NEW TEACHING GUIDE ADDRESSES REALITIES OF UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS IN THE CLASSROOM
As teachers welcome children in classrooms across the continent on the first day back at school, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), has launched a new guide to educate about the realities undocumented migrants face across Europe.
The teaching guide, which is available in English, French and Spanish, shows how PICUM’s web documentary “UNDOCUMENTARY” (www.undocumentary.org) - which showcases the daily realities faced by undocumented migrants living in Europe - may be used in the classroom. It includes an introduction to the issue of irregular migration, detailed background information on featured characters, exercises and activities for school aged children of various age groups, university students and adults as well as foreign language students with different learning objectives, and a range of additional materials and suggested resources.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in the UK highlighted:
“In an area of public policy where so much misinformation and so many myths circulate about undocumented migrants, this teaching guide is very timely. It is important that young people develop a humane approach to migration and understand the very difficult and distressing circumstances in which many families find themselves.”
“UNDOCUMENTARY” was produced by PICUM in cooperation with the production agency Pokitin and launched in 2012. PICUM travelled to Spain, Cyprus, Italy, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden to gather the stories of those on the frontline, including undocumented migrants, migrants’ rights defenders, professionals and public authorities.
Through a wide range of multimedia tools – video, photographic, text and info graphic – the web documentary offers the viewer five thematic chapters in English, French and Spanish: Criminalisation, Health Care, Working Conditions, Undocumented Women, and Undocumented Children. The teaching guide is based on the web documentary’s chapter on undocumented children which allows teachers to start address the topic through simple activities at an early age.
Richard Moyon of the French Réseau éducation sans frontières, RESF (Network for education without borders) noted the particular sensitivity of the role of schools as many undocumented children cannot attend school without fear:
“Schools sometimes welcome children whose parents are undocumented or young undocumented adults. Those situations represent a risk for students who face deportation, force them to live in constant fear, and often in situations of great material and moral insecurity. Schools therefore have an elementary duty of solidarity. The guide prepared by PICUM is a useful tool to raise awareness among teachers, students and parents about this sensitive issue.”
All exercises and activities outlined in the guide are considered guidelines which teachers can adapt to their students’ individual needs, cultural contexts, and learning objectives or as a basis for other exercises and tests.
To view the Undocumentary in English, French and Spanish, go to: www.undocumentary.org