NEW Project! MEDIS – Mediterranean Inclusive Schools
MEDIS – Mediterranean Inclusive Schools – is a project coordinated by Denisa Gibovic (as a director executive of WUSMED) which challenge is improving the capacities of the schools for an effective integration of pupils from migrant families. Keep reading about this interesting project!
Nowadays, the EU education systems are facing an important challenge, a challenge which, while not new, has in recent years intensified and become more widespread – the presence in schools of large numbers of children from a migrant background who are in a weak socio-economic position. In particular, the Mediterranean countries are one of the most affected by the waves of immigrants seeking for asylum and better life.
The presence of significant numbers of migrant pupils has important implications for education systems. Schools must adjust to their presence and build their particular needs into the traditional focus on providing high quality and equitable education. Education is key to ensuring that these pupils are equipped to become integrated, successful and productive citizens of the host country. As stated by the European Commission in the Green Paper on Migration & mobility: challenges and opportunities for EU education systems (2008), schools must play a leading role in creating an inclusive society, as they represent the main opportunity for young people of migrant and host communities to get to know and respect each other. Migration can be enriching for the educational experience of all: linguistic and cultural diversity may bring an invaluable resource to schools. It can help to deepen and strengthen pedagogies, skills, and knowledge itself.
Migration influences the education of children as such pupils are affected at least in the short run by interrupted schooling or by having to face linguistic and cultural difference. The combination of linguistic and cultural difference with socio-economic disadvantage, and its tendency to be concentrated in certain areas and particular schools are a substantial educational challenge and whether systems succeed or fail has important social consequences. As sustains the European Commission, although there has been some improvement over the years, in most EU countries there are significant and often persistent gaps in the educational attainment of children from a migrant background.
Therefore, within classes and schools, it is necessary to accommodate increased diversity of mother tongues, cultural perspectives and attainments. New, adapted teaching skills and inclusive methodologies are needed and new ways of building bridges with migrant families and communities need to be developed.
In view of the above, the project MEDIS is an initiative aimed at contributing to this complex issue that attempts to become a referential initiative at the Mediterranean level in the field of the migrant children inclusion at schools.
The overall goal of the MEDIS project is to strengthen and consolidate social cohesion, intercultural education and local language in a multilingual framework of newly arrived migrants at primary and secondary schools through the Mediterranean Inclusive Schools Programme
based on the LIC Plan (Llengua, Immigració i Cohesio social – Language, Immigration and Social Cohesion), an effective social inclusion action plan already developed and validated in Catalonia (Spain).
This Programme will be based not only on language education as main integration tool, but, as well as, it is focused on socio-cultural education to bridge cultural gaps between migrants and the host society and to teach how to live in diverse society for both minority and majority population.
- To tailor the LIC Plan to specific environments on the basis of the needs and context study and to complement it with other local/regional successful initiative to upscale it educational settings at the level of EU Mediterranean countries
- To increase the professional skills of school educators (teachers, psychologists, counsellors, …) through capacity building trainings on inclusive methodologies and pedagogical approaches
- To enhance the social inclusion in at least 90 primary and secondary schools in Spain, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Portugal by implementing and validating the Mediterranean Inclusive Schools Programme.
- To influence on the policies by establishing contacts, signing agreements and elaborating policy recommendations for the decision makers at all levels (local, regional, national and European)
- To raise awareness on the problem of social inclusion of migrant children at schools, and to promote cultural diversity and tolerance at school environments.
As a result, by the end of the project, 90 schools from the Mediterranean countries will implement into their structure the inclusive programme facilitating the integration of children coming from different cultural and language background.
The Project is mainly addressed to schools and their educators (teachers, psychologists and counsellors) to improve their capacities and equipped them with skills and methods to carry out the effective integration of pupils from migrant families.
Therefore, the final beneficiaries of the project will be newly arrived migrants and their families, as they will be provide with an opportunity to acquire knowledge on core values and fundamental rights of the host society and thus to become an integrated part of this society.
- WORD UNIVERSITY SERVICE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN (WUSMED) – Spain – Coordinator
- Ajuntament de Maçanet de la Selva – Spain
- Secció d’Institut de Maçanet de la Selva – Spain
- HOPE FOR CHILDREN CRC POLICY CENTER – Cyprus
- Centre for the Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology – Cyprus
- KENTRO MERIMNAS OIKOGENEIAS KAI PAIDIOU – Greece
- SDRUDZENIE ZNAM I MOGA – Bulgaria
- REGIONAL DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SOFIA-CITY – Bulgaria
- CESIE – Italy
- Sociedade Promotora de Estabelecimentos de Ensino Lda – Portugal
WUS MED (World University Service of the Mediterranean) is an association, directed by Denisa Gibovic, with the focus on the promotion of higher education especially in the Mediterranean Basin.