Migration and Refugee Crisis: Structural and Managerial Implications for Education

Migration and Refugee Crisis: Structural and Managerial Implications for Education

Şefika Şule Erçetin (Lancaster University, UK) and Ssali Muhammadi Bisaso (Islamic University in Uganda, Uganda & Hacettepe University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3325-2.ch003
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Migration has always been studied by various scholars for multiplicity of purposes. Sociologists always focus on social and cultural aspects of migration; geographers are interested in time and distance antecedents of migration. This paper is attracted by an educational intrigue and draws on educational gimmicks enshrined in migration. It is important that educational managers and educational authorities acknowledge need to incorporate policies and programs that can game challenges arising from migration and refugee crisis to fullest. This paper is thus, explicitly aimed at an educational management audience and is intended as a primer to conceptualizing the complexities and challenges of migrant education as well as serving as a drop shot for eliciting practical approaches that augment this intricate dilemma. There is no gain saying that this paper is not only timely but one with a telling practical guide on how school managers and educational policy makers should approach migrant education.
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Historically, migration is as old as mankind and the concept is rooted in the annals of both the past and modern human history. The earliest concern for migration was simply a reflection of academia where migration took on a teaching and learning aspect. Indeed, students were taught about the great migrations of the world like the great European migrations, Religiously inspired migrations, Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Bantu migration, Ngoni migration and Luo migration in Africa just for the sake of it. At this level, therefore, migration was simply informative to the general populace. It was even harder to ascertain the exact numbers of migrants since it was not a planned concern of those charged with authority. Only rough estimates were in abundance to all those seeking information about the migrants.

Fast forwad and realities have quite significantly changed. Migration became a world crisis that has affected all nations alike. According to the United Nations Development Programme (2010) mobility and migration tend to be highly sensitive even emotive subjects associated with “deep-rooted prejudices, issues of ethnicity, national identity and sovereignty, and relations with neighbouring country governments, and partners from the private sector and civil society”. Efforts to stop the daunting prospects of migration were thus engaged. At this level, therefore, migration took on another dimension of preventive measures as countries feared its escalating pattern.

The United Nations Development Programme (2010) contends that a series of migrations have taken place in various parts of the world. The Wikipedia (n.d.) then concurs to the effect that historians often identify an 'age of mass migration', occurring from c. 1850 to 1914 (sometimes 1940), in which long distance migration occurred at an unprecedented and exceptionally high rate. And these migrations have been pretty global covering all parts of the world and in all forms, that is, losing people to other areas and receiving people from other areas in return. As far as Europe is concerned, one of the largest European migrations witnessed 20 million people move after the Potsdam Agreement signed by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union in 1945 at the end of the Second World War. Accordingly, “16.5 million Germans were forced westwards from Eastern Europe, and millions of Poles were forced to resettle in some 'rediscovered territories'”. (Anitha et al, 2011; Wikipedia, n.d.). In the Indian sub-continent, the partition of British India in 1947 into “Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India”, meanwhile “resulted in the movement of over 14.5 million people - Muslims going to Pakistan from India and Hindus and Sikhs going in the opposite direction” (BBC News, 2007b). Meanwhile, during the Transatlantic slave trade, “between 9.4 and 12 million African slaves moved to the Americas between the 15th and 19th centuries”, sources say it could have been even more than this. Equally, some 10-20 per cent of these could have lost their lives during the infamous shipment. (Wikipedia, n.d.). And more interestingly, China is currently boasting of the biggest mass migration in human history. The next 25 years will witness over “345 million people moving from the rural areas to cities”. This has led to many calling it, perhaps arrogantly, the second Industrial Revolution. (BBC News, 2004)

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