Migration and Education – Leave no one behind

Leave no one behind. This is among the most aspirational global commitments of the
United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Migration and displacement are two global challenges the agenda needs to address in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 4: ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.

Migration and displacement interact with education in many ways. These links affect those who move, those who stay and those who host immigrants, refugees or other displaced populations. Internal migration mainly affects many rapidly urbanizing middle income countries, such as China, where more than one in three rural children are left behind by migrating parents.

International migration mainly affects high income countries, where immigrants make up at least 15% of the student population in half of schools. It also affects sending countries: More than one in four witness at least one-fifth of their skilled nationals emigrating. Displacement mainly affects low income countries, which host 10% of the global population but 20% of the global refugee population, often in their most educationally deprived areas. More than half of those forcibly displaced are under age 18.

Migration and displacement affect education. They require systems to accommodate those who move and those left behind. Countries are challenged to fulfil the international commitment to respect the right to education for all. They must often act quickly, under severe constraints or even opposition from some constituencies. They need to address the needs of those cramming into slums, living nomadically or awaiting refugee status. Teachers have to deal with multilingual classrooms and traumas a ecting displaced students. Quali cations and prior learning need to be recognized to make the most of migrants’ and refugees’ skills.
education also a ects migration and displacement.

It is a major driver in the decision to migrate. Domestically, those with tertiary education are twice as likely to migrate as those with primary education; internationally, they are five times as likely. Education affects not only migrants’ attitudes, aspirations and beliefs but also those of their hosts. Increased classroom diversity brings both challenges and to learn from other cultures and experiences. Appropriate education content can help citizens critically process information and promote cohesive societies; inappropriate content can spread negative, partial, exclusive or dismissive notions of immigrants and refugees.

The two new compacts on migrants and refugees recognize education’s role and set objectives aligned with the global commitment to leave no one behind. This report makes seven recommendations that support implementation of the compacts:
■ Protect the right to education of migrants and displaced people
■ Include migrants and displaced people in national education systems
■ Understand and plan for the education needs of migrants and displaced people
■ Represent migration and displacement histories in education accurately to challenge prejudices
■ Prepare teachers of migrants and refugees to address diversity and hardship
■ Harness the potential of migrants and displaced people
■ Support education needs of migrants and displaced people in humanitarian and development aid.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Global education monitoring report, 2019: Migration, displacement and education: building bridges, not walls – UNESCO Bibliothèque Numérique


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