Montenegro Report Summary 2022

Paul Schamp

10.11.2022

  • Education system faces multiple challenges over chronic shortage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM fields) graduates.
  • While there is an increase in the coverage of Roma children in primary and secondary education, a drop in preschool and university education is apparent.
  • Quality of Roma education remains of great concern
    • Roma registered with the National Employment Bureau, 96% have the lowest level of education and less than 1% are educated to secondary level. This limits the range of employment opportunities.
  • Little improvement post-COVID to advance reforms on quality of education
    • Quality and relevance of education system, including lack of practical experience of graduates from vocational and higher education, remain key challenges
    • Occupational mismatch is high in tertiary education graduates
    • Montenegro must adopt a costed plan for wide ranging education reforms including inclusive education and improving access to quality education at all education levels
    • Implement the new strategy on early and preschool education 2021-2025 to improve preschool enrolment for all children
    • Finalize then initiate the national vocational education and training (VET) implementation plan 2022-2023 of the VET strategy 2020-2024, as well as putting in place the evaluation mechanism of practical learning at VET and higher education levels.
  • Preschool enrolment rate stood at 48.71% in 2020-2021, still well below the EU 95% target
    • Effected by the COVID-context
  • Number of children with disabilities in both preschool and primary education increased by 21% and 7%.
  • Government approved in December 2021 the strategy for digitalization for education (2022-2027), which is fully aligned with the EU digital education action plan
  • Montenegro still does not have a qualitative, budgeted, multi-annual education strategy and plan for sustainable reforms.
  • Free transport was provided for 600 primary school students
  • Montenegro must align more with the Poznan Declaration on Roma integration in order to fully implement the strategy for inclusive education 2019-2025.
  • New strategy on early and preschool education was adopted in Q4 2021 and its implementation started including support to all preschool institutions for conducting campaign on enrolment, capacity building of staff to implement the parenting program, a workshop on partnerships with Roma and Egyptian families.
  • Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports revised strategy for higher education to cover the period 2022-2026 and draft a new law on higher education. However, their adoption is pending and tangible results are not yet in place
  • Developing a structured monitoring and evaluation of practical education in higher education programs remains to be an area that requires specific attention.

Sajtóközlemény: Az oktatás nemzetközi napja 2023

2023 Január 24

 

Idén január 24-én a Broken Chalk meghívja Önt, hogy csatlakozzon hozzánk és ünnepeljük együtt az oktatás nemzetközi napját.

Ezen a napon elismerjük az idei oktatáspolitikai eredményeket, ugyanakkor figyelembe vesszük a COVID-19 világjárvány által okozott folyamatos kihívásokat, a fegyveres konfliktusok globális növekedését, a szólásszabadság fokozott korlátozását és a globális gazdasági válságot, amely hozzájárult az oktatásfinanszírozás és az oktatási színvonal csökkenéséhez, illetve a beiratkozási arány visszaeséséhez. Mi, a Broken Chalk, mindennél jobban reméljük, hogy a globális civil szervezetek közösségét az oktatás iránti kollektív elkötelezettségünk megkétszerezésére vezethetjük.

Először is térjünk ki arra, hogy a Broken Chalk hogyan járult hozzá pozitívan az oktatás emberi jogként való megvalósításához 2022-ben. Ebben az évben a Broken Chalk jelentős kutatást végzett a több mint 25 ország előtt álló oktatási kihívásokkal kapcsolatban, beleértve a finanszírozási problémákat, a beiskolázást, a faji és etnikai hovatartozást, a társadalmi-gazdasági megoszlást, a nemek közötti egyenlőséget, a fogyatékkal élő diákok hozzáférhetőségét az oktatáshoz, a diplomások foglalkoztatási arányát és a fiatal felnőttek szakképzéshez való hozzáférését. Ezek az oktatási kihívásokról szóló jelentések, amelyeket weboldalunkon és közösségi média platformjainkon vannak közzétéve, felhívták a figyelmet bizonyos országok legégetőbb oktatási problémáira vagy a legpozitívabb oktatási kezdeményezésekre.

Ezenkívül a Broken Chalk új jelentéssorozatba kezdett, amely összefoglalja és elemzi az Európai Unió 2021-es bővítési csomagját a Nyugat-Balkánra és Törökországra vonatkozóan. Konkrétan, ez a sorozat hét jelentést készített, minden egyes csatlakozási szándékkal foglalkozó országról egyet, felhívva a figyelmet arra, hogy az EU milyen területeken javasolt alapvető reformokat. Mindegyik jelentés az érintett ország oktatáspolitikáját, a gyermekek jogainak tiszteletben tartását, a társadalmi-gazdasági egyenlőséget és a közszolgáltatásokhoz való hozzáférést vizsgálta az EU-bővítési csomag mérőszámai és értékelései szerint. Ennek eredményeként a jelentések kritikus párbeszédeket indítottak arról, hogy az EU által javasolt reformok milyen hatással lesznek az oktatásra.

Végezetül, a Broken Chalk részt vett az Egyesült Nemzetek éves egyetemes időszakos felülvizsgálatában (angolul Universal Periodic Review, röviden UPR), ahogyan már a szervezet 2020-as megalakulása óta is minden évben résztvett. Az UPR egy egyedülálló folyamat, amelynek során az államok egy szakértői értékelésben, valamint más államok emberi jogi politikáinak és eredményeinek figyelembevételével foglalkoznak és kezdeményeznek párbeszédet egymással. A párbeszéd elősegítése érdekében a civil szervezeteket és a nemzeti emberi jogi intézményeket felkérik, hogy nyújtsanak be nyilatkozatokat és jelentéseket az érintett ország emberjogi politikájáról és eredményeiről. Ebben az évben a Broken Chalk 30 országra vonatkozóan nyújtott be beadványt az UPR-hoz. Ezek a beadványok létfontosságúak az UPR-gyakorlat szempontjából, mivel bizonyos kiválasztott megjegyzéseket és javaslatokat közvetlenül a vitafórumra küldenek. Ebben a körben a Broken Chalk számos ajánlását elfogadta a UPR, ami azt jelzi, hogy a Broken Chalk eredményes vitát generál az emberi jogi közösségen belül, és kézzelfoghatóan hozzájárul a reformokhoz azokban az országokban, ahol az emberi jogok megsértése rendszeresen előfordul.

Most pedig bemutatjuk hogyan tervezi a Broken Chalk kutatással, jelentésekkel és figyelemfelkeltéssel bővíteni folyamatban lévő munkáját. A jövőben is folytatni fogjuk az oktatási kihívásokról szóló jelentéseinket, remélhetőleg a világ új területeire is kiterjesztve. A tervek szerint további 35 országra vonatkozó jelentések fognak készülni, ismét figyelembe véve az állam, az oktatási bürokrácia, az iskolák és a diákok előtt álló kihívásokat. Ismét részt veszünk a UPR-ban 2023-ban és további 39 országra vonatkozóan tervezünk jelentést benyújtani. Ezen túlmenően 2023-ban új kezdeményezéseket is tervezünk annak érdekében, hogy az oktatás mint emberi jog még több ember számára biztosítva legyen. Reméljük, hogy új projektekbe kezdünk, beleértve az új jelentéssorozatokat és proaktív projekteket helyi és globális partnerekkel egyaránt.

