Input provided by Serkan Tezkel, Social Entrepreneur and Mentor Coach from Germany

The student lab at Mentoring Europe has collected inputs from one of our guests who joined the EMS 2022 and has provided inputs on the workshops he attended throughout the three-day summit. For this blog post, he has summarised the workshop session Intercultural Aspects and Diversity in Schools.

Organisation: KWB, DE

Facilitator/s: Jörg Belden

After a short introduction, we focused on the main reason for intercultural problems in schools, which is related to a different understanding of education in schools in different cultures. There are mainly two common understandings of school systems. In Western schools, parents play an important role between school and child, which is called triangular cooperation. In Eastern school systems, families are usually not part of this cooperation.

There is no good or bad system. It is important for those involved in a school system to be aware of this cross-cultural difference. We should also be aware that migrants do not come here for war or political reasons, but for their children and their safety.

By applying the cooperation triangle, the relationship between school, child, and family can be established in a healthy way with the help of school mentors who help refugee and migrant families maintain a connection and interaction with the school.

Parent mentors who come from the heart and know how to solve problems in school are inevitable considering their contribution to the school system.

The speaker then focused on three topics: Swimming lessons, sex education, and interfaith and intercultural challenges. In practice, there was only one agenda, which is the essential component of any cultural challenge: communication.

The following suggestions were highlighted in the discussion section.

– Take some time and listen carefully.

– You should convey the following message: We are trying to find a solution for your child. We are here to hear your reality because your reality is the solution.

– Listen to them carefully because most ideas that lead to solutions come from families.

– Tell them that swimming is fun

– Tell them about the danger of death if they don’t know how to swim.

– It would be good to talk about the child’s swimwear before swimming lessons and whether they wear special swimwear.