Migration Policy Institute
Building Bridges Not Walls: Key Lessons from the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report on Migration and Displacement
Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute
Priyadarshani Joshi, Research Officer, Global Education Monitoring Report
Mandy Manning, 2018 National Teacher of the Year
Mary Giovagnoli, Director, Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Immigration Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2015-2017)
Joan Lombardi, Director, Early Opportunities, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009-2011)
Margie McHugh, Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI
The international migrant population includes some of the most vulnerable people in the world, including unaccompanied children and children in detention. Yet these children are often invisible in data and in many places denied entry into schools, while they are often the ones most in need of the safe haven, stability, and path to a brighter future that education can provide.
Marking the U.S. release of the 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, this event convened by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the GEM Report includes a presentation of the report that focuses mainly on migration and displacement in its continued assessment of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda. This global study presents evidence on the implications of different types of migration and displacement for education and how reforming curricula, pedagogy, and teacher preparation can impact attitudes toward diversity. The report analyzes the challenges to effective humanitarian financing for education and makes the case for investing in the education of children whose parents migrate for work, in countries with high rates of emigration and those seeing high rates of immigration, and in short-term refugee emergencies and in protracted crises. It also offers recommendations that advance the aims of SDG 4.
Drawing on the experience of the United States, the discussion looks at different ways education policymakers, teachers, and civil society have responded to the educational needs of migrants and how to address the legal, administrative, or linguistic barriers that sometimes inhibit children from participating meaningfully and equally in education programs. Speakers highlighted the centrality of education for the process of inclusion and reflect on the capacity of education systems to serve children and youth from migrant backgrounds. The discussion also explores possible solutions, and offers fresh ideas on how to ensure that education addresses diversity in and outside the classroom.