Migrants and refugees often experience unexplainable torture in their lives before finding asylum. Most countries that offer refuge focus their efforts in settling them into their new lives with as much grace and care as possible.
Australia makes tremendous effort in reconciling refugees and migrants into a routine life. In its humanitarian efforts, it concerns itself in integrating school going students from their disrupted education programs with its own. In most cases, these students have little or no literacy skills in their first language, and this challenges the effort to educate them adequately.
Also, most students have health issues, especially in mental health, due to the trauma and distress suffered. Schools become a safe space for learners with traumatic experiences to relearn the ideas of community, and it helps them settle in the new environment more easily.
Problems Faced by Students
As a result of their experiences, refugee and immigrant students have a hard time adjusting to the new environment. Despite their dedication to learning and their willingness to start over, their journey is full of
issues that sprout from their past. The most common challenges include;
●Lack of trust
●Difficulties in fostering relationships
●Fear and anxiety which is evident in their reaction to slight inconveniences
●Instinctive survival instincts.
How Refugee and Migrant Education has been Embraced
New students are mostly enrolled in metropolitan schools that have incorporated ideas and policies strategically put in place for the adoption of refugees and migrants. These schools often create awareness of the situation by organising events. Refugee and migrant students are encouraged to tell their stories through art while other students and staff recreate their perception of the entire journey, the displacement and journey to asylum. They also simulate camp experiences.
Most schools have embraced culture and diversity by providing an inclusive environment for all learners. There is also the use of translators and interpreters who have funding from the national programs. The guidelines of interaction are provided for, and anti-racism education is offered by these schools to support refugee and migrant education.
All this is made possible by existing bodies that support and guide the entire process. These include; the Refugee Council of Australia and the Refugee Education Support Program.
Most of these programs mainly focus on teaching English as a second language for better integration. The program also offers additional services which are specially crafted to help refugees and migrants make the best of themselves. These support systems focus on;
●Mentoring and counselling
●Professional aid for schools
●Learning for school-based staff
Australia is making strides in its efforts to support refugees and migrants, and this is evident in its attempt to create an education system that gives them equal opportunities to compete in life.