The current immigration issues or as some people call immigration crisis are not new, and similar issues have occurred in the past across Europe, North America and other continents. I myself, have been an immigrant to Canada in early 80’s, hoping for a better future, looking for employment and trying to learn the host language whilst fighting for social acceptance.
Many students at The British School Warsaw are the children of people who once immigrated to Poland for a better future, students who are often referred to as “Children of Three Cultures”, Polish by birth, British by the nature of the school but still belonging in a certain way to the heritage culture of their parents.
Such a multicultural nature of our school is not new to Poland that once has been a melting pot of cultures and religions. During our recent MUN trip to Bialystok, we discovered how Orthodox churches, synagogues, catholic churches and mosques existed and to some extend still exist together across the same city population. The co-existence of cultures, regardless of the colour of skin, religion or roots, lies at the heart of our mission and our educational practices at TBS, and is reflected in the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and IB Learner Profile, where being caring, tolerant and reflective are some of the main attributes that we want our student to develop.
The topic of immigration is not an easy one to agree on and it often sparks high level of emotions, biases and anger. Yet, people continue to immigrate for various reasons: to escape political persecution, to provide stability and better future for the family, to seek work that can provide means of supporting the family in their home country or to explore other cultures. Thus, I believe that the meeting yesterday clarified students’ misconceptions about immigration and provided them with a better understanding of how EU is dealing with this important issue. We need to continue such discussions so we can learn what immigration is all about while trying to look at it “from the other side” – this will provide us with a true insight into the whole situation.
Dr Jacek Latkowski