Educational Challenge of the Children of Mobile Workers in a Linguistically Diversified Europe

SYMPOSIUM: INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION CONNECTS

“Building Bridges – Creating New Opportunities“

University for Teacher Education, Vienna

November 27, 2012

Synopsis of Presentations 

Educational Challenge of the Children of Mobile Workers in a Linguistically Diversified Europe?

PhD Kari Kivinen, the Secretary-General of the European Schools

The European Union has promoted freedom of movement. European citizens have now-a-days a real freedom to choose in which country they want to study, work or live.In addition, there is rather important change of the nature of assignments in progress at this moment.  People work on shorter contracts, work part-time, and change their place of work more frequently. Outsourcing is increasing in all sectors. The workplaces of the Europeans are more mobile and project-oriented than ever before. 
These two elements create new educational challenges in most European capitals: How can we to meet the needs of the children of these mobile workers in a linguistically diversified Europe? On the other side – What kind of international schooling should be offered in the European capitals to attract high level professionals? The 27 EU member states have developed their own model, creating 14 European schools, accepting children across the whole age range and offering the European Baccalaureate, recognized in all the Member States of the European Union.

The mission of the European Schools is to provide a broad education of high quality, from nursery level to university-entrance and offer an opportunity for pupils to stay connected with their Mother Tongue while being educated in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment, to become open minded citizens.

Based on the recommendation of the European Parliament, the European Schools have started to open up its curricula, syllabuses and European Baccalaureate to national Schools. At this moment there are 8 Accredited European Schools, and there are several new ones in pipeline. About 27.000 pupils have access to the European Schooling at present in 11 Member states.

See the pdf-file of the presentation: 

 Educational Challenge of the Children of Mobile Workers in a Linguistically Diversified Europe

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Inauguration ceremony of the Europäiche Schule RheinMain in Bad Vilbel, Germany

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13.10.2012

Speech; Dr. Kari Kivinen, the Secretary-General of the European Schools

 

Chers ministres, excellences, M. le Bourgmestre, M. le directeur, mesdames et messieurs,

In the name of the Board of Governors of the European Schools, I would like to congratulate the Stadt Bad Vilbel for the inauguration of the European School RheinMain!

Kondrad Adenauer, the great German statesman and chauncellor, stated once that “Europe must be created” (“Europa muss jeschaffen werden”).

Adenauer saw Europe as potentially more than an economic community. His ambitious and courageous vision was to create a united Europe of peace and freedom. Adenauer’s policy on Europe was hotly disputed in Germany, especially in the late forties.

If we look at the European Union today – and if we forget the actual the euro-crises –  we can state, that Europe has shaped very much in direction pointed out by Mr Adenauer.  The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided yesterday to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 to the European Union. The union and its leaders have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

Mr Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, had a pragmatic idea that multicultural and multilingvistic education would be the best mean to create in practise unified Europe. The European Schools have been one of the main components of the EU  and what it stands for, and therefore I think we can all be proud to be part of the movement which have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2012!

“Europe must be created!” Yes indeed, we are witnessing of a creation of European Schooling in Bad Vilbel at this very moment. The present 400 pupils, and the future generations of youngsters who will be schooled in this school, will learn true European values through everyday interaction with each other in this School establishment.

As you might know, the European School System was created in Luxembourg in 1953, nearly 60 years ago. In 2013 we will celebrate our 60th anniversary. During the last 60 years our School system has grown in a considerable way.  At present, there are about 27.000 pupils who follow European Education in 14 traditional European Schools in 7 different countries, and 8 accredited schools in 4 additional countries.

The principle of the EuropeanSchool has from the beginning been to bring pupils coming from different countries, speaking different languages together – under the same roof. We are unified in our diversity. The pupils coming from different cultural backgrounds learn to play together, work together and celebrate together.  Today is the day of celebration.

The mission of all our Schools is to provide a broad education of high quality, from nursery level to university-entrance and offer an opportunity for pupils to stay connected with their Mother Tongue while being educated in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment, to become open minded citizens.

I have a pleasure to discover, that the building process in Bad Vilbel has been finalised, and the School has had an opportunity to start the School year 2012-2013 in wonderful new premises.

