Pre-defined Project title: Integration of Refugee Children in Greek Schools

Project PromoterProject partner(s):Programme outcome the project contributes to:Project grant rate:Maximum project grant amount:
The European Wergeland Centre The Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs Integration of refugee children in Greek schools improved100%€ 1,500,000

The project is conducted by EWC under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. By the end of the school year 2021-2022, school leaders, teachers, pupils and parents from 150 Greek secondary schools will take part in the project.

The project addresses a challenge common for many European countries: how to provide safe and inclusive quality education for all? This is particularly urgent in countries receiving large numbers of migrants and refugees, such as Greece.

For almost a decade, Greece has been dealing with many multileveled and severe challenges since the onset of the ongoing financial crisis, with the influx of refugees being the most recent one. Greek schools struggle with issues connected to these challenges daily. A big number of refugee children have spent a long time away from home and as a result away from school. It is Greece’s obligation to provide the opportunity to these children to re-join education or to attend school for the first time.

EWC’s project addresses a particular gap in the provision of education to refugee children. Even though legal and structural provisions are in place, there is not always the necessary support for all the schools where refugee children are enrolled once they are there. There is limited training, practical guides or good practices offered to schools on how to manage the situation, which may cause tensions and conflicts in the classroom, in the school environment, with parents and the local community.
Through the project school directors and teachers are trained to create safe and inclusive schools and classrooms where refugees are welcomed into a learning environment which aims to provide quality education to all. The training aims to equip school directors and teachers with the tools, competence and confidence to manage controversy and deal with issues concerning intolerance, discrimination, racism and hate speech in school and the local community.
The expected deliverables are:

• 150 secondary schools (including all 28 vocational schools) nationwide that enroll refugee pupils participate in the project
• up to 3000 school directors and teachers are trained
• Up to 450 trainings conducted
• teaching and learning materials are provided and disseminated to school staff
• a practical guide for schools on integration of refugee children will be produced
• a national network of schools for sharing of good practices and experiences is established
• a national network of experts and teacher trainers is established

The deliverables are expected to contribute to the outcomes through the schools becoming more democratic and inclusive in their everyday practice. In a democratic and inclusive school:

– School directors and teachers are better prepared to welcome and include refugee children in schools
– Refugee children experience a smoother integration in schools, as an equal member of the school community
– School directors and teachers are better equipped to deal with issues concerning intolerance, discrimination, sexism, racism and hate speech in school and the local community
– Teachers learn how to create safe spaces in the classroom for teaching and learning about controversial issues
– School directors and teachers develop their competences for a democratic culture in school
– Pupils, regardless of background, will experience less conflicts and a more inclusive learning environment which better facilitate learning and improve the quality of the education provided in school
– Parents and local community actors experience improved communication and cooperation with schools with regard to the integration of refugee children.

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