The Barriers to Education among the Palestinian Refugee Children in Malaysia (Halangan Pendidikan di Kalangan Kanak-kanak Pelarian Palestin di Malaysia)
This paper addresses the barriers that prevent Palestinian refugee children from obtaining education during their transition in the host country, Malaysia. It creates awareness among the Palestinian refugee community about this critical issue which threatens the future of their children who might spend many years without receiving adequate learning opportunities. The present study is based on a qualitative approach which is commonly used to explore recent phenomenon and provide an in-depth understanding of human behaviours and beliefs based on their points of view. It collected data employing semi-structured interviews with 30 Palestinian refugee families moving from Iraq, Syria and the Gaza Strip, and currently residing in Malaysia, waiting to be resettled in a third country through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Kuala Lumpur. Using thematic analysis technique, the research shows that there are economic, institutional and parental challenges preventing the Palestinian refugee children from receiving education in Malaysia. Also, it reveals how such challenges lead to negative psychological impacts among the parents and their children. Moreover, it is found that the parents did not play an adequate role in utilising potential alternative pathways to education. Finally, it offers a realistic solution to return these children to a viable education.
Keywords: refugee children, education, UNHCR, MSRI, Palestinian, Malaysia.
Artikel ini membahaskan cabaran yang menghalang kanak-kanak pelarian Palestin daripada mendapatkan pendidikan semasa tempoh peralihan perpindahan mereka di Malaysia. Ini merupakan isu kritikal yang mengancam masa depan dan peluang pendidikan kanak-kanak pelarian Palestin, yang mungkin berlanjutan sehingga bertahun-tahun. Artikel ini didasarkan kepada pendekatan kualitatif yang biasa digunakan untuk mengkaji fenomena terkini dengan memberi pemahaman yang mendalam mengenai tingkah laku dan kepercayaan berdasarkan pandangan masyarakat. Kajian mengggunakan kaedah pengumpulan data melalui wawancara separa struktur dengan 30 pelarian Palestin yang berpindah dari Iraq, Syria dan Semenanjung Gaza, dan kini tinggal di Malaysia, sementara menunggu untuk ditempatkan semula ke negara ketiga melalui pejabat Pesuruhjaya Tinggi Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu untuk Pelarian (UNHCR) di Kuala Lumpur. Dengan menggunakan teknik analisis tematik, hasil penyelidikan menunjukkan terdapat cabaran ekonomi, institusi dan keibubapaan yang menghalang kanak-kanak pelarian Palestin daripada menerima pendidikan di Malaysia. Selain itu, ia mendedahkan bagaimana cabaran sedemikian membawa kepada kesan negatif dari sudut psikologi di kalangan ibu bapa dan anak-anak mereka. Didapati juga para ibu bapa yang tidak memainkan peranan bagi mendapatkan pendidikan yang sepatutnya untuk anak-anak mereka. Akhir sekali, artikel ini menawarkan penyelesaian yang realistik untuk kanak-kanak tersebut mendapat pendidikan yang berdaya maju.
Kata Kunci: kanak-kanak pelarian, pendidikan, UNHCR, MSRI, Palestin, Malaysia.
Abboushi, Aiman (2015), The Israeli War on Gaza: 2014: Year of Tension and Aggression. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation – Information Department. Retrieved from http://www.oic-oci.org/oicv3/upload/media/special_reports/en/gaza_spe cial_report_nov_2014_en.pdf
Al Ganideh, Saeb F., and Good, Linda K. (2015), “Understanding Abusive Child Labor Practices in the Shadow of the Arab Spring,” Journal of Children’s Services, Vol. 10, no. 1, 76-91.
Al-Hroub, Antes (2015), “Tracking Drop-Out Students in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon,” Educational Research Quarterly, Vol. 38, no.3. 52-79.
Ali, Zarifa and Barakat, Rana (2013), A Narration without an End: Palestine and the Continuing Nakba. Birzeit University: Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies. Retrieved from http://ialiis.birzeit.edu/en/node/415
Al-Magdal (30 March 2017), Multiple Displacement and the Issue of Protection. Issue no. 59. Retrieved from https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/al-majdal-59.pdf
American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) (2013), Palestinian Refugees from Syria in Lebanon. ANERA Reports on the Ground in the Middle East, Vol 4. Retrieved from http://www.anera.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PalRefugees fromSyria2.pdf
Anders, Allison D. and Lester, Jessica N. (2013), “Refugee Status and Economic Subjugation: Government Agencies and Faith-based Organizations Tracking Families into Low Wage Labor,” International Education, Vol.43, no. 1, 7-33.
