WFTU Statement on the Education of the Refugee Children
The refugee children who have reached Europe during the last few years, coming from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and other countries, have urgent and specific needs of accommodation, security, health and hygiene and psychological support . The issue of education of the refugee children is of outmost importance, since addressing their aforementioned basic needs largely depends on their education.
Unfortunately, the situation in all host countries is the same: the percentage of refugee children who attend public schools is extremely low, since the responsibility for the management of the refugee issues, as well as the respective funding from the EU is given to various NGO’s, instead of being the responsibility of the State.
Moreover, the existing host structures for the refugees Education lack the necessary infrastructure, the adequate number of teaching stuff and social assistants, as well as the support of the teachers in order to face objective difficulties, such as the different educational level of children in a class, children that have never attended school at the age of 10 or 12 , psychological traumas, disobedience, difficulties in communication. It is crucial that the host countries, through their ministries of Education, direct the necessary funds to hire teaching staff and create the necessary infrastructures like the adequate teaching places and the publication of new special books for the refugee children.
For the refugee children, the teaching of their mother tongue is also essential, so that they can feel comfortable, communicate and smoothly integrate in the educational system.
Addressing of all the needs of refugees, like their need to move to their destination countries, quick examination of the applications for asylum, family reunification, examination of who will permanently stay in a host country will be measures of real support. The refugees and their children do not need the cosmopolitan philanthropy of the NGO’s nor the international pity. They are victims of the imperialistic wars and the capitalistic barbarity. They have the same enemy to face, as all workers in the world, and the same goal for a society without wars, refugees, unemployment and exploitation.