Immigrant children have more academic and social difficulties than natives

immigrant children

Migrant students or those with a migratory background have more difficulties in achieving a good academic and welfare level than natives, according to the latest OECD report presented today in Brussels.

The managing director of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Mexican Gabriela Ramos, was commissioned to present the “first report” in which the adaptation of immigrant students or descendants of immigrants to their place is analyzed of destination based on the Pisa 2015 report.

“A way to integrate immigrants in a satisfactory way is through the schools,” said Ramos, who considers “absolutely crucial” the importance of educational systems in adapting these immigrants.

The Managing Director of the OECD recalled some examples that have already been launched, such as the World Relief Chicago project, which promotes the interests of refugee and immigrant families in the US city, or the intercultural seal awarded since 2012 in Portugal. the schools that promote integration.

“But much more can still be done,” Ramos insisted, adding that “it is not just a question of helping immigrants, but also educating the native population (…), that children understand the richness of living together to other children from different backgrounds. ”

Migration flows are changing the composition in the classrooms: almost one out of every four students of 15 years in OECD countries is foreign or has at least one parent born abroad.

The low academic performance is a common feature for most students with a migratory background: while 3 out of 4 native students in the OECD countries and the European Union in 2015 reached a basic level of competences in the three main subjects of PISA – reading, mathematics, and science – only 6 out of 10 with migratory backgrounds got it.

A difference that is widened in the case of first-generation immigrants (foreign-born students of parents born abroad), of which 49% reached the basic levels of academic competence in the OECD (50% in the EU ), compared to 72% of natives (71% in the EU).

In Spain, the levels were 52% among first-generation immigrants compared to 75% among native students.

In addition to the academic response, the report focuses on the degree of ability to adapt socially and notes that 41% of first-generation immigrants show a weak sense of belonging, compared to 33% of students without any migratory background.

Spain is one of the countries with the highest feeling of belonging to their school by first-generation immigrants (71%), although there is a considerable difference compared to their native peers (85%).

The report also analyzes the degree of satisfaction with life as a measure of the degree of “subjective” well-being of students.

According to the PISA 2015 data collected by the OECD, 31% of the first generation immigrant students declared to be dissatisfied with their life, a figure that in the case of the natives was reduced to 28%.

The largest differences in satisfaction between native adolescents and first-generation immigrants are found in Lithuania (25%), Chile (12%), Spain (11%) and France (11%).

On the other hand, Mexico (84%) and Holland (86%) stand out as countries with students (natives and immigrants) more satisfied, while in Hong Kong the average satisfaction level of both is 55%.

According to the report, one of the sources of stress most cited by adolescents is anxiety related to homework and school exams, as well as pressure and concern about grades.

In this sense, of the native students of the OECD countries, 61% showed levels of anxiety related to school work, 6 percentage points less than their immigrant peers.

The study points out that, in many cases, people with less talent but with greater motivation to achieve their goals are more likely to succeed than those who have talent but are not able to set goals.

In this case, the percentage of first-generation immigrants who claimed to want to be the best in what they do (71%) was greater than that of natives (64%).