Title: The Academic Achievements and School Life Interactions of the Recently Arrived Refugee Children in the Greek Primary Schools: Teachers’ Perspectives
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture, Inter/Multiculturalism & Language
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Eirini Symeonidou, King's College London, United Kingdom
The ongoing conflicts in Syria resulted in a major refugee crisis in Europe which is one of the main political and social concerns of our times. This project focused on Greece as one of the main host countries of refugees across Europe and analysed the ways the Ministry of Education is trying to include refugee students in Greek primary schools. The aim of this study was to explore refugee children’s academic achievements and school lives in Greek schools according to teachers’ perspectives in order to see how the relevant government education policies and plans are effectively being implemented in the school context as well as to suggest ways to help improving any gaps between the policies and plans and their implementation. For exploring the situation, teachers working with refugee students in three different infrastructures of education were interviewed in three cities. The research outcomes revealed some particular gaps in the educational policy and some school sections that need to be better organized. Even if refugee students are making academic progress in the area of native language learning, they are not ready to follow the classes and obtain an adequate education regarding to their age. However, the social interactions between the refugee and the native students flourish into the school environment without any special programme or help. Refugee education describes a quite complicated topic and more specific guidelines which will respect the culture of the students and will connect them with the whole society need to be enhanced.