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Peace from Harmony
Rosa Dalmiglio. Children refugee in ITALY and other European countries:

Dear Leo
I send you information about children refugee in ITALY and other European countries, in my country there is a great attention and more women help children disadvantage that suffered cause war.
Rosa Dalmiglio
Italy
Published: Rosa Dalmiglio. Children refugee in ITALY and other European countries:
http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=829
29-05-18
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Italy

Overall

Asylum seeker children are

usually rapidly enrolled in formal

education. However, unaccompanied

minors typically face

more administrative hurdles

and they risk waiting for a longer

time before they can continue their

education.

Schools have the full autonomy

to decide o­n the form and length

of the eventual extra language

and academic tuition to support newcomer children

catching up with their missing school period. This

could allow for flexible and individualised measures,

but in practice schools still often lack trained staff and funds to give

the necessary catch-up support for refugee children.

Education statistics are o­nly available o­n the situation of foreign children

in the Italian education system, but there is no possibility to monitor the

educational integration and attainment of children beneficiaries of

international protection.

Asylum seeking and refugee children and

the Italian school system in general

All children, regardless of their legal status, have the same right to education

than their Italian peers, for all levels of education :

Parents can enrol their children between the ages of 3-6 in the nearby

public state run kindergartens for free, but places are usually very limited.

School is compulsory for children between the ages of 6-16. Children

attend 5 years of elementary schools, followed by 3 years of lower secondary

education in the middle schools, after which pupils need to take

an exam. Pupils can continue their studies for five years in a high school,

technical institute or professional institute or they can enrol for three years

in a regional vocational training programme. o­nly the first two years of upper

secondary education is still obligatory in all of these cases.

Above the compulsory school age, children have a right-duty to education

and professional training, and have to obtain a diploma or a professional

qualification (Grigt, 2017, p. 13). There is a special system of Provincial

centres for adult education and training (CPIA) targeting specifically

foreign citizens above the age of 16, typically unaccompanied minors, who

do not yet have a middle school certificate and who need to prepare for

passing this specific exam.

Refugee children in compulsory school

age - In law and policy

Asylum seeker children in compulsory school age need to be enrolled as

soon as possible and schools have the duty to accept children from their

area.

Newcomer children are directly enrolled in mainstream education and

there are no separate immersion classes foreseen at national level. The

Ministry of Education published guidelines o­n the integration of migrant

pupils encouraging language, educational and psycho-social support, but

schools have the autonomy to decide o­n the specifically available support

services.

Asylum seeker and refugee children are placed in the class that corresponds

their age, but exceptionally school boards can make a different decision

and place them at a different class level. The Ministry of Educations

guidelines clarify that in such case children should be enrolled in the class

one below or above their age in order to limit the age difference among

pupils, but this suggestion is not binding o­n schools.

The Ministry of Education offers annually special funding for schools located

in areas with significantly increasing immigration. Other funding possibilities

for schools for the educational integration of asylum seeker and

refugee children are project-based and their availability changes each year

(Ibid., p. 30).

34 35

Refugee children in compulsory school

age - In practice

Among the 122.960 asylum applications in Italy, there were 11.170 claims

coming from children under 18 years (Eurostat, 2017a). 6020 applications

came from unaccompanied minors (Eurostat, 2017b). There is no

further information about the exact number of asylum seeker children in

compulsory school age, or the level of their school enrolment. Education

statistics from the Ministry of Education are published o­n the situation of

foreign students in the Italian education system (European Website o­n

Integration, 2017), but it is impossible to draw conclusions specifically for

the educational integration of children asylum seekers and beneficiaries of

international protection, as the data includes for example EU-citizen children

as well. The Ministry of Education dedicated extra funds for schools

specifically for language and school integration support, but these do not

seem to match the sudden increase in needs (Grigt, 2017, p. 30). Funding

is also considered to be rather unpredictable (Ibid.).

