Foreign children born in Turin with the Italian flag | Photo: ANSA/Alessandro Di Marco
Foreign children born in Turin with the Italian flag | Photo: ANSA/Alessandro Di Marco

The Italian education ministry has decided to relaunch the observatory for the integration of foreign students and inter-cultural exchange after a two-year break. The goal: to fight prejudices, and to boost multiculturalism in Italian schools.

The observatory held its first meeting after a two-year break on Monday, December 16. The organization includes representatives of the ministries of education, interior, foreign affairs and social policies as well as of associations operating in the sector and school institutions.

Meeting to connect migrants and Italians

The meeting was held after the National Diaspora Summit. The summit promotes the active role of diasporas in connecting countries, societies and key actors in economic, cultural and social exchanges between Italy and the home countries of immigrants. 

The gathering is meant to provide an opportunity of dialogue between immigrant organizations and institutions, businesses and non-profit organizations. The goal: To educate and raise awareness on themes connected to migration, development and cooperation projects with developing countries. To fight stereotypes by involving professionals who represent a new, multicultural Italy.

Participants included Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti and his undersecretaries Lucia Azzolina and Giuseppe Fioramonti. They stressed the need to promote joint actions with associations representing foreign communities to talk more, and in a more informed way, about the countries of origin of migrants. 

Africa: Ignored by Italian media?!

Africa, where many migrants in Italy are from, is often ignored by Italian media, a paper presented at the summit found. The dossier "Mediated Africa - How television series, the media and social networks describe the continent in Italy" was presented on Monday during the Observatory's meeting. The dossier was drafted by Amref Health Africa-Italia together with the Observatory of Pavia. 

The dossier found that in the first six months of 2019, there were few reports in the Italian media that spoke about Africa. Only 2.4% of television reports in newscasts broadcast on prime time by nine Italian networks covered Africa. Africa had little visibility, except when reports focused on immigration. 

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