Italy: Minister for Education Giannini: “Teachers specifically to teach Italian to the children of immigrants”

“Non possiamo trascurare che la lingua deve essere uno strumento di integrazione, per questo istituiremo una nuova classe di concorso per formare docenti che insegnino l’italiano come seconda lingua ai bambini figli di immigrati”, dice il ministro Stefania Giannini agli Stati generali della lingua italiana nel mondo organizzati dalla Farnesina a Palazzo Vecchio. Il ministro annuncia dunque un’altra novità della riforma #labuonascuola. Non nasceranno percorsi specifici che già esistono in una decina di atenei italiani, ma si tratta di dare loro un riconoscimento istituzionale e dare un’abilitazione per questo tipo di curricula. Questo significa offrire a molti maestri e prof precari una nuova opportunità di lavoro. “Non basterà essere italofoni per insegnare la lingua italiana, ci sarà un ruolo per la formazione di insegnanti qualificati nella riforma”.

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Italy: Foreign children in Italian schools – the SIPPS is a resource for the younger generation

The Italian school is increasingly multiracial. A large number of children who are present in the classrooms of our cities, from north to south, from kindergarten to high school. And this, according to the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Paediatrics, can only enrich the Italian children.

Multiculturalism – says the president of the SIPPS, Drs. Joseph Di Mauro – is a great resource, not a barrier, for the younger generation. It is an opportunity for children to socialize and get in touch with reality which is often completely different from ours . “

The school becomes the place that most favours integration, bringing together the host community and the community of migrant children. (…) In fact – adds Dr. Pier Carlo Wages , pediatrician clinic in Milan and a member of SIPPS -schools should educate the child with respect for others , regardless of their origin. The intercultural dimension involves the whole school, which has the job of creating equal opportunity for learning, justice and equity.”

Recent research (MR Contini, Interculturality and Social Bonds Formation: a Case Study on Immigrant and Native Preadolescents in Italy. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 2014; 149: 233-241), conducted by administering a questionnaire to a sample of more than 1,300 Italian and foreign preteens attending the second and third year of secondary school degree in Abruzzo, has highlighted the potential and critical issues which can be summarized as follows:

    • Almost a third of the Italian respondents do not spend time with pre-adolescent peers of a nationality other than their own.
    • Half of the non-Italian students spend time mainly with peers of the same nationality.
    • Most foreigners who arrived in Italy after the age of seven meet their friends outside of school and they tend to be of their own nationality.
    • The age of migration is a factor that works in favour of closer relations with Italians and boys / girls of different nationalities.
    • Chinese students were the most likely to spend time with boys / girls of their own nationality.
    • Girls show a greater openness than boys to engaging in friendly relationships within the school and with peers from different countries.
    • Italian and foreign students do not perceive there to be attitudes of discrimination against foreigners by Italian classmates or teachers.

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Italy: Ministry of Education establishes a National Observatory for the integration of foreign students

A National Observatory for the integration of foreign students and interculturalism has been established by special decree by the Minister of Education, University and Research, Stefania Giannini.  It aims to identify solutions to implement effective integration policies in schools according to the real needs of an increasingly multicultural society and in constant transformation. The Observatory will be consultative and proactive.  In particular, it shall promote and “suggest” school policies for the integration of pupils with non-Italian citizenship and verify their implementation (including through monitoring), to encourage inter-institutional agreements and encourage experimentation and innovative teaching methodology and discipline. Among the tasks of the Observatory are also to express opinions and formulate proposals on regulatory initiatives and administrative jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education.

via Migrantes Online

In Italy, the achievement gap between native and migrant students is decreasing

logo italyA recent study by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research has published promising findings on narrowing the achievement gap between native and migrant students without Italian citizenship. Education outcomes, particularly of second generation migrants, are continuously improving. The study also highlights that the numbers of migrant students enroled in higher secondary education have continuously increased in the past years. Whereas scores in state exams in Italian are almost the same between Italian, Moldovan and Ukrainian students, students of Chinese descent score even higher in maths than their native peers. The study notes, however, that these positive developments are not applicable to the situation of  students from Roma communities, who are still largely excluded from the Italian education system.

In Italy, roughly 9 percent of students (app. 800,000 pupils) have a migration background. Almost half of them are originally from European countries, of which another half comes from EU member states. The second biggest group are students of African descent with around 25 percent. With regards to countries of origin, the largest minorities groups in education are students of Romanian, Albanian and Moroccan descent.

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