“Refugee Status and Economic Subjugation: Government Agencies and Faith-Based Organizations tracking families into low wage labor,” in Thayer-Bacon, B. (ed.), International Education (pp. 7-33). The International Education Journal, Vol.43, no. 1, pp. 7-33.
Anjum, Tanvir M., Nordqvist, Cecilia and Timpka, Toomas (2012), “The Hopes of West African Refugees during Resettlement in Northern Sweden: A 6-Year Prospective Qualitative Study of Pathways and Agency Thoughts,” Conflict and Health, Vol. 6, no. 1, 2-8.
Babbie, Earl (2001), The Practice of Social Research, Australia: Wardsworth.
Babbie, Earl (2014), The Basics of Social Research, Belmont, California: Wardsworth.
Beiser, Morton and Hou, Feng (2001), “Ethnic Identity, Resettlement Stress and Depressive Affect Among Southeast Asian Refugees in Canada,” Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 63, 137–150.
Ben-David, Arnith and Lavee, Yoav (1994), “Migration and Marital Distress: The Case of Soviet Immigrants,” Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, Vol. 21, no. 3&4, 133-146.
Browne, Evie (2017), Evidence on Education as a Driver for Migration. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.
Chuang, Susan S. and Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine (2009), “Gender Roles in Immigrant Families: Parenting Views, Practices, and Child Development,” Sex Roles, Vol. 60, no. 7-8, 451-455.
Creswell, John W. (1998), Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing among Five Traditions, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Dryden-Peterson, Sara (2015), The Educational Experiences of Refugee Children in Countries of First Asylum. Washington: Migration Policy Institute.
Dryden-Peterson, Sarah (2017), “Refugee Education: The Crossroads of Globalization,” Educational Researcher, Vol. 45, no. 9, 473–482.
Dryden-Peterson, Sarah, Dahya, Negin and Adelman, Elizabeth (2017), “Pathways to Educational Success among Refugees: Connecting Locally and Globally Situated Resources,” American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 54, no. 6, 1011–1047.
Farah, Randa (2013), “Palestinian Refugees, the Nation, and the Shifting Political Landscape,” Social Alternatives, Vol. 32, no. 3, 41-47.
Fitzpatrick, Julia (2011), “Gaza on Their Minds: The Effect of “Operation Cast Lead” in Mobilizing Palestinian Action,” The Fletcher School Online Journal for issues related to Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization. Retrieved from https://www.ciaonet.org/attachments/17895/uploads
Fleck, Roland and Fleck, Dorothy (2013), “The Immigrant Family: Parent-Child Dilemmas and Therapy Considerations,” American International Journal of Contemporary Research, Vol. 3, no. 8, 13-17.
Hammoud, Mariam S. (2017), “Educational Obstacles Faced by Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon,” Contemporary Review of the Middle East, Vol. 4, no. 2, 127–148.
Hennik, Monique, Huuer, Inge and Baily, Ajay (2011), Qualitative Research Methods, Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Ibrahim, Hassan H., Small, David and Grimley, Michael (2009), “Parent/School Interface: Current Communication Practices and Their Implication for Somali Parents,” New Zealand Journal of Education Studies, Vol. 44, no. 2, 19-30.
Idris, Ali (2012), “Malaysia and Forced Migration,” Intellectual Discourse, Vol. 20, no. 1, 31-54.
Internal Displacement Monitor Centre (DCM) and The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (2014), Under Fire: Israel’s Enforcement of Access Restricted Areas in the Gaza Strip, Geneva: Internal Displacement Monitor Centre. Retrieved from http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/2014/palestine-under-fire-report-en.pdf
Isik-Ercan, Zeynep (2012), “In Pursuit of a New Perspective in the Education of Children of the Refugees: Advocacy for the ‘Family’,” Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, Special Issue, Autumn, 3025-3038.
Isik-Ercan, Zeynep (2011), “Education of Young Burmese Refugees in the Midwestern United States,” Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration, Vol. 1, no. 1, 26-30.
Kanu, Yatta (2008), “Educational Needs and Barriers for African Refugee Students in Manitoba,” Canadian Journal of Education, Vol. 31, no. 4, 915-940.
Keelsa, Micere and Raverb, Cybele (2009), “Early Learning Experiences and Outcomes for Children of U.S. Immigrant Families: Introduction to the Special Issue,” Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Vol. 24, 363–366.
