TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION
Helping unaccompanied under-aged immigrants setting roots in school
SURNAME AND NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
Catherine Moreau, Magazine PROF
Magazine « Prof » No 13
Magazine for education professionals, published by the Ministry of education in the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
TYPE OF PUBLICATION
Newspaper / Magazine article
LANGUAGE OF THE DOCUMENT
LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW
Integration of immigrants students
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
Catherine Moreau explains that the administrative label for unaccompanied under-aged immigrants “MENA” (“Mineurs étrangers non accompagnés” in French), includes a teenager who came working to feed their family, a child who came to join members of their family, an orphan who has broken from their foster family or a young girl running away from a forced marriage.
Children or people under 18 (mainly boys above 16) who come from countries in turmoil and have not chosen exile.
The author dedicates a file to the school path of those young immigrants, through the results of a European project on “’the professionalization of the school support of MENAs”, run between 2009 and 2011, by Walloon CPAS (public centres for social action).
In the first part, the author lists problems related to MENAs’ rooting:
• Lack of training of educational teams in welcome centres and of after-school centres monitors to supervise MENAs’ schoolwork.
• Accommodation that are little adequate for studies
• Bad knowledge of MENAs’ living conditions (cultural chock, chaotic past, administrative uncertainty, ...) on the teachers’ part
• Lack of adapted educational tools
• Insufficient numbers of “bridging classes”
The rest of the file is dedicated to concrete leads to support MENAs’ success:
• The European project led to the collection of pedagogical practices and tools for professionals concerned by MENAs (literacy, French as a foreign language or mathematics).
• Other initiatives have also been prompted by the project, such as:
- Four-handed method to teach French reading and writing to illiterate teenagers
- Alternative project to compulsory education with a “training through work” company
- Reform of bridging class to better fit field reality
- In-service training for teachers of the bridging classes as well as headmasters and counsellors.
- Information, experiences and good practices sharing between tutors through the association “Help and support to MENAs and their tutors”, because the law gives few details about the content of the work of tutors regarding school.
COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION
Catherine Moreau’s file is perfectly in tune with the SSN project. It sheds light on a specific aspect of immigrant students’ integration, namely the integration of unaccompanied children, six new cases of which are identified daily in Belgium.
The author addresses the efforts to support as best as possible the school path of MENAs, whose various situations requires specific interventions.
It must be noted that Catherine Moreau’s file was the object of an extra “Supplement to the bibliography of the file of the magazine PROF”, for those who want to know more on the subject.
This supplement presents selected articles, films, studies and sources that will be of particular interest to education professionals.
The file and the bibliographical supplement are available for free on the website of education in the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.
Name of Compiler
Name of Institution
Role in the institution
Translator – project assistant