Enrolment in formal education seems to be rather swift and easy for the

majority of asylum seeker children, staying both in the first line temporary

reception centres (CAS) and in the second line SPRAR system. There are

typically no administrative barriers, schools usually enrol newly arrived

children even before the asylum application registration is finalised. Most

of the schools are aware of the legal framework and their duties, but there

are still few instances of refusing asylum seeker and refugee childrens

school registration due to a lack of knowledge about their legal situation

and about the national education integration guidelines. Enrolment might

also be delayed when there is a lack of places, sufficient infrastructure or

trained teachers. Newcomer children seem to typically attend classes o­ne

grade below their age. When these classes are full, children are sometimes

assigned to even lower grades.

Unaccompanied minors risk being out of education for a longer period

than other asylum seeker children arriving with their families. The

procedure to appoint a legal guardian can last for several months (Ibid., p.

17), making it significantly more difficult for minors to enrol in school and

find their way through the Italian education system. Many of them rather

continue their journey o­n their own to other EU countries with family and

friends.

The availability of extra language and educational support measures

vary from school to school and there is no overview or coordination at national

level about the implementation of the Ministry of Educations integration

guidelines. There is typically some support in every school, but these

are implemented in a rather ad hoc manner. The availability and length

of this additional support is largely dependent o­n project-based funding

and many schools do not have the capacity to continuously look for extra

short-term funds to maintain these services and offer them o­n a regular

basis (Ibid., p. 30).

Number of asylum applications from children in 2016

School system

Responsible authorities

Number of refugee children enrolled in education

Legal deadline for enrolling asylum seeker children

education

Average time between asylum application and enrolment

in education

Separate immersion classes

Legal right to equal treatment in education for refugee

children

Administrative barriers

Placement in the compulsory school system

Language support

11.170

Kindergarten: 3-6 years

Compulsory school: 6-16 years

Above the compulsory school age: right-duty to education

and professional training

National level: Ministry of Education

Large autonomy for schools to implement the national

legal framework

No publicly available data

3 months

No data.

Estimated to take place typically within a few days.

No

Yes

No

Based o­n the childrens age, decision by the school board.

Depends o­n the school boards decision.

36 37

The Netherlands

Overall

While school enrolment might have temporarily been

delayed at the peek of arrivals in 2015, children can currently easily and

rapidly register at a school. Issues might arise rather with the continuity

of education throughout the asylum procedure, as asylum seeker families

change accommodations rather frequently.

Asylum seeker and refugee children in compulsory school age receive

extra language and educational support for an extended period. This

seems to be typically enough for pupils in primary school to catch up

with Dutch children, but might slightly be short for secondary school

pupils, especially to allow them to orientate towards higher academic level

school tracks.

Detailed statistics are available about the educational situation of asylum

seeker children, but children benefitting from international protection disappear

within the larger category of third-country nationals and further data

is missing to adequately monitor and assess their educational career.

Asylum seeking and refugee children and

the Dutch school system in general

All children seeking and benefiting from international protection have

legally the same right to education as their Dutch peers :

Children between 2,5 and 4 years can enrol in preschool, but this is not

obligatory. Parents must pay a fee dependent o­n their income. The overall

responsibility for organising preschool education lies with municipalities

that also determine the details of the education programme and decide

which children are eligible for preschool education. o­ne of the important

declared functions of preschool is ensuring that all children start primary

school speaking at least some Dutch.

Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16. The first year

of primary education at the age of 4 does is not yetpart of the compulsory

education system. Primary school then lasts until the age of 12, when

pupils pass a national test and its results largely determine their further recommended

academic track. They can continue their studies in three types

of secondary educational institutions, lasting for four, five or six years.

Youngsters between the ages of 16 and 18 fall under the qualification

obligation. They must attend education if they do not have a final diploma

from a secondary education institution or for basic vocational education.

Refugee children in compulsory school

age - In law and policy

Asylum seeker children in compulsory school age must be enrolled in education

within 3 months.

Newly arrived children who do not sufficiently master the Dutch language

are firstly enrolled in an immersion class to learn the language, before

they can transfer to mainstream classes.

In primary education, there is no strict national criteria guiding the prior

assessment and classification of pupils and these classes can be organised

according to the age and/or Dutch knowledge of the newcomer pupils.

On the first day of school children participate in an intake interview,

which helps the school to get to know their education and family background

better and to identify any eventual trauma-related issues.

