DCU UNESCO Chair hosts meeting on migration and bullying in Paris
The UNESCO Chair at Dublin City University is leading an international EU COST Action Project focused on Migration and School Bullying.
The TRIBES Project aims to pilot ‘real world’ scientific measures and approaches, and collate evaluated interventions and approaches around inclusion and bullying prevention. The team hopes to disseminate a comprehensive programme for schools to enhance the safety and well-being of migrant students across EU secondary schools.
Led by the Anti-Bullying Centre in DCU, the project involves partners from universities and NGOs from over 40 countries.
DCU UNESCO Chair on School Bullying and Cyberbullying, Prof. James O'Higgins Norman hosted a meeting of the partners last week at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The meeting was attended by several members of the UNESCO Chair at DCU who are working on the TRIBES project including Dr. Amalee Meehan, Dr. Angela Mazzone, Darran Heaney, Éamon Jones and the Chair of DCU's Anti-Bullying Centre's Advisory Board Maureen King. The meeting was formally opened by Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Director of UNESCO's Division for Peace and Sustainable Development within the Education Sector with keynote presentations by Dr. Jacinta Francis from Australia's Telethon Kids Project.
Speaking at the event, Vibeke Jensen, Director of UNESCO Division for Peace and Sustainable Development, said:
“The goal of the [TRIBES] project is to ensure integration, reduce bullying and enhance the safety and well-being of migrant learners, a vision closely linked to UNESCO’s mandate in relation to education …. we strongly believe that the role and responsibility of the education system is not only to educate, but also to provide a safe and inclusive school environment for all learners. We know that many who are bullied cannot actually learn because they are fearful and unhappy.”
DCU's UNESCO Chair Professor James O'Higgins Norman said:
"Immigration is a persistent, highly contentious part of the EU’s future, and the alienation of migrant populations can lead to bullying, harassment, social unrest and civic and economic turmoil. Conversely, a migrant population well integrated into society allows individuals to prosper, and the state and EU to build on their potential as a valuable resource. The Ukrainian refugee crisis in recent months has heightened the urgency of the issue, and educational provision for students with an immigrant background is ever more to the fore."
Dr. Jacinta Francis, Australia’s Telethon Kids Project, said:
“Efforts to increase STEM and other approaches in schools are valuable but if we neglect a more fundamental need to establish welcoming and inclusive physical and emotional environments in our schools other efforts will be undermined. It is important to get the physical and emotional environment right so that other educational efforts can build on this and avoid creating schools where exclusion and bullying occur".