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Newcomers in Educational System: The Case of French-SpeakingPart of Belgium

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Author: Altay Manço

Publisher: Sociology Mind. Vol.2, No.1, 116-126

Type: Article

Country: Belgium

Year: 2012


According to the Lisbon strategy for a knowledge society, entering school plays a significant role for anyyoung immigrant. In Belgium, this issue is very worrying, as equity between native born students andthose of foreign origin seems to be lacking. Finally, the situation in French-speaking Belgium is evenmore difficult than in the Flemish part of the country. Also, this paper aims to explore the strategies inplace to welcome and integrate these children. It portrays specific guidance devices for young newcomersand analyzes possible correlations between them and the rate of academic success. In light of particulari-ties of the Belgian educational system especially linked to the fact that we are in a federal state with dif-ferent languages of reference, our study covers the portion of the federal state where French is the officiallanguage. The targeted group is that of newcomers of age to attend secondary school. The method of analysis and synthesis of available information includes both quantitative and qualitative data. Our ap-proach was based on the description and analysis of the context of recognition and knowledge acquisitionof young students of foreign origin in secondary education. Our analysis focuses on: accessibility to edu-cation and equality of success; adequacy to requirements, consistency and efficiency, as well as effec-tiveness of the education system; the relevance and specific training of teachers adapted to the newcomers;sustainability of the results: the insertion and future integration of youth; and finally, various linguistic,social and psychological dimensions, as well as citizenship. The report identifies some key elements of the context of schooling for young newcomers and offers brief elements of understanding of the history of immigration in this region. Specific and general practices for integration and schooling of young migrants,including accompanied or unaccompanied minor asylum seekers, are described. Finally, these elementsare analyzed in terms of accessibility standards to school education, criteria for adequacy of such educa-tion to the specificity of immigrant children and finally, criteria for system effectiveness, and practicaltracks are proposed.

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Project leader

Fondazione Ismu


Regione Lombardia Regione Umbria Regione Campania Cidis Onlus


ACIDI, Portugal, participant: M. Horta
Cabildo de Tenerife, Spain, participant: D. Buraschi
CVEK, Slovakia, participant: E. Gallova kriglerova
Hessisches Ministerium der Justiz, für Integration und Europa, Germany, participant: W. Kindermann
Integration Centre, Ireland, participant: K. Forde
IRFAM, Belgium, participant: A. Manço