Fostering education and inclusion of disadvantageD refugee and migrant learners
Migrants and refugees belong to the most disadvantaged groups within the educational systems of the European Union, since childhood they often don’t have the same chances of personal development due to language barriers, lack of support and and less opportunities to access classes caused by competence based exam or residence permit as prerequisites for enrolment.
In the Paris Declaration of 2015, European Ministers of Education have re-announced their commitment for an inclusive education as an important door opener of social inclusion, therefore migrants and refugees shall be helped to ensure their full participation in society, good education and transition to the labour market.
The 3STEPS project intends to increase the chances of migrants and refugees to remain within the educational and vocational system of their host country by providing them basic skills as well as a stable grounding for further personal achievements.
The 3STEPS project ‘Fostering education and inclusion of disadvantages refugee and migrant learners’ is an Erasmus+ Programme KA3 ‘Support for Policy Reform’ started on 15 January 2020 and funded for three years by the European Commission – DG EACEA.
The project aims to upscale two successful methodologies previously implemented ‘Basic Education Classes’ and ‘Tandem Now’ selected in 2017 by the European Commission as “inspiring resource” to tackle early school leaving.
TANDEM NOW is a Transfer of Innovation project in the framework of the European Leonardo da Vinci programmes and has been funded with support from the European Commission. It has been proven good practice by the European Commission to tackle early school leaving in 2017
In many European countries migrant youths or young people from ethnic minorities do not have any role models in future-oriented fields throughout their job careers, neither within their families nor in their social contexts. If at all, they tend to take up traditional job trainings and jobs, as they and their families do not consider other options for various reasons.
Therefore, it is considered crucial to offer youngsters mentors from their own ethnic communities who accompany them on their way to a successful VET and job career.
Mentoring works as a strategy for helping people, particularly disadvantaged groups, such as unemployed, young people and/or immigrants to improve their professional opportunities and succeed in life. It is an instrument to provide those persons with the confidence, the resources, and the skills needed to live up to their potentials.
Within 3STEPS-project the needs of teachers/trainers as well as young adults with migration or refugee background until the age of 25 in accordance with their respective contexts or backgrounds shall be encountered. TANDEMNOW will be presented as a means to foster the beneficiaries and as a cost-effective way of promoting their educational and vocational development.
Basic Education courses initiated in Tirol, Austria have been specially designed courses targeting adults and youth (15-19 year-olds) with migration background to enhance their literacy, numeracy and digital skills. It has been identified that a number of persons with migrant background tend to lag in terms of their basic skills compared to the locals. Hence, in order to breach this gap Verein Multikulturell developed a holistic approach combining the acquisition of literacy, numeracy and digital competences with additional activities for personal development.
The Basic Educational Program of VM entails:
- Literacy Skills
- Language Skills – speaking, reading, writing, understanding
- Numeracy Skills
- Digital Skills
- Personal Development Training including:
- social and career counselling
- development of soft Skills
- fostering intercultural competences
- focus on conflict resolution
- team-building activities
This methodology has been implemented in VM`s work with migrants and refugees since 2016 in the region of Tirol, Austria. The young people attended the courses from 3 to up to 6 months, with 80% of the students achieving high scores in improving their basic educational skills and enhancing their further capacity-building.
This holistic approach is to be further adapted to meet the needs and challenges encountered by teachers in all partner countries participating in 3STEPS with the aim to support the work of the teachers and provide a more comprehensive framework for facilitating the social integration of students with migrant and refugee background.
These two practices are to be further upscaled and enhanced in order to be introduced as mainstream tools in schools for supporting teachers in their work with students with migration background. Thus, ensuring that migrant students will have sufficient support in navigating the local educational system and preventing early drop-out. 3STEPS envisages to support both teachers and youth with migrant background taking into account their specific needs, challenges and local context peculiarities, providing an encompassing programme for including a holistic approach towards acquiring basic educational skills and a mentoring programme as regular practices in the schools.
The project aims to:
- implement the two good practices ‘Basic Education Classes’ and ‘Tandem Now’ in the Austrian, French, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Turkish educational systems;
- train teachers on intercultural competence, inclusion and shared values through a ‘blended training approach’;
- train mentors on the above-mentioned subject through a ‘blended mentoring approach’ to develop their social and professional skills;
- improve education of young migrants and refugees of 15-25 years old in an innovative way;
- call for policy reform;
- foster communication and promote inclusion.
- Desk research and online questionnaires for qualitative and inclusive education of migrants and refugees, plus national adaption needs to adjust training materials to the national languages, specific national challenges, cultural context and legal aspects.
- Development of methods/approaches to teaching and training (drafting and translation of Handbook for teachers/mentors)
- Teachers and Mentors training implementation to support young people from migrant and refugees’ families in education: 5 days trainings will be held partly face to face and partly online for 20 teachers/trainers per partner, plus 20 mentors per partner.
- European networking strategy to search important influencers, stakeholders as well as decision makers in terms of social inclusion of migrants and refugees.
- Youth training implementation structured in 3 phases:
BASIC EDUCATION TRAINING TO IMPROVE SKILLS ON LITERACY, NUMERACY AND DIGITAL SKILLS
VOCATIONAL ORIENTATION AND BLENDED LEARNING BY ROLE MODELS MENTORS
SOCIAL INCLUSION AND MUTUAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES
- Provide teachers and trainers with knowledge of the good practices to support and foster migrants and refugees’ development and inclusion into host society
- Establish regional ‘ethnic role model pools’ for migrants and refugees for smoother inclusion
- Improved education rate among young migrants and refugees
- A well-established network of schools, public authorities, NGOs and volunteer organisations, important influencers and decision makers as well as transnational institutions able to call for policy reform
- Introduce a more inclusive educational approach in partners’ educational systems
The 3STEPS project is innovative thanks to the:
BLENDED TRAINING/MENTORING APPROACH
as a mix of face-to-face and online activities for professional to improve their competences with the target group
REGIONAL POOLS OF MENTORS
who act as “role model” to provide migrants and refugees of the same ethnic communities with confidence, resources and skills in order to improve their inclusion into the hosting societies.