10 SES 13 C, Second Class Teachers? – Practices of Further Education and Employment of Teachers with Refugee Background
With the recent refugee influxes to Europe, the discussion of refugee employment is heated one more time. In the countries that accepted a big number of refugees, the public view is two-fold: On the one hand, refugees are considered as the victims of exploitations, proxy wars, economic imbalances or showdowns created by rich countries and they should be provided with not only basic humanitarian aid but also with facilities aiming integration in the social life and bringing them financial and social independence to create resilience and social cohesion. On the other hand, refugees are also considered as beneficiaries of European social welfare systems and even as parasites that live on taxpayers of the host countries because they are unqualified or unskilled and cannot contribute to the economy. Also, shortage of skills with the refugees is one of the main arguments that are introduced to resist the acceptance of refugees in many states (Seukwa, 2013). In either case, refugees are viewed from a deficit-oriented perspective where their insufficiencies are focused more than their qualifications or the resources they bring with them. Similarly, the research about refugees is mainly focused on the claim that refugees are people who have deficits to get integrated into the host country (Radtke & Gomolla, 2002).
In line with a deficit-oriented perspective, big challenges in finding the fitting jobs, high unemployment rate among refugees and being employed in unattractive, underqualified, and low-paid jobs are the cases in many host countries (Ajluni & Kawar, 2014; Bevelander & Lundh, 2007; Colic-Peisker & Tilbury, 2007; Di Castro, 2010). However, the competences and skills of refugees should not be underestimated with a wrong assessment. Although they are mainly considered as unskilled and undereducated, it should be accepted that refugees do come from all different layers of society with their various skills, and experiences; and it is important to provide employment opportunities where refugees can use their skills, qualifications, training, or previous experiences.
In this study, we compared the country contexts and employment possibilities for refugee teachers in Austria, Sweden, and Turkey. The focus of the research was to depict a picture of the opportunities provided to refugee teachers to requalify and access to employment. Refugees with teaching experiences should be considered as a qualified group of refugees who can contribute to the learning of pupils and at the same time who can get access to be a part of society through their own competences. A refugee with teaching experience can contribute to the curriculum, linkage to community, developing vision of pupils, parental collaboration and so on. Teachers who have skills and experience can create a diverse teaching force that can respond the needs of diverse population (Lee & Stevenson, 2016).
With our research, by surveying refugee teachers and examining the present conditions, opportunities and offers made for them, we tried to come up with a combination of their expectations and possibilities to actualize them as well as the country-specific prerequisites and demands. The study tried to answer the questions.
What are the employment possibilities for refugee teachers in Austria, Sweden, and in Turkey?
Which requirements should refugee teachers fulfill in the way to employment?
- How the these countries differentiate from each other in terms of refugee teacher employment?
Ajluni, S. & Kawar, M. (2014). The impact of Syrian refugee crisis on the labor market in Jordan. A preliminary analysis. International Labour Organization 2014. Retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---arabstates/---ro-beirut/documents/publication/wcms_242021.pdf Bevelander, P & Lundh, C. (2207). Employment Integration of Refugees: The Influence of Local Factors on Refugee Job Opportunities in Sweden. IZA Discussion Paper. Retrieved from http://ftp.iza.org/dp2551.pdf Colic-Peisker, V. & Tilbury, F. (2007). Refugees and Employment: The effect of visible difference on discrimination. Project Report. Retrieved from http://library.bsl.org.au/jspui/bitstream/1/811/1/Refugees%20and%20employment.pdf Di Castro, G. (2010). Refugees in Italy: a pilot study of their reception and integration process. Academicus. 101-112. Retrieved from http://www.academicus.edu.al/nr6/Academicus-MMXII-6-101-112.pdf Lee, J. & Stevenson, J. (2016). Employing refugee teachers. A guide for education employers and initial teacher training providers. Refugee Council. Retrieved from http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/assets/0003/0527/RIT_refugeesinschoolsfinal.pdf Seukwa, L.H. (2013). Integration of refugees into the European education and labor market. Requirements for a target group oriented approach. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main.
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