Education Without Borders – A documentary about migration and education in Europe [All Subs]


When I attend meetings I ask: “What do you see in me?” And everyone says: “Panchito” or “Immigrant”… But I then take this, and I say I am Spanish The reality of the phenotype has changed. Europe has changed, but in France Mohamed is still Moroccan or in London, or Belgium. And that’s what is hurting but we wonder about Jihadists. The integration process has not been worked out and nobody wants to say or recognize that reality. According to UN High Commissioner there are 65 million forcibly displaced people. More than half are minors. And that is the true tragedy of a desperate situation like this one, for a whole generation that is being denied their right to education and international protection. All refugees suffer, but especially the children. And education is the only thing that can save them and help them get out of this torment they are living in. To integrate in an education system, to normalize their lives. The law recognizes any foreign student the same right to education and the same obligatory nature of education. As far as I know, almost all autonomous communities have something called “linking classrooms”. These are classrooms where they learn the language, but not as students segregated from their group, it is a support measure to acquire the language while they integrate in the school level they belong to according to their age or training. Our measures are not specific for refugees and migrants, they are general measures that affect the most vulnerable groups, Roma people, LGTB groups… in this case also migrants, refugees… Let’s see the school. This is a hodgepodge where they put all kinds of students with behavioural problems, students with mental health support… they all are socially disadvantaged, and this is where migrant students are normally placed. I always say that this is a little oasis. When they leave they find… but there we can’t do much. But while they are here, it is a positive experience. Suddenly they can get good grades, they can understand they are able to do things, they are treated with respect because of the profile of teachers that react in a different way. Conflicts are resolved differently. Discipline is different than in high school. I think that Compensatory Education Classrooms are necessary they serve a purpose and we get results. And only for the year they spend here is worth it. It’s worth it. Because what awaits them after this is very tough. Living in a very low economic level unemployed parents, unstructured families, family violence, gender violence… It is tough, so the time they spend here, at least… they have this. For the young people who arrive to Europe who seek shelter from war, from natural disasters, from destruction, the schools are often the first entry point. Schools need to be safe places to learn. And if we don’t want to lose a whole generation, we need to stand up to our responsibility and embrace these young people. Education is key to integration, to inclusion, and it is the means to lift people out of poverty. We have around 120 kids currently, they are unaccompanied minors. The situation in Serbia? You can stay here for two years waiting regularly to cross the border within this period some of the families and the guys just decide ok, I am used to living here, I am used to these people, can I apply for asylum? All the teachers, or all the managers of the school talk in Serbian. Some know just a little English. When I was in Iran, and she is from Afghanistan but lived in Iran, At the beginning when my children went to school, for one month they learnt many things. But then my children go to school and the teacher said the immigrant children sit at the back of the class sitting there and just learning the language, Just this is important, nothing else. So it is maybe their way of educating that is slow progress. The teacher should teach all the students similar things, there should be no difference between refugee and Serbian. All of them are similar. Because all of them are students and come to school to learn. So there is negative difference for Afghans For refugees. Kamishibai. Kamishibai. Communication is very hard. Our kids speak a different language so the first thing they do when they enter school is to learn language. They put here the ones speaking Arabic, here English… They communicate with my daughter in English, whereas with others is Serbian. So it is either English or Serbian, and no… I want to ask that when my kids arrive to Europe, they are welcomed, and they are taught and they are not left to be outside society. It was very difficult to motivate them to come here to learn Serbian and to even learn something in Serbian. I spoke to a Serbian teacher yesterday, she is working with the girls in the migrant camp, She said it’s important for the girls to know how to say if they like somebody, if they don’t like somebody or go away. And she explained that they wanted to know if saying “get away from me” was nice to say maybe there is a nicer way to say these things. So they touch on some topics that deal with upbringing and good manners. All this happens at an individual level. How can you learn if there is little Serbian, little English, how do you learn? When they know English, they tell us in English, he didn’t use the word teach. And sometimes they use Serbian, and when we understand that, then we will understand. How many languages do you speak? Me… English, Serbian, Kurdish, and Farsi… and that’s it. A lot! So Farsi is your first language? No, my language is Kurdish. It’s Kurdish, ok, so you speak Kurdish and Farsi? Yes So you speak four languages? And you are 12 years old? Do you have any teacher in the camp that teaches you about your language? Your first language, like Kurdish, does someone give you classes in Kurdish in camp? Yes. You have that? Yes, we have class for Serbian. Only for Serbian, but not for Kurdish? Kurdish? It’s my language. But someone is going to teach, not to learn, but to develop it, to read… No You don’t need it? Oh, you need it man. Why do you think you don’t need to read? In Kurdish. In Kurdish, I don’t have nothing, some book, something. Would you like to have them? Oh, yes! I can’t speak English, I learnt German and Russian, and when you are in a situation where you have to communicate with somebody who doesn’t speak the same language, you don’t know how you communicate you use non verbal communication when there is the need, you find the way. So it is a combination of Serbian, English, German, and non verbal language. We use every possible way. We need to enable these children to be children again, because this should be the best part of their lives. And to use every preventive measure against trauma and to have a proper childhood. I am Hannah, I am 15 years old I came from Afghanistan maybe we will stay, or maybe we will go to another