SIRIUS Watch 2021: Towards Inclusive Digital Education for Migrant Children

    Tomas Armalys
    Paula Maria Rodriguez Sanchez
    Loes van der Graaf
    Bistra Ivanova
    European Commission

    The transition to distance learning in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous pressure on educators, parents and children themselves to familiarize themselves with new educational technologies. Despite the current EU Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027, digital inequality among students is still high. Migrant children often come from families of lower socioeconomic status, have limited access to digital tools at home and, compared to their native peers, are more likely to use ICT for educational than general purposes.

    SIRIUS Watch 2021 presents trends and developments on the effects of digitalization in education on migrant children both pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19.

    The report is based on national and EU-level research, as well as the results of the SIRIUS Online Digital Workshop. The results include a clear framework of challenges and recommendations to support the development of an inclusive digital education infrastructure for migrant children.

    The report concludes with two main conclusions:

    • First, increasing diversity in classrooms and increasing awareness of the specific needs and challenges faced by migrant children has not led to increased monitoring and data collection in schools;
    • Second, the digitization of education should be seen as both a potential threat and a potential opportunity for migrant children.

    Based on the findings and conclusions of this report, the following policy recommendations can be made:

    • Integrating children with a migrant background as a specific subgroup of interest in national monitoring and evaluation activities;
    • Assessing the current use of digital tools used in the classroom and for homework;
    • Recognizing the role of migrant parents in the educational process.