I would like to thank the initiators of the School for their engagement and their vision. Today we can all witness, that their dream have come true.

I would like to thank the German Head of delegation in the Board of Governors for the creative and innovative approach. The BadVilbelSchool is the first Type 3 School, ever.

And of course I address our gratitude to the local regional authorities and to the town Bad Vilbel for their investment for the European education. I would like to express my admiration also to the architects and builders who have made excellent work in good co-operation with the direction of the new school.

I am very grateful that our students can enjoy high quality European education in best possible conditions in this ultramodern school environment and that the teachers of the MainRheinSchool have an opportunity to work and teach in the extraordinary conditions in a purpose build and well equipped School!

In 1954 Kondrad Adenauer held his famous speech in Nice. He stated: “The unity of Europe was the dream of a few. It became the hope of many. Today it has become a necessity for all of us. It is necessary for our security, for our freedom and for our existence as a nation and as an intellectually creative community of peoples.”

I wish success to all the present and the future pupils of the European School MainRhein!

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EDUCATION – WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD

Download 121015-Education poster

 

SEMINAR: EDUCATION – WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD

EUROPEAN PARLIEMENT ON THE 15.10.2012

HOW TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE CHILDREN OF MOBILE WORKERS IN A LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSIFIED EUROPE?

PhD Kari Kivinen

Dear quests,

As Secretary-General of the European Schools, I wish to congratulate the European Union on winning the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. The European Schools have been closely connected with EU and what it stands for since 1953. We are really proud that European Union has been awarded a highly respected prize for its contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights!

Mr Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, had a pragmatic idea that the most effective way to create a unified Europe would be through multicultural and multi-linguistic education! The European Schools were created 6o years ago based on his vision of united Europe. Therefore I think we can all be proud to be part of the movement, which have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2012!

During the past 60 years, European Union has not only promoted peace, but also freedom of movement. European citizens have a real freedom to choose in which country they want to study, work or live.

There is rather important change of the nature of assignments in progress at this moment. People work on shorter contracts, work part-time, and change their place of work more frequently. Outsourcing is increasing in all sectors. The workplaces of the Europeans are more mobile and project-oriented.

These two elements create new educational challenges in most European capitals: How are we to meet the needs of the children of these mobile workers in a linguistically diversified Europe? On the other side – What kind of international schooling should be offered in the European capitals to attract high level professionals? And what are we to say to those families that include children with ‘special educational needs’?

In my view, our new challenge is to serve these regionally mobile families and to provide access to an educational system that meets a wide variety of learning needs.

Most of the European capitals might have some international schools such as Deutche Schule, Lycee Français or English speaking International School. Unfortunately they often have limited number of places, high fees and they do not necessarily get support from the governments.
The 27 EU member states have developed their own model, creating 14 European schools, accepting children across the whole age range and offering the European Baccalaureate, recognized in all the Member States of the European Union. Pupils of different nationalities are educated side by side from an early age. They are not affected by prejudices that can be divisive and they are familiar with all the great and good aspects of the different European cultures. As they get older, they realise that they somehow belong together. They are still proud of their own countries and their own languages, but mentally they feel European. Their education has taught them that their job now is to complete and build on the work of earlier generations, with the aim of creating a united and thriving Europe.
Based on the recommendation of the European Parliament, European Schools have started to open up its curricula, syllabuses and European Baccalaureate to national Schools. At this moment there are 8 Accredited European Schools, and there are several new ones in pipeline. About 27.000 pupils have access to the European schooling in 11 Member states.

Both the international schools and the European Schools offer workable alternatives that serve the children of the newly mobile Europeans. Both approaches have achieved considerable success, but their effect in the European scale is still very modest. Both models could be further examined and developed!

I believe that all European children deserve the same educational opportunities in united Europe. This means that basic schooling should support:
• the child’s mother tongue, to retain cultural identity and facilitate re-integration
• language learning, giving access to the main language of instruction, and opportunities to learn key European languages, facilitating better international communication and relocation across Europe

Finally, the most challenging task is to provide support for the children who learn differently, with a range of special educational needs.