One of the less visible aspects of the refugee crisis is that the refugee children have their education disrupted. They often have difficulty enrolling in the formal education systems of their host countries, and even when they do, they usually need a lot of extra support.
To help provide some of the support needed, we at the University of Graz ELT Research and Methodology unit have set up a tutoring programme, in cooperation with Caritas. Our plan is to organise a series of tutoring sessions, starting at the 2016 Summer Semester, where refugee children, and other children with migrant backgrounds, can join and practice using English. These sessions will be supervised by staff and trainee teachers studying with us, who will first undergo a five-lecture course on Prejudice Conscious Education, organised by Caritas.
We are aware that this is, probably, not the most pressing need the refugee children are facing at the moment. But even so, I genuinely believe that it is a worthwhile endeavour, not just because of the difference it might make in the children’s lives, but also because a statement must be made that no child is unwelcome here.