NGOs applaud Edu. Ministry for integrating migrant children into local schools
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) along with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have commended Guyana’s Ministry of Education (MoE) for its efforts to accommodate migrant children from Venezuela.
IOM’s Senior Regional Coordination Officer and Chief of Mission, Robert Natiello led the commendations during a workshop for media workers on migration and protection recently.
“IOM recognises, welcomes and applauds the efforts of the Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Education to make those accommodations for the increased influx of new students,” Natiello said.
Natiello explained that many communities are receiving migrants resulting in an influx of new students in the education system. He further said that the IOM supports the Ministry of Education in catering to the tailored education needs, particularly since many of them speak a foreign language.
He echoed these sentiments during a subsequent donation of sanitation items to the Ministry earlier this week.
The donation is to maintain a healthy and safe environment for students in schools. The items that were handed over include liquid hand soap, hand sanitizer and manual dispensers.
The Ministry of Ministry of Human Services and Social Security was also acknowledged for its efforts to integrate migrants in Guyana.
Katherine Aguero, the Associate Protection Officer for the organisation told reporters that the Education Ministry’s support has made their efforts relatively easy to get migrant children into the classrooms.
She said Warao children, indigenous Amerindians inhabiting northeastern Venezuela, are allowed to register at schools and be a part of learning sessions.
This is done even when they do not have all the documentation that schools require.
Meanwhile, Jermaine Grant, the PADF project director in Guyana, explained that the body works with these children in several coastal and hinterland regions where most migrants have settled. He said that the organisation has after school classes where representatives help the children to better understand the work they were taught during the day.
The organisation also has text books which are written in Spanish, ‘Guyana en espanol’, is a cultural guide designed for Spanish-speaking migrants in Guyana. The book is used to further advance the goal of supporting the integration of migrant families into their host communities.