Ma, az Oktatás Nemzetközi Napján, amikor az új év még mindig friss, a Broken Chalk továbbra is az oktatási intézmények és diákok mai problémáira összpontosít. A globális civil társadalomnak és civil szervezeteknek egymással együtt kell működniük az oktatás jövőjének átalakítása érdekében. Reméljük, hogy párbeszédet kezdeményezhetünk a mindenki számára egyformán elérhető oktatás és az oktatás minőségének erősítéséről, az oktatási erőforrások digitális átalakulásában való eligazodásról, a tanárok támogatásáról, valamint egy biztonságos és fenntartható platform szavatolásáról a hallgatói hangok számára. Ezen az oktatás nemzetközi napján gondolja át, hogyan járulhat hozzá e célok eléréséhez magánszemélyként és egy globális emberjogi közösség tagjaként. Az oktatás egyrészt emberi jog, másrészt a fenntartható fejlődés, a politikai harmónia és a társadalmi kohézió kulcsa. Boldog az oktatás nemzetközi napját!

Írta,

Broken Chalk

Fordította,
Réka Gyaraki

 

English Version : https://brokenchalk.org/press-release-international-day-of-education-2023/

بيان صحفي: اليوم العالمي للتعليم ٢٠٢٣

في الرابع والعشرين من يناير، تدعوكم منظمة “بروكن تشالك” للانضمام إلينا في الاحتفال باليوم العالمي للتعليم. في هذا اليوم، ندرك إنجازات هذا العام في سياسة التعليم و الاخذ بعين الاعتبار في التحديات المستمرة التي تمثلها جائحة كوفيد-١٩، والارتفاع العالمي في النزاعات المسلحة، والقيود المتزايدة على حرية التعبير، والانكماش الاقتصادي العالمي. هذه بعض الصعوبات التي تساهم في الحد من التمويل التعليمي، وتدهور معايير التعليم، وانخفاض معدلات الالتحاق.

نحن في بروكن تشالك نأمل في قيادة مجتمع المنظمات الغير حكومية لمضاعفة التزامنا الجماعي في التعليم.

دعونا نأخذ نظرة أولاً على كيفية مساهمة منظمتنا بشكل إيجابي في تحقيق التعليم كحق من حقوق الإنسان في عام ٢٠٢٢. هذا العام، أجرت بروكن تشالك بحوثًا مهمًا في التحديات التعليمية التي تواجه أكثر من ٢٥ دولة، وحللت بما في ذلك أبعاد التمويل والتسجيل والعرق والتوزيع الاجتماعي والاقتصادي والمساواة بين الجنسين وإمكانية الوصول للطلاب ذوي الإعاقة ومعدلات توظيف الخريجين، و إتاحة التدريب المهني للشباب. نشرت تقارير التحديات التعليمية هذه على موقعنا الإلكتروني ومنصات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، وزادت الوعي حول المشاكل الأكاديمية الأكثر إلحاحًا في  بعض البلدان أو المبادرات التعليمية الأكثر إيجابية.

بالإضافة إلى ذلك ، بدأت بروكن تشالك سلسلة تقارير جديدة تلخص وتحلل حزمة توسيع الاتحاد الأوروبي لعام ٢٠٢١ لمنطقة غرب البلقان وتركيا. على وجه التحديد، أنتجت هذه السلسلة سبعة تقارير واحدا لكل دولة تتم النظر في الانضمام الى الإتحاد الأوروبي ، مع الإشارة إلى المجالات التي أوصى فيها الاتحاد الأوروبي بإصلاحات أساسية. فحص كل تقرير السياسة التعليمية للبلد المعني، واحترامها لحقوق الطفل والمساواة الاجتماعية والاقتصادية إتاحة الخدمات العامة وفقًا لمقاييس وتقييمات حزمة توسيع الاتحاد الأوروبي. ونتيجة لذلك، ولدت التقارير تأملاً نقديًا حول كيفية تأثير إصلاحات الاتحاد الأوروبي المقترحة على التعليم.

و أخيرًا، شاركت بروكن تشالك في الاستعراض الدوري الشامل للأمم المتحدة السنوي، كما فعلنا منذ تأسيسنا في عام ٢٠٢٠. الاستعراض الدوري الشامل هو عملية فريدة من نوعها تنظر فيها الدول في سياسات وسجلات حقوق الإنسان للدول الأخرى في استعراض نظير إلى نظير و فتح مجال الحوار في الإصلاحات. لتسهيل هذا الحوار، تمت دعوة المنظمات الغير حكومية والمؤسسات الوطنية لحقوق الإنسان ومنظمات المجتمع المدني لتقديم بيانات وتقارير حول سياسات وسجلات حقوق الإنسان في الدولة المعنية. هذا العام، أكملت بروكن تشالك التقديمات إلى الاستعراض الدوري الشامل لـ ٣٠ دولة.

تُعد هذه التقديمات أمرًا حيويًا لتمرين الاستعراض الدوري الشامل لأن بعض التعليقات والتوصيات المحددة للتحسين يتم إرسالها مباشرةً إلى قاعة المناقشة. في هذه الجولة ، تم قبول العديد من توصيات بروكن تشالك من قبل الاستعراض الدوري الشامل ، مما يدل على أن بروكن تشالك يولد نقاشًا هادفًا داخل مجتمع حقوق الإنسان ويساهم بشكل ملموس في إصلاحات مادية مهمة داخل البلدان التي تحدث فيها انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان بشكل روتيني.

الآن، ضع في اعتبارك كيف تخطط بروكن تشالك لتوسيع عملها المستمر مع البحث والتقارير وزيادة الوعي. سنواصل تقاريرنا عن التحديات التعليمية، ونأمل أن نمتد إلى مناطق جديدة من العالم. من المقرر تقديم التقارير لـ ٣٥ دولة أخرى ، مع الأخذ في الاعتبار مرة أخرى التحديات التي تواجهها الدولة والبيروقراطية التعليمية والمدارس والطلاب. سنشارك مرة أخرى في الاستعراض الدوري الشامل لعام ٢٠٢٣، مع خطط لتقديم تقارير لـ ٣٩ دولة أخرى. علاوة على ذلك ، خططنا أيضًا لمبادرات جديدة لمواصلة التعليم كحق من حقوق الإنسان في عام ٢٠٢٣. ونأمل أن نبدأ مشاريع جديدة ، بما في ذلك سلسلة تقارير جديدة ومشاريع استباقية مع شركاء محليين وعالميين على أرض الواقع.