country. I am Saher, I am 11 years old I would like to be a football player and I would like to go to Germany I want to go because they have good education there. I am Mahdi, I am from Iran, I am 14 years old and I love this country. But is not like our country people look at you with different eyes. Not like them, if we go to Germany, we are not Germans. If we go to Sweden, we are not Swedish. I used to think that when we’d come here nobody liked us because we are different from them. How do you deal with a child that has experienced terrible things? We have to deal with the other part of the story of these pupils but we have to give priority to the teaching. And you have to avoid getting trapped in their stories, because then you become emotionally too involved. They will be confronted with a very harsh world where they have to be independent, where they have to defend themselves, and it is our task to prepare them for the outside world. You don’t have to treat them like people sometimes treat each other in the outside world, but we have to really make them aware of it. We always tell them, you will be a student in a normal school next year and later on when you will be working, you will have a boss, and he will be treating you like everybody else. So the pupils should not be pampered too much of course you have to understand their situation, but they have to be prepared for the outside world. Belgium has, on secondary level, a fully segregated, separated system for newcomer education. We teach in Dutch, that’s the teaching language, that’s also the law, we have to teach in Dutch, there is no mother tongue use here. It would be an advantage for them to be integrated directly in a regular school because you learn better if you are with people speaking the language all the time. We also noticed that students that left to another school in a couple of months, their level of Dutch increases faster than here. So here are the smallest ones, 2 and a half, 2 years old. We are the second biggest city in the world if we talk about nationalities and we are the biggest school in terms of nationalities in Antwerp. A child arrives here, he is Syrian, he speaks with his local Syrian accent, he speaks a kind of Arabic, he will have to learn Dutch really fast, and at the same time, he will have to learn the basics of French. So these children are in a language bubble. And some of them, half of them, really manage that, they can do that, in one year time. And it is important that they develop their own skills in a self regulated way. They know what to do, once they are explained what to do, they are used to it. So you can see all the colors of the world here. Tomorrow they are going for a swim. You are where you come from, that’s a part of yourself and you can keep that, you can talk about it, you can talk in your own language, when it is appropriate, not always, but when it is appropriate, they feel warm and they learn better. The stronger the home language is, the better the learning of the new language goes. So I ask my parents, please do not speak Dutch with your children. All the children who are here for the second or third generation, living in Belgium, they have a kind of mingled language because we force them to go in Dutch, Dutch, Dutch, and nothing is right. Not their home language is right, not their Dutch is right. They talk some mix up language where there is no… no warmth, no feeling, no color. And that is problematic. We really ask our parents, please keep on talking your home language. When one Syrian child arrives to a school where everybody is white, they don’t have to do anything, just put him in the class, and let him be there for 2 weeks, and after 2 weeks that child will start learning. Teachers who don’t have the mindset to let that happen are afraid of that and they will say you can’t put him in my class because I don’t know what to do with him. Welcome in the first grade. We learnt a new letter today, the “oe”. Every morning we make a circle and then the children can say hello or good morning in their own language and they learn from each other how to say good morning in their own language. The second year is there. To the second? So you see children making mathematics, others are doing word games, anotherone is working in the computer… Some children will learn more from sitting and listening to a teacher than doing it themselves, other children won’t, so if you switch that… I don’t make choices, they make the choices, I put the framework, these are the borders, And in between these borders you can do what you want. Plan something, do it and check it, act, change it again, do it again, if you get people thinking like that, they see results, and that is important, it is important that people see results of what they are doing. I believe that we have to give our teachers a toolbox full of ways to teach things. And the bigger the toolbox is, the more effect we will have. And I believe that the more variation we give, the more results there are. The more children will get something. If the teacher believes that the child can go forward, the child believes that they can go forward, and the parents believe, then they go forward. So make sure everybody believes. The day we stop believing that the child can go forward, it stops going forward. What we have learnt from this project is that when thinking about educational policy, we have to be humble, because ultimately we are speaking about our children and they are our responsibility. Which languages do you speak? French and Arabic. French. Dutch and Turkish. It is a principal based on the fact that all languages and cultures have the same value, the same status. Do you know what a Kamishibai is? A Kamishibai is an old Japanese theater for telling stories, and here you have 98 stories in 21 languages. Which language do you want? Turkish Turkish, where is Turkish? We have sometimes parents that say: “yeah but I speak a dialect from Africa, it’s not important”. Yes, it is important. It is important that you talk, you use your mother language with your children because it is also a question of identity. So you can build an identity if you speak the mother language of your parents, of your grandparents… Otherwise, if there is no communication, between parents and children, if there is no same language it is very difficult to communicate and to build an identity. It’s very important for the children to realize that an identity can be a multiple identity, made of different layers, it is not a problem to be half Marrocan, half Belgian, half Dutch, it is not a problem but they have to know the different pieces of their identity in order to make a multiple identity, a positive identity. In memory of a boy Born in Mali in 2001 Drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on 18 April 2015 With the school report next to his heart For us all

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