The ABC of MigrationDecember 25, 2015

"Let us make migration work for the benefit of migrants and countries alike. We owe this to the millions of migrants who, through their courage, vitality and dreams, help make our societies more prosperous, resilient and diverse."

- Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN)

If you were to teach students about migration, then how would you make them understand International Migrants Day? You would invite them to go outdoors, as December 18 was warm weather. But let's be serious. The Internet and the telly won't help, as recent reports on migration revealed suffering and exploitation. Someone you know might have their own story on illegal migrants. You know what to expect next.

Migration is a relevant, if not pressing, issue. International Migrants Day puts the spotlight on them. They are victims, they have rights too. Most people have the impression about migration involving people leaving one country for another. There's also such a thing as internal migration, and the figures may be staggering. It's next to impossible to have an exact figure, but we can assume a few things. Discrimination is one of the reasons behind the exodus, which reveals more issues. Poverty. Education (or the lack of). Failing institutions. There's a proper forum to address these things, and school can be one of them.

Students must be aware of this campaign, and there's no need to force your views on anyone. If they come from a humble background, then it would be pointless to talk about the problems arising from it. It's simply a case of letting them know about it. It's also about making the world a better place. But let's keep it simple. Here's how to tell it:

Australia is a nation of migrants. Historians will point out that aborigines have been living in Oz before the white explorers came in. No need to be politically correct, as this is only a brush on history. It's the same thing with other countries.

Circumstances push migration. Back then, overpopulation is the reason to move elsewhere. There are instances when power is the motive behind it. (Students may be too young to understand politics.) Seeking greener pasture is the main reason nowadays. It's an issue affecting many countries.

Migrants are no different than us. There are children of migrants in schools, but it's not a problem. Remember that children don't know a thing about prejudice.

There are cases when migration is a necessity. We must recall history to impart an important lesson. There are many instances when conflict prompts a mass exodus. The migrants will pose some problems, but it won't be the case in the long run. Likewise, a natural calamity forces evacuation (and migration, if necessary). These people have no control over what is happening.

Migrants may be a blessing in disguise. It's a small world.

Did we miss anything? Tell us.

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