في هذا اليوم العالمي للتعليم ، مع بداية العام الجديد، لا تزال بروكن تشالك تركز على أكثر القضايا خطورة التي تواجه المؤسسات التعليمية والطلاب اليوم. يجب أن يتعاون المجتمع المدني العالمي والمنظمات الغير حكومية بشكل جماعي لتغيير مستقبل التعليم للأفضل. نأمل في التحريض على الحوار حول تعزيز جودة التعليم المتاح للجميع على قدم المساواة، والتنقل في التحول الرقمي للموارد التعليمية، ودعم المعلمين، وضمان منصة آمنة ومستدامة لأصوات الطلاب. في هذا اليوم العالمي للتعليم، يرجى التفكير في كيفية المساهمة في هذه الأهداف كفرد وعضو في مجتمع حقوق الإنسان العالمي. التعليم حق من حقوق الإنسان ومفتاح للتنمية المستدامة والوئام السياسي والتماسك الاجتماعي.

يوم تعليم دولي سعيد!

بروكن تشالك

English Version : https://brokenchalk.org/press-release-international-day-of-education-202/

Comunicado de prensa: Día Internacional de la Educación 2023

El 24 de enero, Broken Chalk te invita a unirte a nosotros para celebrar el Día Internacional De La Educación.

 

En este día, reconocemos los éxitos de este año en la política educativa al mismo tiempo que consideramos los desafíos actuales presentados por la pandemia de COVID-19, el aumento global de los conflictos armados, el crecimiento en las limitaciones a la libertad de expresión y la recesión económica mundial, que ha contribuido a limitar la financiación para la educación, la caída de las normas educativas y las bajas estadísticas en matriculación. Más que nada, en Broken Chalk esperamos liderar a la comunidad mundial de ONG para redoblar nuestro compromiso colectivo con la educación.

 

Primero, centrémonos en cómo Broken Chalk ha contribuido positivamente a hacer realidad la educación como un derecho humano en 2022. Este año, Broken llevó a cabo una importante investigación sobre los desafíos educativos que enfrentan más de 25 países, incluyendo las dimensiones de financiación, inscripción, raza, etnia, distribución socioeconómica, igualdad de género, accesibilidad para estudiantes discapacitados, las estadísticas de empleo de graduados y el acceso a la formación profesional para adultos jóvenes. Estos informes sobre desafíos educativos, publicados en nuestro pagina web y otras plataformas de redes sociales, han creado realizaciones sobre los problemas académicos más urgentes de ciertos países y también de las iniciativas educativas más positivas.

 

Además, Broken Chalk comenzó una serie nueva de informes que resumen y analizan el paquete de ampliación de la Unión Europea de 2021 para los Balcanes Occidentales y Turquía. Específicamente, esta serie produjo siete informes, uno para cada país considerado para la adhesión, señalando las áreas en las que la UE recomendó reformas fundamentales. Cada informe examinó la política educativa del país sujeto, el respeto por los derechos del niño, la igualdad socioeconómica y el acceso a los servicios públicos de acuerdo con las métricas y evaluaciones del paquete de ampliación de la UE. Como resultado, los informes generaron una contemplación crítica sobre cómo las reformas propuestas por la UE impactarían en la educación.

 

Finalmente, Broken Chalk participó en la Revisión Periódica Universal Anual de las Naciones Unidas, como lo hemos hecho desde nuestra creación en 2020. El EPU es un proceso único mediante el cual los estados consideran las políticas y registros de derechos humanos de otros estados en una revisión entre pares y reformar el diálogo. Para facilitar este diálogo, se invita a las ONG, las instituciones nacionales de derechos humanos y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil a presentar declaraciones e informes sobre las políticas y los registros de derechos humanos del país en cuestión.

 

Este año, Broken Chalk completó presentaciones al EPU para 30 países. Estos informes son vitales para el ejercicio del EPU porque ciertos comentarios seleccionados y recomendaciones para mejorar se envían directamente al foro de discusión. En esta ronda, muchas de las recomendaciones de Broken Chalk han sido aceptadas por el EPU, lo que significa que Broken Chalk está generando un debate significativo dentro de la comunidad de derechos humanos y contribuyendo de manera tangible a reformas materiales significativas en países donde las violaciones de derechos humanos ocurren de manera rutinaria.

 

Ahora, considere cómo Broken Chalk planea expandir su trabajo en curso con investigaciones, informes y concientización. Continuaremos con nuestros informes de los retos educativos, con la esperanza de extenderlos a áreas nuevas del mundo. Están programados los informes para 35 países más, nuevamente considerando los desafíos que enfrenta el estado, su burocracia educativa, las escuelas y los estudiantes. Volveremos a participar en el EPU 2023, con planes de presentar informes para otros 39 países. Más allá de esto, también hemos planeado nuevas iniciativas para promover la educación como un derecho humano en 2023. Esperamos comenzar nuevos proyectos, incluyendo una serie nueva de informes y proyectos dinámicos con socios locales y globales en el terreno.

 

En este Día Internacional de la Educación, con el nuevo año aún fresco, Broken Chalk sigue centrado en los problemas más graves que las instituciones educativas y los estudiantes enfrentan hoy en día . Colectivamente, la sociedad civil global y las ONG deben cooperar para transformar el futuro de la educación. Esperamos instigar el diálogo sobre el fortalecimiento de la calidad de la educación disponible por igual para todos, navegar la transformación digital de los recursos educativos, apoyar a los maestros y garantizar una plataforma segura y sostenible para las voces de los estudiantes. Este Día Internacional de la Educación, considere cómo puedes contribuir a estos objetivos como individuo y miembro de una comunidad mundial de derechos humanos. La educación es un derecho humano y una clave para el desarrollo sostenible, la armonía política y la cohesión social.

¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Educación!

 

 

Firmado por

Broken Chalk

 

English Version : https://brokenchalk.org/press-release-international-day-of-education-2023/

Communiqué de presse : Journée internationale de l’éducation 2023

Ce 24 janvier, Broken Chalk vous invite à vous joindre à nous pour célébrer la Journée internationale de l’éducation.

 

En ce jour, nous reconnaissons les réalisations de cette année en matière de politique d’éducation, tout en considérant simultanément les défis continus présentés par la pandémie de COVID-19, l’augmentation mondiale des conflits armés, les limitations accrues de la liberté d’expression, et le ralentissement économique mondial, qui a contribué à un financement limité de l’éducation, à la baisse des normes éducatives et à la diminution des taux d’inscription. Plus que tout, nous, à Broken Chalk, espérons amener la communauté mondiale des ONG à redoubler notre engagement collectif envers l’éducation.

 

Concentrons-nous d’abord sur la façon dont Broken Chalk a contribué positivement à la réalisation de l’éducation en tant que droit humain en 2022. Cette année, Broken Chalk a mené d’importantes recherches sur les défis éducatifs auxquels sont confrontés plus de 25 pays, notamment les dimensions du financement, les inscriptions, la race, l’ethnicité, la répartition socio-économique, l’égalité des sexes, l’accessibilité pour les étudiants handicapés, les taux d’emploi des diplômés et l’accès à la formation professionnelle pour les jeunes adultes. Ces rapports sur les défis éducatifs, publiés sur notre site web et sur les plateformes de médias sociaux, ont permis de sensibiliser le public aux problèmes académiques les plus urgents ou aux initiatives éducatives les plus positives de certains pays.

