Tuesday, November 20, 2018

UNESCO report warns not to ignore the education needs of internal migrants

Three quarters of all those on the move are internal migrants, often moving from rural to urban areas to find better opportunities, and the governments are failing to address their education needs.
Depending on the definition, Asia has the highest rates of internal migration, at each education level. The new UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report, 'Building bridges, not walls', looks at the implications for these movements on education systems.
"Countries are underestimating the education needs of children on the move," director of the GEM report Manos Antoninis said, adding that many governments, like India, have made efforts, including to track migrant children, to set up seasonal hostels or boarding schools and translate school materials. "But they may be missing the bigger picture."
Schools must reflect cultural differences and improve teacher training, the report reads, "Until then, the value of an education will always lose to the attraction of earning money through work."
The report also shows that in India 10.7 million rural children lived in households with a seasonal migrant in 2013. "About 28 per cent of youth aged 15 to 19 in these households were illiterate or had not completed primary school, compared to a national average of 18 per cent," it states, adding that about 80 per cent of temporary migrant children in seven Indian cities lacked access to education near worksites. "Children of brick kiln workers in Punjab state of India in 2015 were found to work 7-9 hours a day."
 Entitled ‘Building bridges, not walls’, the report also warns of registration and documentation requirements set up to reduce migratory flows that make it harder to enter schools, and have effects even long after they have been eased.
Likewise, in China, despite major reforms to reduce residence permit restrictions since 2006, migrants in Beijing still have to provide five certificates to enroll in schools.
The report emphasises the acute education needs faced by children living in slums in the region.
The report also warns of the negative impact on children’s education that being left behind as parents migrate can have.
The report – published by UN – identifies the education of internal migrants being at risk of neglect by governments in Asia, with the acute education needs of migrant children and slum dwellers not being met. The report substantially covers the education policies and status across India, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Indonesia and highlights the systematic neglect of the Rohingya community in the region.

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