There seems to be no maximum legal cap o­n the length of the immersion

classes, but funding is available for maximum two years following the

arrival to the Netherlands. The principles for transferring children to

regular classes can differ from school to school, as nation-wide criteria

lack in this field.

In secondary education, the so-called international transition

classes have a more uniform approach towards the classification of

students and classes are organised according to the different levels of

expected education at the end of the immersion period. International transition

classes are always part of mainstream secondary schools. Pupils go

through a longer intake period based on which their individual objectives

are elaborated. They have to achieve these specific academic and language

objectives before transferring to mainstream classes. Extra funding

is available for maximum two years after entering the country.

The immersion classes, both for primary and secondary education, are

organised in a systematic manner and receive a stable funding. When

children transfer to mainstream education within two years from their arrival,

schools continue to receive extra funding, which could allow for continued

targeted support for refugee children in this period.

38 39

Refugee children in compulsory school

age - In practice

According to the statistics of the Central Agency for the Reception of

Asylum Seekers o­n 1 May 2017, 4264 asylum seeker children in compulsory

school age received education, while 671 were registered

to start classes and were transitioning from o­ne school to the other. 677

asylum seeker children were missing from statistics, but the Agency

underlines that this does not mean that they were not receiving any education.

The discrepancy is rather due to data collection issues, such as

delayed school administration or differences in name spelling (Centraal

Orgaan opvang Asielzoekers, 2017). o­nce recognised, children benefitting

from international protection disappear within the larger category of thirdcountry

nationals in national education statistics and further data is missing

to adequately monitor and assess their educational career. Funding for

newcomer childrens education has been on the rise, with the government

recently extending the funding period from o­ne year to two years. However,

there is no overview about the exact use of this funding and it is not

clear, how much money is spent for example o­n generally improving the

school infrastructure and increasing the number of places and how much is

dedicated for example specifically o­n language and catch-up tuition.

Asylum seeker children are typically registered in school within 6 weeks

after arrival. The enrolment procedure currently seems to be fairly easy,

without any major delays or significant administrative barriers. However, at

the peak of arrival, before summer 2016, the Dutch system was also faced

with a serious lack of accommodation for newly arrived families, which

contributed to a larger delay in school enrolment.

Newcomers at primary school enrol in o­ne of the approximately 200

special classes available nation-wide (Tudjman, van den Heerik, Le Pichon,

& Baauw, 2016, p. 13). These classes are typically organised separately

within the mainstream school infrastructure according to the

age and Dutch language-level of the children, but classes in some schools

are more mixed and children with different language knowledge attend the

same class. Pupils are transferred to mainstream education when their

language proficiency is deemed to be sufficient, typically after 1 year, to

the class corresponding the best to their age. The availability of extra language

and educational support will then vary from school to school.

In secondary education, approximately 100 international transition

classes are established for newcomers (Ibid, p. 16). Most of these classes

seem to be inserted within VMBO schools and o­nly few of them form part

of a school community providing for a wider range of academic tracks.

Hence, their placement might risk of rather orienting asylum seeking and

refugee children to lower level educational tracks. Pupils typically spend

a longer time in these classes and often remain for 2 years before they

transfer to a mainstream class, as at this age they usually need to catch up

on both wider language and academic gaps (Ibid.). While the first assessment

and later o­n the transfer should primarily consider the previous educational

level and future aspirations of the pupils, recommendations seem

to be still overwhelmingly based o­n the level of Dutch knowledge, risking

again to orientate newcomer children to lower level academic tracks (Onderwijsraad,

2017).

The accommodation arrangements under the Dutch asylum system have

a particularly negative impact o­n the school career of newly arrived children.

Families must often move homes throughout the asylum procedure and as

the assessment procedures can vary from school to school, different schools

might evaluate differently young childrens prior knowledge, which disrupts

the continuity in the educational integration process.

Number of asylum applications from children in 2016

School system

Responsible authorities

Number of refugee children enrolled in education

Legal deadline for enrolling asylum seeker children

education

Average time between asylum application and enrolment

in education

Separate immersion classes

Legal right to equal treatment in education for refugee

children

Administrative barriers

Placement in the compulsory school system

Language support

6230

Preschool: 2.5-4 years

Compulsory school: 5-16 years

Above the compulsory school age: qualification obligation

National level: Ministry of Education

Large autonomy for municipalities and schools to

implement the national framework

No publicly available data

3 months

6 weeks

Yes

Yes

No

Based o­n intake interview or intake period according to the

age, prior knowledge and the students future aspirations.

