British pupils worst at integrating

May 27th 2009

British students in Alicante have more problems integrating in public schools than pupils of any other nationality, a new study has found.

Language and cultural differences are mostly to blame, according to the NGO Orihuela-Alicante Migration, which published the study based on figures from the Valencia region’s education department. Sociologists Fidel Romero, Francisco Penedés, María Victoria Barceló and Raquel Guerrero, authors of the report, wrote that British students “resist the opportunities of exchange with other nationalities and cultures” more than others. Fifteen percent of the students in Alicante’s 743 elementary and secondary schools are foreign-born and represent 128 nationalities. Britons and Ecuadorians make up the biggest number of minorities, followed by Moroccans and Colombians, the NGO study says. In Torrevieja and Rosales, 37 percent of students are fromother nationalities and in San Fulgencio the number of foreign-born students reaches 51 percent.

Besides using statistics, the authors also interviewed principals and teachers. They wrote that “latent racism tied with unfamiliarity and fear of another culture” combine to make integration a difficult process in the classroom. The report calls for greater steps to be taken to help students become aware of racial diversity.

El Pais International Edition

For original report see:

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