TeachAIR/LearnAIR – Awareness – Integration - Respect
2016 - 2018
|The face of Europe is changing these days. Due to war and war-like situations as well as environmental issues in countries in the Middle-East and Africa, more and more people have decided to flee to Europe. Some are so desperate that they rely on the help of migrant smugglers and/or dare to cross the Mediterranean Sea even though they might lose their lives. |
A lot of countries are affected by this mass phenomenon, starting with the events on Lampedusa years ago leading to this year's welcoming of thousands of refugees in countries like Austria, Germany or Norway. Nevertheless, Europe is divided on this issue and several countries refuse to accept a European quota system which would help to distribute refugees.
In this context, several issues need to be dealt with, also in the context of schools and education in general. We need to ask ourselves how we define our European identity and why some of us are so afraid of it being threatened by people coming from different cultural backgrounds, speaking different languages and being influenced by their different religious affiliations. The question is: How can we try to integrate these people without knowing who WE are - as Europeans but also being the descendants of migrants ourselves? Which values do we want to communicate to others and how can schools in particular contribute to integrating young people from other countries on the one hand, and to helping our students understand the historical situation we are facing today on the other hand? These challenges are also valid regarding both immigration and emigration within European countries. (e.g. from Romania to France or from Poland to Norway).