Schools at a Crossroad: Integration of Migrant Students in Belize

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Nov 2020
Evidence from different countries around the world shows huge variations in academic performance between immigrant and native students across countries, regardless of socioeconomic background and country of origin. These variations suggest that policy can play an important role in addressing imbalances. A school system can respond to immigration in ways that have a tremendous influence on the economic and social development of its recipient communities. When children are supported in developing personal resilience, learning the language and culture, and in assimilating in general, their learning and outcome indicators improve and grade repetition and dropout rates decline. Public policy and public services require data in order to design effective and welcoming multicultural learning environments. Based on approximately a thousand in-depth interviews conducted with migrant and native families, as well as with principals and teachers, this study, Schools at a Crossroads: Integration of Migrant Students in Belize, highlights the challenges, fears, and hopes of migrant students and their families as they assimilate into the Belizean educational system.