 

En outre, Broken Chalk a lancé une nouvelle série de rapports résumant et analysant le paquet d’élargissement 2021 de l’Union européenne pour les Balkans occidentaux et la Turquie. Plus précisément, cette série a produit sept rapports, un pour chaque pays dont l’adhésion est envisagée, notant les domaines dans lesquels l’UE a recommandé des réformes fondamentales. Chaque rapport a examiné la politique éducative du pays concerné, le respect des droits de l’enfant, l’égalité socio-économique et l’accès aux services publics en fonction des paramètres et des évaluations du paquet élargissement de l’UE. En conséquence, les rapports ont suscité une réflexion critique sur l’impact des réformes proposées par l’UE sur l’éducation.

 

Enfin, Broken Chalk a participé à l’Universal Periodic Review des Nations unies, comme nous le faisons depuis notre création en 2020. L’EPU est un processus unique par lequel les États examinent les politiques et les dossiers des autres États en matière de droits de l’homme dans le cadre d’un dialogue d’examen et de réforme entre pairs. Pour faciliter ce dialogue, les ONG, les institutions nationales des droits de l’homme et les organisations de la société civile sont invitées à soumettre des déclarations et des rapports sur les politiques et les résultats en matière de droits de l’homme du pays concerné. Cette année, Broken Chalk a complété les soumissions à l’EPU pour 30 pays. Ces soumissions sont essentielles à l’exercice de l’EPU car certains commentaires et recommandations d’amélioration sélectionnés sont envoyés directement à l’assemblée de discussion. Cette année, de nombreuses recommandations de Broken Chalk ont été acceptées par l’EPU, ce qui signifie que Broken Chalk génère des discussions significatives au sein de la communauté des droits de l’homme et contribuer de manière tangible à des réformes matérielles importantes dans les pays où les violations des droits de l’homme sont monnaie courante.

 

Maintenant, considérez comment Broken Chalk prévoit d’étendre son travail en cours avec des recherches, des rapports et des actions de sensibilisation. Nous continuerons nos rapports sur les défis éducatifs, en espérant qu’ils s’étendront à de nouvelles régions du monde. Des rapports sont prévus pour 35 pays supplémentaires, en tenant compte à nouveau des défis auxquels l’État, sa bureaucratie éducative, les écoles et les élèves sont confrontés. Nous participerons à nouveau à l’EPU de 2023, avec des plans pour soumettre des rapports pour 39 autres pays. Au-delà de cela, nous avons également prévu de nouvelles initiatives pour faire progresser l’éducation en tant que droit de l’homme en 2023. Nous espérons commencer de nouveaux projets, notamment de nouvelles séries de rapports et des projets proactifs avec des partenaires locaux et mondiaux sur le terrain.

 

En cette Journée internationale de l’éducation, alors que la nouvelle année vient de commencer, Broken Chalk reste concentré sur les problèmes les plus graves auxquels sont confrontés les établissements d’enseignement et les étudiants aujourd’hui. Collectivement, la société civile mondiale et les ONG doivent coopérer pour transformer l’avenir de l’éducation. Nous espérons susciter un dialogue sur le renforcement de la qualité de l’éducation accessible à tous, sur la transformation numérique des ressources éducatives, sur le soutien aux enseignants et sur la garantie d’une plateforme sûre et durable pour les voix des étudiants. En cette Journée internationale de l’éducation, réfléchissez à la manière dont vous pouvez contribuer à ces objectifs en tant qu’individu et membre de la communauté mondiale des droits de l’homme. L’éducation est à la fois un droit humain et une clé du développement durable, de l’harmonie politique et de la cohésion sociale. Bonne journée internationale de l’éducation !

 

Signé par

Broken Chalk

 

English Version : https://brokenchalk.org/press-release-international-day-of-education-2023/

Interview with Marcel Voorhoeve and the qualification for refugee teachers to teach in the Netherlands

The testimony of  Marcel Voorhoeve, an inspiring man operating in the education field in the Netherlands.

 

After spending most of his life as a teacher of mathematics and physics and deputy headmaster of a secondary school, Marcel Voorhoeve founded the organization DVDK (Docentvluchteling voor de Klas) or “Teacher refugee for the Classroom”.

In collaboration with the Dutch Association of Mathematics Teacher and VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (the Dutch Council for Refugees), the volunteers of DVDK are working to ensure that refugee teachers are able to carry out their profession also in the Netherlands.

On the occasion of the Education Day 2023, Broken Chalk decided to talk with Marcel Voorhoeve about his experience, the creation of DVDK and the suggestions he would give to others who might want to get involved in the promotion of the “teaching of refugee teachers”.

 

Can you tell me about your background?

I was born in the South, in Maastricht, my age is 67 at this moment, I have been studying in the Utrecht University mathematics and physics. It was a five years study and after that it was possible to get the license in order to be a teacher. Then I started to look for a job in education, which was not quite easy at that time… Finally I got one in Utrecht, I became a teacher at a Roman Catholic school and I started teaching physics”.

After that, Marcel became a math teacher and in the middle of the 1980s, with the development of computers, he also started to give informatic classes. According to him, it was a quite interesting time for the educational system, as new ideas about how to teach mathematics were emerging.

At Utrecht university the department was developing new ideas about mathematics education. For several projects our school was an “experimental school” and it was very interesting also for me because it allowed me to develop as a good teacher”.

In a lot of countries mathematics is something you have to learn and to do, but doing is the most important thing… This approach doesn’t help very much in developing your own thinking, which is only possible when you have time to try things by yourself, obviously with the help of a good teacher.”

 

After being a teacher for the majority of his life, the last 15 years of his career Marcel was a member of the board of the school. Finally, the last four years before stopping to work, he was teaching at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam at the teacher training department. He found himself back teaching mathematical subjects, in particular statistics, and the didactics of mathematics to young students who wanted to become math teachers.

 

How did you come up with the idea of DVDK?

I stopped working three years ago, around the beginning of Corona time, but I liked my work very much. My partner and I started to travel for a moment…. In the month of January, after Christmas, I was thinking about what I could be doing. Waiting for the next trip was not satisfying to me”.

 

One day, Marcel decided to go to Plan Einstein, a place developed by the municipality of Utrecht and VluchtelingenWerk Nederland, an organization which is helping refugees for the reception and integration in the city. By talking with an employee, Marcel was introduced to a Turkish refugee who was a math teacher in his country and really wanted to be teaching again. The only problem was that he knew nothing about the Dutch language and about mathematics teaching and the school system in Holland.

We became friends, I helped him with language, to understand the educational system. Then he told me that he was a member of a Whatsapp group of about 100 math teachers from Turkey that fled from their country because they had a problem with the political developments in Turkey and they had no possibility anymore to be teaching there.”

At the same time, Marcel explained,  Holland is affected by a highly problematic  shortage of math teachers.