Yes

40 41

Sweden

Overall

Sweden has a stricter time limit of for school

enrolment than the current EU standard and children

are typically enrolled within this deadline in

practice as well. However, at the peak of arrivals,

exceptionally 3-6 months delays occurred.

Sweden has a strong and favourable legal and

policy environment able to provide for the specific

needs of refugee children, which is implemented

in practice as well. The major challenge

is to keep the good teacher-student ratio, which

enables the implementation of this string support

system.

Data gaps o­n national level makes it difficult to

monitor and review national policy and budget specifically

on refugee integration.

Asylum seeking and refugee children and

the Swedish school system in general

All asylum seeker and refugee children have the right to attend

preschool, compulsory school and upper secondary school:

The Swedish education system offers places in preschools for children

above the age of o­ne and all children above the age of three have the right

to attend preschool for free at least 525 hours per year.

Compulsory school age starts with the first grade at the age of 7 and

ceases after ninth grade at the age of 15. However, the law does not

oblige asylum seeker children to attend compulsory education.

After having completed the compulsory school years, children are entitled

to upper secondary school education. Refugees have the right to

enrol if they start their upper secondary school studies before the age of

20, while this age is limited to 18 years for asylum seekers.

Refugee children in compulsory school

age - In law and policy

Asylum seeker children need to be offered a place in a school within o­ne

month of their arrival by the responsible municipality.

Newcomer children are firstly enrolled in separate immersion classes

focusing o­n their Swedish language tuition and they are transferred to regular

classes as soon as possible. Pupils can continue to partially follow

these immersion classes next to the regular o­nes for a maximum period of

2 years. Improving newly arrived asylum seeker and refugee childrens

placement in the school system has been at the forefront of legislative

and policy interests in Sweden. A new law has recently entered into force

making it mandatory to carry out a thorough, individualised assessment

of each newly arrived students prior knowledge within two months.

The Swedish National Agency for Education have developed nation-wide

criteria, guidelines and toolkits to support municipal schools in the mandatory

assessment processes and the Swedish government made extra

funds available for schools to be able to carry out this extra responsibility.

Separate assessment guidelines have been developed by the Agency for

groups of special concern, such as unaccompanied minors, victims of violence,

torture, abuse or other forms of trauma, minors with disabilities and

minors arriving above the compulsory school age.

Asylum seeker and refugee children receive extensive support to succeed

in education and find the most suitable education fitting their profile and

aspirations. They have the right to continued Swedish language support

and Swedish as Second Language is a subject offered throughout the

compulsory schooling and above. Municipalities also had the opportunity

to apply for extra funds to organise additional language classes, outside

of the standards curriculum, for maximum four semesters. Additionally, if

newcomer children are unable to entirely follow the classes in Swedish,

they have the right to study guidance in their own language.

The overall aim of the strong support measures is to offer each child the

possibility to fulfil their potential and encourage them to have high educational

aspirations.

The Swedish National Agency for Education allocates the budget to municipalities

for the local organisation of education. Extra educational funds

were recently made available for municipalities with a high number of

newcomer children and the Swedish government also announced a new

investment programme for 2017-2015 to support municipalities in including

42 43

newcomer children in their schools (Bunar, 2017, p. 5). Municipalities are

then responsible to allocate these funds according to the local needs, including

the integration of asylum seeker and refugee children.

Refugee children in compulsory school

age - In law and policy

Sweden saw a record number of asylum applications in 2015, when approximately

70.000 children requested asylum in the country. The number of applications

then significantly decreased in 2016, when 10.000 minors applied

for asylum. 22.059 asylum seekers were enrolled in compulsory schooling

in the school year 2016/2017 in Sweden, but there is no nation-wide data

available about the number of refugees, who get lost in the overall statistics

on foreigners in Swedish education. 156.711 children in primary and

lower secondary education received study guidance in their own language

and 108.087 took Swedish as Second Language, but this data includes all

foreign pupils. Information lacks about the overall size of the budget specifically

tagged and/or used for educational support for refugees within

the budget available for municipalities for refugee integration. State budget

for integration has generally been o­n the rise and through the governments

new initiative municipalities will be allocated 2.138 million SEK for the 2017-

2025 to improve the educational infrastructure for newcomers. However,

in the absence of detailed data o­n the specific use of these funds it is yet

unclear how these efforts are really matching the size of the challenge.

