Jamila and the Others [chapter]

Alessandro Di Liegro
Music in Motion  
The EU promoted the Year of Intercultural Dialogue as an instrument to assist European citizens, and all those living in the European Union, acquire the knowledge and aptitudes to enable them to deal with a more complex environment. At the same time, the term 'Intercultural Dialogue' was constantly used to increase the awareness of all those living in the European Union, that it is important to develop an active European citizenship that is open to the world, respectful of cultural diversity
more » ... ltural diversity and based on common values. Cultural Diversity is more than a 'buzz word' in Italy. At the beginning of the school year in autumn 2007, there were more than 400 000 foreign children in primary and junior schools testifying to the growing presence of children born to immigrant families living and working in Italy. A recent White Paper published by the Ministry for Education, University Studies and Research (MIUR) demonstrates that a new model of education is gradually developing in small towns and villages as well as in major cities and urban areas. The presence of different ethnic groups and nationalities is a relatively new phenomenon in Italy and one for which the education system was very much unprepared. In the scholastic year 2007-08 non-Italian students represented 6,4 % of the entire scholastic population, equal to 547 133 units. Primary and junior schools teach 8 % of the entire school population and statistics show that in the last year alone, the number of immigrant children born in Italy, and therefore considered 'second-generation immigrants' represent 72,2 % of all children in kindergarten or infant schools and 41,1 % of those in primary schools. The largest group is from Romania, accounting for 16,15 % of all foreign children in primary and junior schools, followed by Albania, accounting for 14,84 % and Morocco, accounting for 13,28 %. These are all Mediterranean communities and in fact, most immigrants arrive in the southern part of Italy and travel towards the north. Unfortunately, official statistics also show that the majority of immigrant children have learning difficulties due to linguistic problems and social integration into Italian society.
doi:10.14361/9783839410745-026 fatcat:blcn22f5ijbapdhr5pxuongqp4