This creates a paradoxical situation: in a country with fewer and fewer teachers, there are competent refugee teachers who may be able to help the host community and at the same time exercise the profession they love and have chosen.

The idea of DVDK came from this paradox. With the help of the Foundation of Maths Teachers in Holland and the organization VluchtelingenWerk Nederland, Marcel started a project with the aim of helping teachers from abroad become teachers in the Netherlands.

 

In theory all those refugees from Turkey are allowed to teach in our schools as they have a license compatible with the Dutch education system. However, of course the language is problematic, also the Dutch educational system and even the way mathematics is taught in Holland differs enormously from Turkey, Iran or Syria… We heard a lot from these math teachers, who were not happy with the existing projects at other universities, and we thought that we could think about a good idea to make it better.”

“We made a plan, that we sent it to the ministry of education, about a good structured way of helping refugees from abroad starting at the moment they arrive in Holland, helping them to value their certifications and licenses in Holland, and preparing them to become a teacher in a fast and enduring way.

In February 2022, a  group of 15 teachers, 13 math teachers and two IT teachers started a course at University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, based on the ideas of DVDK.

(Picture: Two IT  teachers are instructed by their teacher in didactics of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

 

How does DVDK work practically?

According to DVDK trainings about the language, didactics and the school system in Holland are only one part of what DVDK is doing, called “Period Two”.

In fact, he stressed how these refugees coming to the Netherlands have an urgent need for a phase that must precede this type of training.

These refugees when they come to Holland should know the language before they can start this Period Two. We want to start immediately after they have their status or sometimes even before they are getting the status. In the asylum centers they are not allowed to do a course or to practice the Dutch language… This is terrible and demotivating. Of course there are of course and actions volunteers organize but at this moment no structured help for asylum teachers. A fast start will help these refugee teachers to make a motivating beginning with investigating and developing things for their new future.

Our idea, and we call it Period One, is that when a teacher from abroad is coming to Holland, it is necessary to offer something to this person. We think that it is very important to do it from the beginning because this gives the possibility that refugees can be motivated to do good things for their own lives.”

(Picture: In June 2022 the team of Hogeschool Utrecht and members of the projectgroup DVDK (Docentvluchteling voor de Klas) congratulated the participants with their first part of the course)

In addition, according to Marcel, it is also necessary to provide an orientation about what education in Holland concretely means, because refugees may have little or no idea of what it means to be a teacher in the Netherlands.

We also think that it is really important to begin practicing the language a little bit. We developed a kind of website where we offer Dutch lessons. In addition, the tasks, exercises and content in these lessons are profession orientated, so the context and tasks are linked to the profession of the teacher. This design highly motivates the refugees. A lot of teachers are really teachers by heart and giving them the possibility to attend these lessons is also a way of saying to them that they are welcome in our country and math community and that we want to help them.

In this sense DVDK is the only organization of the country having developed ideas and materials in this first period.

Finally, Marcel told me about the Third Period of the training. This final part has to be put into practice  when math teachers start to have their first job as a lot of coaching is still needed.

Even when the language is quite ok, and even when the didactics is fine, the teacher will have to develop him or herself in the new school context and needs a lot of help. In particular for the language, for instance when feedback on writing emails or letters to parents or on designing a good task or test for students…

 

If you had to give advice to other people in the field of education, which are the main difficulties that need to be overcome and how to do it?

Several things… First of all, the participants should spend a lot of time, which is possible when you truly believe in the idea and when you have a group of persons and organizations who also believe in the idea. It is also important to have good cooperation. I can say that with the people that are now involved in the project, we actually became some kind of friends. This also helps to deal with the ups and downs which a project always meets.

Secondly, DVDK investigated whether the structure of the project is also applicable for other subjects. We discovered that also teachers of physics, chemistry, technics and informatics because of the lack of teachers also need creative ideas to  recruit new teachers. They intend to connect and this means that DVDK will expand and really contribute to providing an increasing number of good teachers. This is an example of our policy: involve as much as organizations and participants with the goal to make as much expertise available as possible. And, thirdly, there is a lot of expertise and ‘power of people’ available. Expertise in language didactics (CLIL), in math didactics especially for  teachers, in coaching of teachers from abroad, etc. DVDK is happy with the contribution of universities and especially the Hogeschool Utrecht who educated our first group. And now we are waiting for our Ministry of Education. Our efforts resulted in the commitment of our new minister to a structured   approach and the financial needs. Our voluntary work will go on!”

(Picture: Group of 15 teacher-asylants who started a course at Hogeschool Utrecht in February 2022)

Mustafa Simsekler and the Little Engineers Academy

An interview with an inspiring young man from Turkey about his involvement in the education field.

We are in a cultural centre in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Mustafa Simsekler is surrounded by around twenty children aged between three and ten years old and their parents. In just an hour, as part of its educational robotics workshops, his goal is teaching them how to build the “fastest car model”.

In the middle of a set of batteries, motors and coloured cards, one can clearly perceive the smiles of these children and their parents, who almost seem to be having as much fun as their children.

Little Engineers Academy

His organization is called “Little Engineers Academy”. It consists of a series of robotics workshops during which children can develop not only their hand and production skills, but in particular their ability to be real problem solvers.

I have talked with Mustafa to know more about his story and the functioning of his organization.

 

Can you talk to me about your background?

“I studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering in Italy and I did another bachelor’s degree in law in Turkey. I also did a masters in Robotics and children brain development.

Then I worked for Boeing aircraft company in the United States, in three different places: Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle. Then I worked in Chile and my last job was in France. I was working for NATO doing research. Then I came back to Turkey where I also worked for the Turkish Air force.”

 

And then what happened?

In 2016, they fired me because we were not doing what the government was asking and I was against the Turkish Syrian possible war, the government did not like it. So, I lost my job. The government started to paint us as terrorists, my brothers went to prison, they all lost their jobs and one of them was banned from university…My father couldn’t handle it and he died. It was hard for us and at that time there was this pressure from the government… It was at that moment that I founded this company, “Little Engineers Academy”, 7 years ago.

With my colleagues we tracked the academic work that was available on brain development of children and this company became so famous in Turkey. We are basing our trainings on “the game”. In fact, also the children have a job and their job is solving a game. In these workshops we only suggest to children games without laptops, phones or any kind of screen because they are very harmful in early childhood.

 

Little Engineers Academy

 

Why did you have to flee Turkey?

I founded this company in Turkey, where it became so famous that we had almost 20 workers. However, after a while the Turkish government asked for consultancy from us, they gave me a 6 years judgment, they were considering me as a terrorist.

So, one day I decided to flee, I started to swim from Turkey at 12 and I was in Greece at 6.

Then I went to Italy, because I had some ID card from my study period, and finally I came to the Netherlands, in 2021, it’s almost 15 months since I have been here.

I came here as a refugee and I was in a camp, and at that time it seemed to me so awkward to just spend my time sleeping in a bed so I started giving lessons to children in the camp. I began to do some voluntary jobs and at the time I also had a contact with Utrecht’s mayor Ms. Sharon Dijksma who really helped me find some subsidies. I started giving lessons all around the Netherlands and I am currently giving classes in 14 different places in the country. Even if other high-tech companies offered me higher salaries, I am really happy with my job, I want to do something with children so that’s why I chose this way. It was also a way to say thank you to this country.

