Updated: Oct 10
When people move, children are often the ones affected the most, especially when it comes to education and social life. It is however, an issue that’s receives very little attention. Moving not only means adjusting to a different group of peers, but also to differences in curriculum and often a difference in the medium of education.
The problem is especially more prominent in areas that have a high demographic diversity. Often the solution to reduce the problems faced by migrating students, is to have a centralized curriculum. For countries that have not been affected previously by colonialism, wars and genocides, or countries with smaller areas and population, it’s an easy task to overcome the difference in the quality of education due to the homogeneity of the population. When everyone naturally speaks the same language, migration becomes a bit easier due to the uniformity of the medium.
Migrating students often find it hard to cope with the change in curriculum. When there’s a change in the board of education, they may have to take courses for which they do not meet the prerequisites. Or there may be a change in the way courses are taught. Compounded with the loss of friends and the burden of adjusting to a new group of peers, it’s obviously an extremely difficult condition for migrating students, especially those who move across states.
Students changing their state of residence not only have to adjust to a different curriculum, but often the language the lectures are taught in their new schools are also different. This makes it necessary for them to learn old concepts in a new language. Also, the language barrier makes it harder for them to fit in.
Mitigating such hurdles are almost impossible – because the solutions are nearly impractical given the way social systems work.
Increasing investment for children’s education is probably the easiest solution. Massive changes in curriculum across all educational boards to achieve homogeneity in the curriculum would be a necessary step. It’s also important to ensure that language doesn’t become a barrier. Students should be able to access bilingual online classes in their native language and the language used in their new educational institute. Classes for basic language skills would also have to be made free to keep them accessible to all, and therefore, Government funded.
The second option would be to adopt a single language for education and consolidating all boards of education to a single one, in order to ensure uniformity in curriculum.
It’s important to remember that the educational sector including edtech, is a business sector, and making radical changes often go hand in hand with heavy initial investments and delayed returns. Such causes are likely to rule out the motivation for investors to invest, while the second would need the imposition of one culture over another, which almost always has had negative consequences for the demographic being imposed upon.