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Wrapping up a busy year for the Education Working Group

FUEN’s youngest Working Group wrapped up a busy year with their Annual Meeting, held online on the 10th of December 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic the Education Working Group, led by the Speaker of the Woring Group, FUEN Vice-President Daniel Alfreider and coordinator Bérengère Vogel managed to work on two big projects in 2020, along with participation in offline and online conferences, including the 6th International Scientific-Practical Language Conference of Russian Germans in Moscow.

The film project "Insights : School institutions of the minorities in the German-Danish borderland" was presented by Bérengère Vogel. The project came to life as a substitute for the expert visits that would have taken place during the planned annual meeting in Flensburg. The contribution from three minority school institutions, the Frisian-Danish primary and community school in Risum-Lindholm, the German Grammar School for Northern Schleswig in Apenrade and the A. P. Møller Skolen in Schleswig will be presented in the form of small documentary films in the first part of 2021. Here is the trailer:

The online survey "Educational situation of autochthonous national minorities in Europe" was by far the biggest project of the working group this year? The first results were presented by Dr. Krisztina Kemény-Gombkötőné from the Eötvös József University/ Institute of Nationalities and Foreign Languages in Baja, Hungary. 54 minority representatives from 30 countries took part in the survey, which has six thematic blocks: the legal framework, the existence of educational institutions, extra-curricular learning opportunities, educational content, framework and quality assurance and financing. Dr. Zora Popova, FUEN external consultant talked about the process of using the survey results for a comparative policy analysis. Her presentation was followed by a debate in which the participants talked about defining strategies, the next steps and recommended actions.

Representatives of 15 minorities from 16 countries (Aromanians from Romania, Aromanians from Serbia, Bretons from France, Danes from Germany, German minority from Denmark, German minority from Georgia, German minority from Poland, German minority from Russia, German minority from Serbia, German minority from Hungary, Greeks from Ukraine, Catalans in Spain, Croatian minority from Austria, Ladins from Italy, North Frisians from Germany, Russians from Estonia, Serbs from Austria, Slovenes from Italy, Turkish minority from Greece, Hungarians from Ukraine, West Frisians from the Netherlands) took part in the meeting and had the opportunity to present their country reports.

The Annual Meeting was capped with a discussion on future activities. Speaker Daniel Alfreider suggested to have an online meeting in the first part of next year – to give a status report on further work with the survey results and thematically focus on early learning – and invited the working group to hold its annual meeting in South Tyrol in the second part of 2021, if the health situation allows it.