Newly arrived asylum-seeking children seem to be enrolled in the education

system fairly quickly and easily. National statistics are not available

on the average time between the asylum application and school enrolment,

but children are typically registered within the 1-month legal time limit. Still,

enrolment depends heavily o­n the municipal capacity and some municipalities

reported longer enrolment periods and delays after the increase in the

number of arrivals in 2015 and 2016.

Newly arrived children are quickly transferred from separate immersion

classes to regular classes, typically within a few months. They are supported

with native language study guidance and Swedish as Second Language

courses in practice as well. While it would be too early to assess the education

attainment of the children arriving after 2014, previous research found that many

refugee children could reach higher education (Crul, 2017, p. 8).

The challenge for Sweden is to uphold this strong support system and increase

the number of teachers matching the growing number of newcomer

children. Even though the teacher-students ratio is currently satisfactory,

there is in general a lack of teachers in the country and in particular, a

lack of second-language teachers, which might risk the stable continuity of

support measures in the future.

Number of asylum applications from children in 2016

School system

Responsible authorities

Number of refugee children enrolled in education

Legal deadline for enrolling asylum seeker children

education

Average time between asylum application and enrolment

in education

Separate immersion classes

Legal right to equal treatment in education for refugee

children

Administrative barriers

Placement in the compulsory school system

Language support

10.875

Preschool: from 1 year

Compulsory school: 7-15 years

Above the compulsory school age: attending upper secondary

school is an entitlement

National level: Swedish National Agency for Education

Main responsibility for education lies at municipality level

No publicly available data

1 month

No publicly available data. Typically within legal deadline..

Yes

Yes

No

Based o­n a mandatory individualised assessment.

Yes

44 45

Turkey

Overall

As a new country of asylum, Turkey faces an enormous challenge to

substantially improve its legislation, policy and practices o­n refugee

education. Turkey does not yet offer an explicit legal right to equal treatment

in education for children seeking or benefitting from international protection

and children have to face major legal, administrative and practical

barriers to continue their studies in formal education.

Newcomer children are not supported in a systematic manner to learn

the language and catch up with the Turkish curriculum. NGOs and international

organisations are trying to fill these gaps in educational support,

especially in terms of Turkish language education.

Many of the processes and support are organised in an informal and ad

hoc manner, making it difficult to have an overview about the educational

situation of newly arrived children.

Asylum seeking and refugee children and

the Turkish school system in general

Children seeking or benefiting from o­ne of the various protection statuses

in Turkey have the right to education, but Turkish legislation does not offer

an explicit legal right to equal treatment in education:

Pre-school is optional for children between 3-5 years. Places are typically

scarce and concentrated in larger towns and cities. Pre-school activities

are organised in an ad-hoc manner in (temporary) accommodation

centres, where o­nly a small fraction of applicants and beneficiaries are

accommodated, and they are provided typically by NGOs.

Compulsory school age starts with the first grade at 6 years and ceases

at the age of 18 years after the twelfth grade. 4 years of primary school

education is followed by 4 years of lower secondary school and 4 years of

upper secondary school (general, vocational or technical high schools).

Refugee children in compulsory school

age - In law and policy

There seems to be no legal deadline for school enrolment of children

seeking or benefitting from international protection in Turkey.

In principle, children in compulsory school age from all protection groups

must immediately be placed in the mainstream Turkish public education

system. Children who have missing certificates about their prior

education career need to go through a grade placement test organised

by the Provincial or District Education Commission. The parallel system

of temporary education centres for Syrian refugee children still exists,

but according to Turkish legislation they cannot enrol new pupils from the

2015/2016 school year and they need to be gradually phased out. Children

 

RosaDalmiglio


 



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