovernmental agencies across 13 different countries, following an ‘eDiscussion’ that took place on the hub in June 2017. The aim of the eDiscussion was to look at innovative ways that refugees and migrants are being supported and helped to adapt to their new environments.

The report identified emerging themes that have been identified by participants of the eDiscussion:

  • Strategies for trauma awareness and resilience.
  • Recognition of skills and experience, and the recognition of studies.
  • Education for all including persons with disabilities and the achievement of the sustainable development goals.
  • Provisions for low-cost schools and linguistic competence: the human touch.
  • Participation strategies for inclusion and engagement.
  • Digital technology: the new learning space.
  • Migrants’ and refugees’ contributions to the sustainable livelihood of countries of origin/birth.

Peter Riddell, co-moderator of the eDiscussion, a National Coordinator of Initiatives of Change (IofC) in the UK, and Convenor of its Agenda for Reconciliation programme, said: ‘It has been very encouraging to see the amount of care and thought that educators are giving to the subject of how to welcome newcomers to their communities and countries.

‘When we watched Syrian refugees first arriving in Europe in their masses, the thought came: “Among those people are some who, if they receive the right welcome and training, will go back to help rebuild Syria!” This perception was due to our experience of seeing Somali British, some of whom had received training from IofC, returning to Somalia to assist in its reconstruction.

‘We believe that the vision of migrants and refugees as rebuilders – of their lives, their communities and eventually of their countries of birth – have the power to transform host communities’ perception of them, and indeed, their perception of themselves. Educators have a key role in releasing this potential.’

“At Initiatives of Change, we are working with partners in Turkey, Sweden and Spain, co-funded by the Erasmus + programme of the European Union, to create an online resource to assist educators of migrants and refugees. This discussion will support our work in developing innovative training responses.”

The Education for Migrants and Refugees report now is available for free download.

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