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Education- Learning Experiences; Achievement

Education- Learning Experiences; Achievement

DEGRIN Encounter in Education and Diversity eV has promoted the integration and equal participation of children, young people, and adults with a history of immigration since 1977. It offers a wide range of educational and meeting opportunities, such as daycare, school meeting places, educational sponsorships, and language courses. Committed volunteers support the pedagogical team.

We asked the overall pedagogical director Jana Michel how the educational work succeeds even in homeschooling and contact bans.

Ms. Michel, where do you see the major challenges that alternating and distance learning bring with them?

Homeschooling creates increasing knowledge gaps for many children during basic education. For example, the parents do not have the necessary language skills or the time resources. They can hardly provide support at home. In addition, families often lack the technical possibilities and retreat to take part in lessons and learn in peace.

How does DEGRIN react to this situation with its work in education?

Some children and young people from our after-school care center and school meeting, grades 1 to 7, are severely affected. That is why the after-school care center and school club educators take care of the children who take advantage of our emergency care—the children who have distance lessons and are currently not allowed to visit us.

Our educators have started additional homework supervision by telephone and video conference. An educator is responsible for the homework supervision of the children and young people who are at home throughout the week. They work closely with teachers from the Knauer elementary school and the secondary schools of the larger.

At the beginning of the week, the class teachers send us the weekly plans with the tasks for the students by email. The specialists can thus support the children and young people individually. Some volunteers, who are also unable to visit our facilities due to the lockdown, also want to keep online homework support.

In addition to the children and young people registered with DEGRIN in the after-school care center and school club, DEGRIN also offers support for others in the district.

Yes, for children and young people in the Gostenhof and St. Leonhard districts, we have set up “DEGRIN tuition” in cooperation with the social welfare office of the city of Nuremberg. With 1: 1 supervision, the students get digital accompaniment and motivation intensively and individually. We provide tablets or laptops on loan to families who lack the necessary equipment.

The offer aims at students in grades 1 to 4 from the Knauerschule elementary school and the Carl-von-Ossietzky, St. Leonhard, and Johann-Daniel-Preißler secondary schools grades 5 to 7. We attach great importance to regular, open, and direct contact and exchange between parents, teachers, students, and the employees of DEGRIN Nachhilfe.

How can we concretely imagine the “DEGRIN tuition”?

First of all, it is important to build a trusting relationship between the tutor and the student to create a positive learning environment. Knowledge gaps in past and current subject matter are identified and processed together, and basic knowledge builds up. The self-activity and motivation of the students to learn specifically promotes through positive learning experiences and a sense of achievement.

We also help you prepare for school assignments and teach you learning techniques. Some children also take part in the offer, who visit our after-school care center and school meeting. Our educators act as a link between the school and the tutors. The knowledge gaps and strengths of the children and young people do regularly discuss together.

Of course, we hope that the corona numbers will soon allow it to offer tutoring in person again. We also provide group work so that the children and young people can exchange ideas with their peers.

How many children and young people are currently using DEGRIN’s offers? Do you already see the first success stories in your (digital) work?

At the moment, registration of ten students with up to six hours per week in three different German, mathematics, and English or home and science classes.

At the moment children and young people need to have another contact person besides the teachers. Over the weeks, the students build a relationship of trust with the tutors, which is important for cooperation. Many gaps in knowledge have already been closed and laying missing basics. And better grades have already been achieved.

DEGRIN also has many offers for older young people and adults. Such as the “HEROES” project for equal rights or language and conversation courses. Were you able to move them digitally?

At HEROES, the group lessons take place online, and the young people are also communicated individually by telephone or video conference. Close contact and a good basis of trust between the participants and the group leaders are very important building blocks in this education project. Unfortunately, it is not possible to hold the workshops online in schools.

Due to the low threshold of our German and conversation courses, it is problematic to conduct them online. Many of our visitors only have a mobile phone and no tablet or laptop to go online and only have a mobile phone contract and no additional internet connection. In one of our courses, all participants are over 60, so an online course is difficult to conduct. When acquiring language, it is also very important to see and understand gestures and facial expressions and hear the pronunciation. It is, of course, much easier in the present education system.

Official assistance and education course advice are currently taking place by email or telephone. Only in very urgent cases do we let someone come to us and advise compliance with strict hygiene rules. In addition, we set up a corona hotline in the middle of last year. Here, people can get information in German and Arabic, and Turkish. Ask for help (e.g., for shopping or registering for a vaccination appointment), or get in touch if you need someone to talk to due to limited contacts.

Threat on Education

The corona pandemic has thwarted our education project work in many areas and made our job more difficult. In our anti-radicalization project “BEFORE we JUDGE,” which has been running since the beginning of 2020, we often had to improvise and do a lot online. In this context, an art competition called “In the middle of the MIX – it’s the mix that matters” will start in the next few days. All information is, of course, also available online.

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