Educating African Refugee Students: What We Need to Know to Meet the Challenge

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The increase in African refugee students in Canada, United States, Australia, United Kingdom and other European countries has not been accompanied by support for assisting the social integration and school success of this group of students—all from war-affected, disrupted schooling backgrounds, with religions and cultures that are significantly different from those of the mainstream in the host countries, resulting in dramatic school dropout rates and social alienation among this group. This study investigated the educational needs and barriers for diverse African refugee students in six high schools in Canada. Focus groups, individual interviews, and school/classroom observations revealed that untreated pre-migration psychosocial stresses and post-migration economic, enculturation, and academic challenges adversely affected the ability of the students to integrate and cope well with school work in their new countries of re-settlement.


Keywords: African Refugee Students, Countries of Re-settlement, Educational Needs and Barriers, Academic, Economic and Psychosocial Challenges
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Yatta Kanu

Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Dr. Yatta Kanu is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Canada. She teaches courses in history/social studies, curriculum theory, and cultural studies. Her research interests are educational equity and access, and culture and student learning.

Ref: L09P0578