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60 case studies have been identified. The case studies focus on intercultural issues, integration, non-discrimination values and human rights at school.

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The Large Family from Tajikistan


Name of the teacher
Marija Daunoriene
Subject taught:
Social educator
Years of experience:


Name of the School:
Kaunas Alexander Pushkin gymnasium
School Typology:
Lower Secondary School, Upper Secondary School
Web site:


Background and Context:
It has been over 80 years of work, which has helped to create strong traditions in our gymnasium. One of the traditions are the decades devoted to remember the famous poet Alexander Pushkin. The name of Alexander Pushkin was given to gymnasium in 1999, in commemoration of the poet's 200th birth anniversary. The gymnasium works in two shifts.
In the morning shift, the programs of education are such as pre-primary, primary, basic and secondary education. The teaching language is Russian. There have been established classes, where the Lithuanian language is taught since 2009 of September 1st. In the evening shift, the programs of adults’ education and working youth (16-17 years) are carried out (basic and secondary education). The teaching language is Lithuanian. Our gymnasium has a structural unit with basic education program and this unit has been established since 2012 of September 1st. (address is Kreves pr. 50). The education is organized for pupils from 5-10 forms and those students’ motivation is weak or they have socialization problems. There are students with different abilities and needs in our gymnasium. We have three social workers, two psychologists, two speech therapists, special teacher, teacher's assistant. There are taught 1,020 students and 106 teachers are working in our gymnasium.
Through carrying out the education reform, our gymnasium’s community has chosen the pattern for the future: "Equal opportunities for all ethnic communities and confessionary strands“(„Vienodos galimybės visoms tautinėms bendruomenėms ir konfesinėms pakraipoms“). There are students with various nationalities: Lithuanian, Russian, Jewish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Estonian, Armenian, Belarusian, Polish, Tatar, Moldavian, Kirghiz, Americans, Afghans, Bulgarian, Azeri, Georgian, Tajik, French, and Uzbek.
Administration and teachers are actively involved in various international, national, city events, projects, develops a range of their competences, improve their qualification, and prepare students for examinations and various Olympiads well and properly.
Considerable attention is paid to students' informal education and permanent involvement of students. There are 20 circles of informal education. Gymnasium students have access to a gym, fitness room, auditorium, and choreography hall, a conference hall with a 3D feature, a library and the information centre. All classes are fully equipped and properly prepared for productive, interesting and the innovative teaching (learning). There are interactive or smart (smartphone) boards, projectors, computer, tablet computer class in all classrooms. Teachers and students have free access to printers and copy machines.
Our gymnasium is located in the city centre. Transportation is very convenient, and it is an easy way to enter and access from any other neighbourhood or district. Near our gymnasium, there is a large city park, Kaunas Mosque, Kaunas Christ's Resurrection Church, school of sports, a swimming pool, medical institutions, a shopping centre, a bus station and a railway station.
Immigrant consists about 15% of all gymnasium students and about 20% of immigrants are in each class.
Factual Description:
The N family with three children arrived in our gymnasium on 1st of September in 2016, and wrote a request to learn here in our gymnasium. The youngest girl currently attends a preschool education group, the middle boy is a student in the first grade and the oldest child is a third-grade student. This family came from Tajikistan. It should be mentioned that this family received political asylum in Lithuania. At first both children and parents communicated only in their native language, it was hardly for them to interact with others. A father tried to communicate slightly by using Russian language.
I must admit that both teachers, the administration and parents had some difficulties with communication and not knowing the Tajik language subtleties. There were many problems and difficulties for both children and teachers as well as parents due to the language barrier, not knowing how to express themselves and to explain or say what they wanted. It should be noted that from the very first days of the family ‘s arrival we could see the efforts and felt a great desire and as soon as possible to integrate and to adapt into the gymnasium.
I would like to mention that one of the objectives of our gymnasium’s strategy 2016-2018 strategy it is to enable students migrants and their parents (guardians) to maintain and improve their language‘s (Lithuanian and Russian) abilities for integration into gymnasium‘s educational process and into life of Lithuanian Republic. For that purpose, there are organized extra lessons (Lithuanian and Russian languages) along with the project "The creation and implementation of the linguistic education model” in our gymnasium for our students, who experience difficulties when learning both Lithuanian and Russian languages. Since the first week of learning, the children began to attend free extra Russian and Lithuanian language lessons, which are held four times a week. Even during the school holidays parents asked teachers to teach and work with their children additionally. All three children are very polite, constantly smiling, willing to communicate with all and are open to knowledge, try to learn, and even has begun to speak and understand Russian language. Now boys are like our teachers' assistants – interpreters i.e. they help their mother to communicate with teachers. But there are still many difficulties with Lithuanian language, they have just started to learn Lithuanian language, therefore their motivation and desire to study and to learn is huge. I want to emphasize that parents are very responsible, always participates in meetings, events of class and our gymnasium. Father more than once said that he and all their family members are very satisfied with our gymnasium. All three children attend various clubs, activities in our gymnasium: tennis, tourism, art, ceramics. Boys often talks about their homeland, they want to introduce their culture to other classmates, as well as boys are happy to listen to others, and ask questions.
I believe that as soon as they learn better, both Russian and Lithuanian languages, their stories will be even more interesting, more open, more expressive. Throughout this period, while they are learning in our gymnasium there has never been captured any signs of a discrimination or bullying cases against the family. Now, children do not differ from the other students, except their Asiatic appearance. But there are many such children and families in our gymnasium, maybe that is why nobody pays additional significance to their appearance.
Or maybe they are just too little to pay attention to such things. The whole team of specialists in our gymnasium helps children and a family properly to adapt to a new country and gymnasium.
Activities carried out:
We have invited a psychologist and a social pedagogue, a speech therapist to facilitate the integration of the family into the life of our gymnasium. A psychologist gave an adaptation test for all those children. I, as a social pedagogue, have been telling about the cultural differences and similarities during the class meeting.
Together with the whole class we have watched a movie "The Ugly Duck" and discussed the nuances of his essence. After the explanations, it became clear that all the children understood well how it was difficult to be different and not to mock or bully other people
There is an opportunity for the children of this family to attend social skills’ workshops titled "Want to control yourself? You can do it! ", which is carried out by a social pedagogue with a psychologist. The speech therapist works with children once a week. She helps them to learn how to pronounce the words and sounds correctly (Russian language). After lessons, children attend the extended group where they can do their homework with the help of their teacher, they play various board games, go to the outdoor area, learn to communicate and to cooperate with other children. It was nice to see how the whole family participated in organized Kaziukas fair. They have produced a variety of sweets, beautifully packaged and sold them. Their table had really a great demand during the other children. In 2017, 31th of March, there will be held a traditional celebration "The day of gymnasium" and this year's theme is the kitchen of the world, where the focus will be on the cultural nuances, traditions, and customs. This celebration involves the whole community of our gymnasium. That family is also willing to participate in a class’s activities and organization. The boys said that they are rehearsing a folk dance and their mother will produce their favourite dish.
To reach an intercultural understanding and a tolerance, our teachers constantly must improve their qualifications in the following areas: a multicultural education, an anti-discrimination and the education of human rights, an informal education, a cultural diversity, knowledge and understanding, etc.
I gained a personal experience while visiting various seminars, but the greatest benefit was because of the seminar, which lasted for several days and was dedicated to a multicultural education „We are break the stereotypes – increase the tolerance” (Laužome stereotipus – stipriname toleranciją). As well as the workshop „A problematic child in the educational institution: duties and responsibilities of the legal aspects, the rights of the child and workers” („Probleminis vaikas ugdymo įstaigoje: vaiko ir įstaigos darbuotojų teisės, pareigos ir atsakomybės teisiniai aspektai”). Together with aour psychologist, we annually organize various actions, such as: „Tolerance day”, „Action Week WITHOUT BULLYING". We conduct a survey „An adaptation of incoming students” once every 3 months in our gymnasium.
We invite parents of our students’ immigrants to the individual interviews once a month and analyse difficulties that their children face, and we discuss various approaches, methods, and problems solutions. We have started to implement an adaptation and integration program „We are different, but united” of arrived pupils since 2017 of January. This program aims to create favourable conditions for students – migrants and easier to adapt to gymnasium and into the community (society).
Objectives of the program: help to absorb the educational programs; create conditions to learn Lithuanian / Russian languages; develop pupils' socio-cultural competencies; develop skills to communicate with people from different cultures; tolerance education for students; an active involvement of parents in the process of children's adaptation.
The expected qualitative results of this program are: provided equal learning opportunities for students in the educational process by reducing the language barrier. We plan to reduce the arising psychological problems in the multicultural gymnasium space. The expected quantitative results of this program are: 80% of those children who do not speak or speak poorly in Lithuanian or Russian languages, will learn the language so that it will not interfere their learning and communication. 60% of migrant students will engage into the active community life through participating in the class activities and organized activities in our gymnasium.
Assessment and lesson learnt:
In my opinion, that the period from the family’s arrival to Lithuania and to our gymnasium to this day, we can evaluate as good one: all three children so far have not experienced a discrimination based on religious beliefs, they managed to go through the adaptation period, their integration into the gymnasium life and classes activities goes fast enough, and quite successfully.
The description of this case and its interpretation is useful not only for the whole gymnasium, but also for me, personally as a specialist. Students become more open, tolerant, expanding their horizons, become more aware and learn about the multiculturalism, a cultural diversity, a bullying intolerance, various forms of anti-discrimination.
As I mentioned before, in our gymnasium the cultural diversity is very wide, there are students with various nationalities: Lithuanian, Russian, Jewish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Estonian, Armenian, Belarusian, Polish, Tatar, Moldavian, Kirghiz, Americans, Afghans, Bulgarian, Azeri, Georgian, Tajik, French, Uzbek.
During the breaks, I have noticed that students communicate by using different languages - Lithuanian and Russian, also their own – native language and therefore there are none problems, it is just helps for them better to integrate into the life of gymnasium and to communicate with their peers. I have noticed that organizing continental and various activities for different classes with different cultures where the children of N family are studying, it helps me to learn the aspects of new cultures and at the same time to increase my qualifications, I also learn to solve problems together with students.
However, I still believe that real and tangible and achieved results will be seen a little bit later, it is too early to talk about the achieved results and their quality and it is difficult to assess them as highly achieved and quality. It is necessary to emphasize the smoothness of family’s adaptation and integration processes.
The good news is that all three children are willingly coming to gymnasium and the parents communicate willingly and cooperate with the class masters, teachers, and other students' parents. Students integrate well into the project of language education model and attend additional Lithuanian and Russian languages’ classes.
To this day, I can see that children and the whole family more appreciate the Russian language, they often speak and use this language. These three children are a perfect example that in a such age you can learn a language much faster by communicating with peers and adults. With such lovely children, it is a pleasure to work, when you see the passion in their eyes, the desire to know everything and to learn a lot of things and to try more fantastic things. Children are very brave, they are not afraid to make mistakes. I think that such a cross-cultural communication and a cooperation are reciprocal. There are some things that other children can also learn from this family, the main thing it is a respect for each other, a unity, a courtesy, a sincerity, the willingness to learn etc.
Description of the Case Study in National Language:

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.