 

How does your workshop work?

So, in general, all the robotic companies are using ready materials and solving ready programs and they are all dependent on screens which are really harmful for children at an early age.

Our aim is to give children only the motor and batteries, as all the other materials come from nature and can be found everywhere. For example, we are making some robots from the roots, stones, chestnuts…Children can do robotics from everything, they don’t need extra materials. And we are also doing something that they are really going to use in their homes, airplanes, bedroom lamps…

Right now, we trained 1000 children in the Netherlands and more than 6000 children in the world. This education program is working in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in the Netherlands and Turkey.

Our objective is to teach them how to solve problems, not about coding or programming. People think about coding or programming as a goal, but it’s not the goal, it is brain development, helping them develop the ability to solve problems. This is because we don’t know in the future which issues and technologies, they are going to face but we know that they will have problems in their life…If you are a good problems solver in your life, in every occasion, when they you are stressed or criticized by others, you will have the ability to make the right decisions.

Little Engineers Academy

By Serena Lucia Bassi

 

Summary on the 2022 EU Enlargement Package regarding Turkey

In 2018, negotiations regarding Turkey’s accession the European Union (EU) came to a standstill as no further chapters could have been discussed for the foreseeable future. However, both parties maintained an amicable relationship, working toward a future where they could collaborate on common interests. In March of 2021, the European Commission expressed its readiness to cooperate with Turkey on joint areas such as counterterrorism, food security, migration trade and energy. To date, Turkey remains a key partner of the EU in its facilitated dialogue between Russia and Ukraine in the agreement on the export of grains. However, tension in the Eastern Mediterranean remains high with the EU urging Turkey to encourage stability within the region.

This summary discusses the 2022 EU Enlargement policy report as communicated by the European Commission in its 2022 Enlargement package. The report tackles multiple areas in which the EU has expressed concern such as fundamental freedoms and democracy in Turkey. The summary will also relay the report’s findings when it comes to education, culture and employment policies. All of which reflect on Turkey’s accession to the EU.

  1. Fundamental Rights

Freedom of expression and association

Of the most crucial rights that spark controversy in Turkey, freedom of expression has been under scrutiny by the government of Turkey which did not go unnoticed. The 2022 Turkey report states that currently Turkey is in the early stages of taking a European-based human right approach when it comes to the dissemination of opposition voices and freedom of expression. Many instances regarding criminal cases and convictions of journalists, students, lawyers and human rights defenders continue in the country.

For instance, the legislative environment regarding the internet, anti-terrorism and the Criminal Code limit the exercise of freedom of expression. There have been reports of selective and arbitrary application of legislation raise concerns regarding the rule of law and the right to a fair trial. The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers strongly urged the Turkish authorities to consider changes to the Criminal Code as many cases related to freedom of expression have been lodged to the European Court of Human Rights.

As for freedom of assembly and association, the report states that there had been some serious backsliding by the Turkish government as implementation and legislation are not in line with the Turkish constitution, European standards or the international conventions which Turkey is party to. Many human rights defenders have been detained or arrested due to their exercise of their freedom of association. This included prominent non-governmental organisations such as Human Rights Association which were subjected to police raids.

Women’s and Children’s rights

It had been evident that the regression concerning the right of women and girls in Turkey has had tangible effects in the country. The presidential decision to withdraw from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence had been met with serious backlash from the public. Turkey is in the process of implementing The Fourth National Action Plan for Combating Violence against Women (2021-2025) yet, there had been 339 killing of women in 2021 alone. Turkey lacks a robust system for data collection to assess the nature of this issue. There are numerous concerns regarding women’s right as hate speech increased against independent women organizations and women’s participation in politics and decision making is low.  On the other hand, some penalties were increased for violence against women who are or were the spouse of the perpetrator in July 2021.

In the area of the rights of the child, Turkey needs to improve its juvenile justice system. There has been reports of continuous juvenile arrests on charges of membership to terrorist organizations and often, detained in non-juvenile institutions. Turkey had shown limited progress in tackling and reducing core issues related to child marriages and gender-based violence against children. Additionally, the effects of COVID-19 have been tangible when it came to the decreased education of the Roma children.

Rights of persons with disabilities

Turkey has started its National Action Plan on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which will be its implementation tool for its 2030 Barrier Free Vision Document. Turkey needs an independent implementation and monitoring framework as required by the UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is also true for mental health and Turkey does not have a concrete foundation for mental health monitoring and implementation in the country. Moreover, community-based care services, including foster care and adoption, need to be expanded for minors with disabilities who are in need of state protection.

  1. Education and culture

In Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Turkey, the net enrolment rate (NER) for preschool education largely decreased from 71.22 % in 2019-2020 to 56.89 % in 2020-2021 and the combined NER for Turkish children between 3 and 5 years old decreased from 41.78 % to 28.35 %. It is important to note that as the country’s efforts to improve accessibility to persons with disabilities, the number of students in special education increased from 425 774 in 2020 to 425 816 in 2021. For persons with special needs, Turkey continued to invest towards inclusive education instead of segregated settings, yet the school closures due to COVID-19 have affected the access of such students to education. It is worth to note that Turkey is in an advanced stage in implementing the Bologna measures despite the disparity in quality of education between Turkey’s 207 higher education institutions.

In 2022, Turkey had declared the year as the Year of Youth Participation. Turkey also participates in the European Year of the Youth. Turkish youth organisations showed high levels of interest in the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes, which continue to be major sources of funding for international youth exchange activities in Turkey.

In the post-pandemic era, Turkey’s cultural sector suffered from inadequate and unsustainable funding. Non-governmental cultural actors were hindered by the insufficient cultural infrastructure, lack of professionalism and limited management capacities. Also, the number of books obtaining the warning “harmful for minors/ +18” has increased. Six publications were declared “obscene” in 2021. The books were focused on gender-based rights, gender identity or included LGBTQI characters, and such measures pose a threat to freedom of publication.

 

  1. Social policy and employment

The labour market situation in Turkey has slightly improved. The employment rate (15+) increased to 45.2 % in 2021 from 42.7 % in 2020. The rate increased for men to 62.8 % from 59.4 %, for women to 28 % from 26.2 %. Unemployment rate (15+) decreased from 13.1 % to 12 % in 2021. The unemployment rate for women remained almost at the same level with 14.7 %. The youth unemployment rate (15-24) decreased from 24.9 % in 2020 to 22.6 % in 2021. The rate of young people neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET) aged 15-24 decreased from 28.4 % in 2020 to 24.7 % in 2021; however for women, the rate is still quite high at 32.4 %. Turkey adopted its first National Youth Employment Strategy and Action Plan (2021-2023) in October 2021.

