Policy on refugee education: Textual discourse and educational structures
This paper is an attempt to illustrate the education policy having been developed since the time period prior to the economic crisis until today. The reason for choosing this time period is that it reflects major events relevant to the continuation of the local society. In this respect, reference is made to the migrants’ presence in Greece prior to the economic crisis migrants’ conditions throughout the economic crisis and the refugees’ advent in recent years. At the same time, the corresponding legislative texts and the political discourse developed throughout this period are critically analysed. The socio-political and economic conditions of this time period have been crucial to generating political discourse, social meaning and, eventually, shaping new identities, especially regarding migrants and refugees. Based on critical discourse analysis, it can be argued that the legislative administrative regulations serve the dominant political system, while on-going conservative attitudes and emerging far right anti-democratic trends operate in a segregating, rather than a unifying, manner for the entire population. Besides, education seems unable to operate in a similarly unifying pattern, leading to limited opportunity structures, exclusion and marginalisation for specific population groups, namely migrants and refugees. Therefore, given the socio-political and cultural challenges emanating from expanded migrant and refugee communities, the education policy must definitely be revisited. A renewed and updated educational discourse should be developed and put forward towards harmonising and unifying models, embracing all citizens, namely natives, migrants and refugees. This way, humanism and democracy will be perceived in their true dimension, while intercultural education will acquire its substantial dimension within the expanded multicultural societies.