France and Ireland are two very different European countries. Their citizens speak different languages, eat different foods, yet every four years they both think they have the best soccer team in the World Cup. Aside from these two country's differences, they have one important feature in common – increased immigration. Both France and Ireland have new immigrants settling on their soil everyday. In this paper, I will illustrate both France and Ireland's educational history and structure. I will also identify the causes for immigration in the two countries and from what countries these immigrants are originally from. Furthermore, I will explain how France and Ireland's educational systems responded to the immigrant students, and how they manage any problems the counties might face. Finally, I will reflect on ways the countries can solve their problems and include personal recommendations for France and Ireland to better integrate and suit immigrant students.
France's first schools came into existence around 1050. These were the great Catholic cathedral schools processing a curriculum that focused on the language-based trivium or the liberal arts. Over the twelfth century, these schools would transform themselves into the prototype of the modern university (Uitti, 2002). After 14 centuries of Christian dominance, it was not until 1905 that France received a separation of Church and State (Lepeix, n.d.). Fascinatingly, the same organization of schools that was developed during the sixteenth century remains largely the same as it is today in France (Uitti, 2002).
[...] (Castle p.35) While other countries of immigration have changed their educational systems, France has stayed true to its Republican model of citizenship, introduced after the 1789 Revolution. According to this model, the basis of citizenship is on inclusion in the political community. This been the dominant model since 1945 for responding to the immigration of large numbers of migrant workers and their families from southern Europe, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa” (Castle p.35). Reasons for France's Resistance to Change France has held strong to its assimilationist view for many reasons. [...]
[...] The relatively new freedom of Ireland resulted in some educational changes, including great emphasis on the Irish language, literature, customs, and history (Nuwer, 2002). Presently, the structure of Ireland's educational system is as follows: two years of preprimary schooling from the ages of four to six, followed by six years of primary school. Next is four years of junior secondary school, from ages 12 to 16. At the end of the junior secondary school, students take the Junior Certificate examination. [...]
[...] The Immigration Control Platform is a critical example of how sudden increased immigration to an otherwise homogenous country can cause fear in many citizens (“Immigration Control Platform,” 2005). Irish Nationalism “Nationalism and the development of the independent state with its emphasis on ‘Ireland for the Irish' created a myth of a pure Irish people unsullied by foreign blow-ins, drop-ins, and conquerors” (Tracy p.1). Consequently, the country has been ill prepared for the numbers of immigrants settling in Ireland recently. In addition, the government has been deficient in its preparation to deal adequately with the new and complex issue of immigration. [...]
[...] France is proud of its government, policies, and culture. Many French officials and civilians feel threatened by the completely rejected assimilation by adopting “Frenchness” by numerous Muslim immigrants (Willms, 2004). Moreover, there is an assumption in France that if everyone were the same, criticism and exclusion would not exist. ‘civilizing missions' into Africa, where natives were offered citizenship in exchange for their total assimilation into French culture, is one historical example of this attitude. If they did not repent for their African culture, they were treated as second-class persons” (Miller p.2). [...]
[...] On a per-capita basis, it's more than four times the immigration rate of the U.S., and the official data underestimates the true scale of immigration. (Capell pg The evolution of Ireland's immigration policies since the late 1990s, and their impact on the immigration and employment of non-nationals has been extraordinary. “First, a Supreme Court judgment in January 2003 removed the automatic right to permanent residence for non-national parents of Irish-born children” (Ruhs pg1). After the ruling, Ireland experienced a rapidly increasing number of applications for asylum. [...]
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