In the area of social inclusion and social protection, Turkey still requires a policy framework for poverty reduction. The accelerating inflation levels pose risks for vulnerable segments of the population. It is worth to note that social assistance payments amounted to TRY 97.8 billion or 1.74% of the GDP. Furthermore, Turkey needs a solid strategy and action plan for non-discrimination in employment and social policy. Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is not prohibited by law. The role of Human Rights and Equality Institution (HREI) and the Ombudsman remained limited in combating discrimination in employment. Employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector is reported to be challenging, partly due to limited physical accessibility, prejudices and skills mismatch. Efforts are needed to prevent discrimination for LGBTIQ in employment and social policy.

In employment and social policy, the gender gap in the labour market has remained high. Legislation needs to be improved for a better work-life balance. To achieve this, half-time work allowances were paid to 4,841 beneficiaries in 2021. The employment rate for women (18-64 age group) in case there are children in the household remained below the EU average. Women’s employment is hindered due to insufficient access to quality and affordable formal care services and the gender bias in caring responsibilities and discriminatory stereotypes. Some programmes supporting employment of mothers with children were terminated by the end of 2021.

In conclusion, Turkey lacks concrete implementation of polices regarding its fundamental rights such the freedom of speech and association. The situation concerning social policy, discrimination and the juvenile justice system need to have proper monitoring framework. There was some progress in terms early education and youth participation in the EU programmes. Still, Turkey needs to align its goals with its intent to accede the European Union.

Written by Ruwaifa Al-Riyami

Image Source : https://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/en/work-document/turkeys-10-years-of-eu-accession-negotiations-no-end-in-sight/

Source:

European Commission, (2022). Türkiye 2022 Report: 2022 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy. European Commission. https://neighbourhood-enlargement.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2022-10/T%C3%BCrkiye%20Report%202022.pdf

The unlawful pushback of refugees and asylum seekers at the borders of the European Union

Human rights are fundamental parts of our social and governance systems. These universal rights are inherent to every individual regardless of nationality, ethnicity, race or sex[1]. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), every individual has the right to life, liberty and security (Article 3), shall not be subject to torture (Article 5) or arbitrary arrest and detention (Article 9)[2]. In addition, Article 13 and 14 of the UDHR lay down that people have the right to leave any country, including their own to seek asylum in other countries due to fear of persecution in their home country[3]. However, despite all the international norms and legal frameworks in place today, the abovementioned rights of many individuals are violated when they seek refuge in foreign countries. In particular, a recent study found that hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers are being pushed back at the borders of the European Union when they try to escape their home countries in the hope of a better life[4].

The refugee crisis in Europe started in 2015 when a huge influx of third-country nationals arrived at the borders of the European Union. According to the statistics of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than five million refugees arrived at the borders of the Union by 2016[5]. Although the biggest wave of the crisis is over, still many refugees arrive to Europe nowadays as there were over half a million asylum applications submitted to the European Union in 2021[6].

However, tens of thousands of refugees are pushed back at the borders to prevent them from entering the European Union[7]. For instance, it has been reported that Spain deports unaccompanied minors to Morocco which puts the vulnerable refugee children at risk of exploitation and violates their human rights[8]. Another example is the case of Syrian refugees who wanted to enter Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina but were pushed back by the Croatian police officers, were beaten and unlawfully detained[9]. Additional countries that were found to be unlawfully denying entry for refugees and pushing them back at the borders with the use of force and violence include Greece, Hungary, Italy and Malta. In addition, Bulgaria is also one of the countries that unfairly pushes back refugees without any assessment of individual cases. This is illustrated by the case of a Turkish journalist who fled Turkey because he was suspected to be part of the Gülen movement which is perceived as a terrorist organization, he was fired from his workplace and feared further reprisals[10]. When arriving at the borders, Bulgarian officers failed to assess his case, disregarded his fear of persecution and return in Turkey, and forced him to sign documents he did not understand[11]. In less than 24 hours after his arrival he was handcuffed and handed over to the Turkish authorities, was held in detention and later sentenced to seven years of prison for his alleged support of the Gülen movement[12].

This case perfectly demostrates the core idea of the Refugee Convention of 1951 that was signed by all the member states of the European Union and that lays down that refugees must not be returned to a country where they face threats to their life and human rights. This is the principle of non-refoulement which is an essential component of refugees’ and asylum seekers’ protection and is part of customary international law, which means that it also applies to states that have not ratified the Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol. The original Convention had a limited geographical and time scope as it was only applicable to refugees of World War II, but its additional Protocol of 1967 removed this restriction and this extention of the treaty was also ratified by all EU states. In this sense, countries that unlawfully push back refugees, deny their entry and reject their asylum application without assessment not only violate their human right to life, security, movement and not being subject to torture, arbitrary arrest and detention as laid down in the UDHR, but also breach international law and norms since many of these refugees fled their country due to fear of persecution.

What even further exacerbates the problem is the fact that often times the European Union itself is indirectly funding these pushbacks, thereby supporting human right violations and going against the Union’s core values. The pushbacks were found to often be carried out with the help of Europe’s border agency Frontex which uses the Union’s financial resources. The European Ombusdman found that the European Commission has been providing funding for border control since 2018 but only established an independent monitoring mechanism to safeguard human rights at the borders in the middle of 2021[13]. The Ombudsman ruled that while the Commission lacks the authority to investigate the protection of human rights at border activities, it has the authority as well as the obligation to ensure that the Union’s funds are spent in compliance with EU law and human rights law[14]. Therefore it is the Commission’s responsibility to make sure that funds are not allocated to activities that are not in line with the European Union’s values and international law, such as the unlawful pushback of refugees. Furthermore, according to Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Commission can initiate so-called infringement prodecures which are legal procedures to ensure that member states are complying with EU law[15]. This means that the European Commission can fulfil its obligation of overseeing the protection of human rights inside member states by establishing and funding monitoring bodies and in case of a breach it can initiate such an infringement prodecude and bring the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. In addition, the Commission can also introduce conditionality between human rights protection and funding, which means that it can establish a system to make funds conditional and withhold funds from member states that do not comply with EU laws and values[16].

 

In conclusion, fundamental human rights are violated at the borders of Europe and the EU as refugees and asylum seekers are often pushed back and experience violence. Refugees are threatened, assaulted, abused and detained, left to die on their boats or thrown into the sea, which results in thousands of tragic deaths that could have been easily prevented[17]. This violates their human rights, namely the right to life, security and movement, as well as the right to be free from torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, which poses a severe threat to these innocent people’s physical well-being. Lastly, the European Commission is not only ignoring but also funding these human right violations which contradicts the values of the Union. Refugees are inherently a highly vulnerable group and have less access to national courts to enforce their rights and make their voice heard. Therefore it is the responsibility of the EU and its member states to ensure that refugees’ fundamental rights, and it is the European Commission’s obligation to make sure that the funds allocated to member states for border control and asylum application procedures are spent in compliance with the Union’s values as well as international law and norms.

