LearningMigration: Equality in Education

Timeline: 2005−2008

Head of the Project:   Ružica ČIČAK-CHAND

Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies is the coordinator of the international project LearningMigration: Equality in Education in Croatia, Comenius 3 Network, 2005-2008  (continuation of the previous project Migration and Intercultural Relations: Challenge for European Schools Today /2002-2005/) whose overall coordinator is Dan D. Daatland from the University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway. Thirteen European countries participate in the project: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Portugal, Germany, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, and Switzerland; Croatia has the status of an associated member. The organizational structure of the project implies the active collaboration among local schools, teacher training institutions, research institutes and centers as well as among educational authorities in each of the above-mentioned countries. One of the basic intentions of the project, besides the purpose of improving pupils’ knowledge in the field of migration and intercultural relations, involves reciprocal contacts between the schools, both local ones and the schools between the countries, in which the pupils actively participate through various subprojects. Regular meetings and collaboration among researchers, representatives of the educational institutions, and teachers take place at the project’s annual thematic conferences. In Croatia, two schools from Zagreb are actively involved in the project (K.S. Gjalski Primary School and  IV Gymnasium) and the Higher Secondary School Petrinja (however, through the organization of the annual seminars some twenty Croatian schools have been indirectly included in the project), Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports (Department for European Integration) and Education and Teacher Training Agency. The Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, does not only coordinate different activities among the participants in Croatia and abroad, but it also provides migration-related materials and its researches’ expertise; in collaboration with Education and Teacher Training Agency, it also organizes joint seminars and lectures for Croatian and Norwegian teachers concerned with the issues of human rights, migration and intercultural relations.

Within the project, LearningMigration: Equality in Education (2005-2008), in the organization of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, and Education and Teacher Training Agency, a seminar on migrations and intercultural education was held in Zagreb on November 23, 2006. Over fifty participants, mainly teachers from primary and higher secondary schools attended the seminar. From November 21 to 23, 2007, in Zagreb, together with the University of Stavanger (Norway) and Education and Teacher Training Agency, a joint seminar for Norwegian and Croatian teachers was organized on the themes of human rights, migrations and intercultural dialogue in which three Norwegian and seven Croatian lecturers, 31 Norwegian higher secondary school teachers as well as 18 Croatian primary and higher secondary teachers took part. The seminar included presentations of pupils’ activities in the project from three Croatian schools.

Seminar for the Croatian primary and higher secondary school teachers on Learning Migrations and Equality in Education, the last within the project, that was held in Zagreb on November 20, 2008, included lectures by the Institute’s researchers and presentations of practical examples of the project’s program implementation from five schools (two primary and three higher secondaries). The lectures comprised the themes of identity, migrations trends and migration policy in Croatia, the issue of learning about migrations in schools’ curriculum, while the examples from practice demonstrated pupils’ and teachers’ inter curricular research of the pupils’ and their families origins, integration of the pupils-migrants in the school and activities of the pupils in the project Youth&Migration – YAM. The seminar attended some forty teachers of history, geography, art and Croatian language.

Organization of seminars and workshops in 2003, 20004, 2006, 2007 and 2008 on migration themes, human rights issues, interculturalism, and on the question of equality in education for a larger number of teachers from primary and higher secondary Croatian schools has proved advantageous in various ways: a) generally increased knowledge about the phenomena of migrations; b) a better understanding of some basic terms in the field of migration; c) greater sensitivity to and respect for differences among pupils; d) a better understanding of the national minorities issue in Croatia; e) enhanced awareness of all concerned about migration processes and of the importance of intercultural dialogue in the society.

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