"European countries have to do a better job in educating immigrant children", said Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of Education International in Brussels today.
Van Leeuwen was commenting on a new report released by the OECD in Paris, on Where Immigrant Students Succeed. The report shows that immigrant children in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, did not do well on PISA tests of reading, mathematics and science in 2003. They scored significantly below children from families originating from those countries, especially at the secondary school level. On the other hand, immigrant children in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, did comparatively well.
"This study indicates that many European countries are not doing a good job of integrating migrant families" said Van Leeuwen. "In other words, countries are not dealing with the human consequences of globalisation", he explained "Globalisation leads to increased migration – it is inevitable", "So countries must put more resources into their school systems. The report shows that resources are needed for language teaching, and professional development for teachers in schools with immigrant children".
"Immigrant children should be shown that they can be proud of their cultural identity, while being given the chance to do well in their new country" he added.
"Education International affiliates in the countries mentioned have been raising these issues for some time now".
"The OECD report shows that it is time to act" he concluded.