 

Written by Réka Gyaraki

 

References

 

Bulgaria’s pushback practice censured by ECtHR. (n.d.). European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. https://www.ecchr.eu/en/case/bulgarias-pushback-practice-condemned-by-ecthr/

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. (2020). Dossier Migration. https://www.ecchr.eu/fileadmin/Sondernewsletter_Dossiers/Dossier_Migration_June2020.pdf

European Ombudsman. (2022). Decision concerning how the European Commission monitors and ensures respect for fundamental rights by the Croatian authorities in the context of border management operations supported by EU funds (case 1598/2020/VS). https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/decision/en/152811

European Union. (1957). Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A12016ME%2FTXT

OHCHR. (n.d.). What are human rights? https://www.ohchr.org/en/what-are-human-rights

Refugee Crisis in Europe: Aid, Statistics and News | USA for UNHCR. (n.d.). https://www.unrefugees.org/emergencies/refugee-crisis-in-europe/

Rijpma, J., & Fotiadis, A. (2022). Addressing the Violation of Fundamental Rights at the External Borders of the European Union. https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/article/study/addressing-the-violation-of-fundamental-rights-at-the-external-borders-of-the-european-union. The Greens/European Free Alliance.

Statistics on migration to Europe. (2020). European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/promoting-our-european-way-life/statistics-migration-europe_en

United Nations. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

 

[1] OHCHR. (n.d.). What are human rights?

[2] United Nations. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights

[3] Ibid.

[4] Rijpma & Fotiadis. (2022). Addressing the Violation of Fundamental Rights at the External Borders of the European Union

[5] USA for UNHCR. (n.d.). Refugee Crisis in Europe

[6] European Commission. (2020). Statistics on Migration to Europe

[7] Rijpma & Fotiadis. (2022). Addressing the Violation of Fundamental Rights at the External Borders of the European Union

[8] European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. (2020). Dossier Migration

[9] Ibid.

[10] European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. (n.d.). Bulgaria’s pushback practice condemned by ECtHR

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] European Ombudsman. (2022). Decision concerning how the European Commission monitors and ensures respect for fundamental rights by the Croatian authorities in the context of border management operations supported by EU funds (case 1598/2020/VS)

[14] Ibid.

[15] European Union. (1957). Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

[16] Rijpma & Fotiadis. (2022). Addressing the Violation of Fundamental Rights at the External Borders of the European Union

[17] Rijpma & Fotiadis. (2022). Addressing the Violation of Fundamental Rights at the External Borders of the European Union

Summary 2022 Enlargement package Bosnia and Herzegovina. A focus on the educational issues.

Freedom of expression and non-discrimination

According to the 2022 European Commission Enlargement Package in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, no progress was made in adopting countrywide human rights and anti-discrimination strategies. The 2009 law on the prohibition of discrimination is still not applied effectively in Bosnia Herzegovina. In addition, disputes over education continue and systemic solutions for ensuring inclusive and non-discriminatory education are not yet in place. In particular, the common core curriculum is not completed or applied throughout the country, and the availability of teaching in the national groups of subjects remains limited. Furthermore, no progress was made in eliminating the practice of ‘two schools under one roof’ and the name of the Bosnian language is not recognised in schools in the Republika Srpska entity, leading to recurrent school boycotts. Finally, persons with disabilities remain among the most vulnerable groups and continue to face hurdles to access education, healthcare and social assistance. The report underlines how the issue of accessibility to public buildings needs to be addressed in a systematic manner.

Education as a service for refugees and migrants

Some progress has been made in providing essential services to refugees and migrants, in cooperation with humanitarian partners. However, the actions in practice are still limited. A 2021 national report underlines for instance how only the Una-Sana and Sarajevo cantonal authorities provide access to legal guardianship and facilitate access to education for unaccompanied children.

Education in relation to the labour market

The European Commission states that one of the reasons of the persistence of high unemployment in the country is a mismatch of education curricula with the labour market needs. In order to support long-term growth, Bosnia and Herzegovina should in particular improve the quality of education and training, in particular by accelerating the modernisation of curricula with a view to better alignment with labour market needs.

Education and innovation section

Investment in education remains inadequate, highly fragmented and poorly coordinated, leading to varied standards within the country.

According to the European Commission, public spending on education accounted for some 4% of GDP in 2020. When adding private spending and support by foreign donors, the overall amount stands at nearly 5% of GDP. Despite this significant spending, in particular when taking into account the number of students, it is underlined that the system fails to provide the country’s labour force with the skills and knowledge necessary for a smooth integration in the labour market. Furthermore, the insufficient coordination leads to a lack of common standards for various levels of education, as well as in differences in the quality of teachers’ training and performance evaluation.

In addition, teaching curricula continue to be outdated and are still not sufficiently aligned with the country’s needs. The results of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s participation to the 2018 PISA study indicate that the students’ performance ranks well below the OECD average, which is a clear impediment for the country’s competitiveness and growth potential. Unfortunately, Bosnia and Herzegovina refrained from participating in the follow-up study.

Furthermore, spending on research and innovation is limited and impeded by the low degree of cooperation and coordination among the various levels of government, leading to a low efficiency of the overall system.

Finally, the absence of an efficient funding system is another factor preventing the country’s innovation policy from achieving better results for the funds spent. The country’s research capacities remain limited, while brain drain continues, most notably in the health, medical, and IT sectors with no systematic measures having been introduced so far to address the issue.

Equal treatment men and women

The principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and social policy is regulated by the laws on gender equality and antidiscrimination, and by the entity-level labour laws. These laws contain provisions on gender equality covering different areas (employment, education, training and professional qualification) but in practice the enforcement of non-discrimination legislation remains low.

Education and Culture

The European Commission states that Bosnia and Herzegovina is at an early stage of preparation in the area of education and culture. It is stated that there was no specific progress in the area, with Bosnia and Herzegovina failing to participate in 2021 PIRLS or 2022 PISA. In particular, a fully functional system of accreditation of higher education institutions and in particular study programmes is still lacking.

According to the European Union, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to align legislation at all levels of government with the framework laws on education, and ensure application of the common core curriculum based on learning outcomes. Social inclusion at all stages of education needs to be ensured. Youth strategies across the country should be developed and implemented. Finally, the European Commission provides specific recommendations to Bosnia and Herzegovina:

→ to extend and update the action plan for the national qualification framework (NQF) and establish an inter-sectoral commission for NQF;

→to ensure a fully functional system of (re-)accreditation of higher education institutions and study programmes across the country;

→ to ensure continued participation in international assessment studies and implementation of findings to improve PISA results.

Furthermore, in the specific area of education and training some other issues have to be underlined. First of all, education should be provided to children with special needs, particularly in terms of ensuring the necessary infrastructure, provisions, transportation and school assistants to support both children and teachers. Secondly, the absence of a mechanism to systematically measure or monitor the quality of education inputs, outputs, or outcomes needs to be taken into consideration. Finally, the European Commission underlines the lack of common standards for the different levels of education, as well as in teacher training and performance evaluation.

 

Written by Serena Bassi

Image Source : https://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/newsroom/we-must-not-let-ethno-nationalists-play-fire-bosnia-herzegovina-eu-must-be-more-active