Just about 1 year ago, the number of Venezuelans living in the country was stated to be at 40,000 and of these it was understood that as many as 3,000 Venezuelan children may not have been receiving a formal education in schools. At that point, some had estimated that those figures may very well triple within the year. As often happens, the margin of error for figures on socio-political matters tends to be on the higher side of the spectrum. In any case, our purpose here is not that of numerical precision, but rather of addressing the issue of the education of migrant children within our borders as they grow. The education of each child is paramount, not only for the child’s future but for that of the society as a whole, … and the education of migrant children has an enormous part to play in ensuring the future stability and development of our society.
In the absence of a public sector solution to this challenge, private sector response has been generous thus far with initiatives to afford migrants and their children some form of schooling. However, the challenges involved in educating these children are not trivial. Some of these students were, at the beginning of last school year, 2 to 3 years behind children of similar age with respect to curricula content. Others suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from the reigning conditions in their country of origin. There has also been the language barrier to contend with, together with difficulties in their feelings of acceptance within the society. Some of these children have managed to integrate into normal classroom settings, … and to excel at that. However, it seems that the majority of these children may require tailor-made educational programmes, even if only for a brief period before being introduced into more mainstream educational systems, to bridge the aforementioned gaps and get them up to speed sooner rather than later.
Herein lies the problem !!! In general, education is expensive, so naturally educational solutions involving individualized attention run the risk of being prohibitive for members of less affluent families. Nevertheless, such solutions may become feasible should the tailor-made curricula designs be prepared online and managed together with teacher contact hours and in-class exercises, thus enabling each child to advance at his or her rate. Once feasibility can be achieved, a network of affordable educational programmes to suit individual needs may become available to successfully address the pressing issue of mass education for migrant students.