On occasion of the Teacher Training Session held on the 8th March of 2018 at ITIS “Galileo Galilei” of Arezzo, Industrial and Technical School, we had the chance to see the implementation of activities of the Mentoring project. This school has experienced Oxfam Intercultural Mentoring Project since three years and it has been successful in the engagement of young students, both as mentors and mentees. The mentees comes from different parts of the world: from Africa to Asia passing through Eastern Europe. The students are at this point able to conduct their tasks with minimum supervision and there is a great trust between them and the two coordinators. All the students involved in the program demonstrated a good interest towards the new activities proposed from E-EVALINTO assignments. [Youngsters already find some “free” moments inside the normal homework timetable to interact between them about their different cultural backgrounds: we spotted a nice scene where a Chinese boy was teaching to his Italian mentor how to eat with chopstick, using two pencils and a rubber for the demonstration! A possible challenge will be there when these young people are invited to reflect on their differences in a more structured way and then to put the results into written words and finally to assess each other performances.]
In the need assessment phase, in fact, it emerged from the students a strong request for an increase in intercultural events and activities inside the school circuit. Keeping in mind the priority school needs of the students, E-EVALINTO might represents a positive chance to go deeper in the process of interculturalism and integration. After many years concentrating in homework and after-school sessions and in addressing the academic weakness of the mentees involved, these new ludic and playful activities are a mean to even out the school differences and to bring the tutor-mentee relationship to a more personal level. E-EVALINTO activities are an enriching chance for the whole program that is already a best practice in intercultural mentoring experiences. Actually, creating stronger personal relationships between students with different backgrounds is a powerful way to prevent school drop-outs and to nourish broader intercultural sensitivity.
It is also an opportunity for teachers and trainers to learn the importance of a pre-structured evaluation mechanism, as envisaged in the project. In fact, there is a low awareness about the importance of peer assessment and self-assessment as a different way to promote personal growth. Furthermore, EVALCOMIX offers the chance to teachers and students to receive a training on the use of the digital platforms (school funds allocated to computer technology are very poor). On the side of migrant students, EVALCOMIX represents a stable mean to stay updated on the progresses of the activities even when they are abroad or busy somewhere else. In fact, it is typical for some young foreign people (for instance among the Chinese community) to go back to their Country of origin during special occasions, or to have a part-time job that sometimes make them skip afterschool activities.