BARCELONA – The European Students’ Union (ESU) underlined the need for an inclusive school governance during a thematic workshop and General Meeting of the SIRIUS network in Barcelona from 2 to 4 April 2014. All members of the academic community should have an active role to play in shaping the governance models of their schools or higher education institutions.
School governance and migration education policy
The SIRIUS network is a European policy platform on the education of children and young people with a migrant background. During the workshop, the participants were introduced to different methods of school governance in Europe, where some countries have a high number of migrants and others are affected by outward migration.
The workshop ended with a visit to the primary school of Tanit in a disadvantaged district of Barcelona. The Tanit school teaches children from 24 different countries with as many different languages and cultural backgrounds. It is a good example of a learning community and a model for democratic school governance, where parents, tutors, teachers and assistants all work together and participate in the education of all the children there.
ESU at the General Meeting of SIRIUS
ESU also participated in the General Meeting of the SIRIUS network. The steering committee, led by Miquel Angel Essomba, presented recent developments in relation to: “National and EU policy dialogue platforms” and the “European Partnership for Inclusive Migrant Education”. The SIRIUS network also presented its work on implementing policies and networking activities on migration and education, on the schooling systems of migrant children and youth and on the community involvement necessary to achieve sustainable education for children and youth from a migrant background. Finally, the General Meeting also served to discuss and plan its next meeting, which will be held on 20 November 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, where ESU will also be invited.
The importance of inclusive education
“ESU supports the SIRIUS network, as ESU fights for equal access to education. Students with a migrant or minority background face more obstacles than others to enter and accomplish higher education. Student support and sustainable migrant education policies must be enforced. The SIRIUS Network has strong partners that are able to advocate for issues ESU believe in, such as: equality, quality education and inclusive education. ESU has been working on students with a migrant or minority background already and had a working group on Ethnic minorities in higher education to carry more thorough research. By being a collaborative partner to SIRIUS, ESU continues its work on migration and higher education and brings in the voice of students, and in particular students with a migrant or minority background,” says Gabriela Bergan, the Human Rights and Solidarity Coordinator of ESU, that represented ESU at the event.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.