Kramer, Sander and Kramer, Julia B. (2004), “Managing Uncertainty; Coping Styles of Refugees in Western Countries,” Intervention, Vol. 2, no. 1, 33-42.
Lim, Noriel E. (2011), Family Closeness, Parental Role Fulfillment and Immigration Stress: A Study on Filipino American Young Adults' Satisfaction with Parental Upbringing (Doctoral dissertation. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26364
Mathew, Penelope and Harley, Tristan (2014), Refugee Protection and Regional Cooperation in Southeast Asia: A Fieldwork Report. This report is part of the ARC Funded Research Project, Regionalism, Responsibility and Refugees (Discovery Project 120102224). The Australian National University.
McBrien, Lynn (2005), “Educational Needs and Barriers for Refugee Students in the United States: A Review of the Literature,” Review of Educational Research, Vol. 75, no. 3, 329-364.
Migdalovitz, Carol (2010), Israel’s Blockade of Gaza, The Mavi Marmara Incident, and its Aftermath. Library of Congress Washington DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R41275.pdf
Mistry, Rashmita S., Biesanz, Jeremy C., Chien, Nina, Howesc, Carollee and Benner, Aprile D. (2008), “Socioeconomic Status, Parental Investments, and the Cognitive and Behavioral Outcomes of Low-Income Children from Immigrant and Native Households,” Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Vol. 23, pp. 193–212.
Mosselson, Jacqueline (2006), “Roots & Routes: A Re-imagining of Refugee Identity Constructions and the Implications for Schooling,” Current Issues in Comparative Education, Vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 20-29.
Ogbu, John U. (2009), “Voluntary and Involuntary Minorities: A Cultural-Ecological Theory of School Performance with Some Implications for Education,” Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Vol. 29, 155-188.
Pahud, Maïté, Kirk, Ray, Gage, Jeffrey D., and Hornblow, Andrew R. (2009), “The Coping Processes of Adult Refugees Resettled in New Zealand,” (UNHCR Research paper No. 179). Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/4b167d769.pdf
Pine, Frances (2014), “Migration as Hope: Space, Time, and Imagining the Future,” Current Anthropology, Vol. 55, no. 9 Suppl., S65-S104.
Racine, Louise, and Lu, Yixi (2016), “Refugees Resettlement in a Canadian Mid-Sized Prairie City: Examining Experiences of Multiple Forced Migration,” International Journal of Human Rights in Health Care, Vol. 8, no. 3, 173-186.
Roberson, Kimberly (2018), Refugee Education Data and Statistics, Geneva, Switzerland: UNHCR. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/education/school/3C-KRoberson.pdf
Rowley, Charles K. and Taylor, Jennis (2006), “The Israel and Palestine Land Settlement Problem, 1948–2005: An Analytical History,” Public Choice, Vol. 128, no. 1-2, 77-90.
Shemesh, Moshe (2004), “The Palestinian Society in the Wake of the 1948 War: From Social Fragmentation to Consolidation,” Israel Studies, Vol. 9, no. 1, 86-100.
Sinclair, Margaret (2001), “Education in Emergencies,” in Crisp, Talbot, and Cipollone 2001; (Ed.), “Learning for a Future: Refugee Education in Developing Countries”. Geneva, UNHCR. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/4a1d5ba36.pdf
Supaat, Dina I. (2016), “The UNHCR in Malaysia: The Mandate and Challenges,” South East Asia Journal of Contemporary Business, Economics and Law, Vol. 5, no. 4, 23-29.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) & Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SURAM) (2008), Undocumented Migrants and Refugees in Malaysia: Raids, Detention and Discrimination. Retrieved from https://www.fidh.org/IMG/ pdf/MalaisieCONJ489eng.pdf
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (2013), Submission by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' Compilation Report, Universal Periodic Review: Jordan, March 2013. Retrieved from http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/513d9a0e2.pdf
UNHCR, “Note on UNHCR’s Interpretation of Article 1.2 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees,” December 2010.
UNICEF (2017), Education Uprooted: For every Migrant, Refugee and Displaced Child, Education, New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/media/files/Education_Uprooted_DIGITAL.pdf
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2016), Missing out Refugee Education in Crisis,Geneva, UNHCR. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/57d9d01d0
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2017), Left Behind Refugee Education in Crisis, Geneva, UNHCR. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/59b696f44.pdf
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (2017), Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2017, Geneva, UNHCR. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/en-my/statistics/unhcrstats/5b27be547/unhcr-global-trends-2017.html
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (2018), Figures at a Glance in Malaysia. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/en-my/figures-at-a-glance-in-malaysia.html
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) (2017), UNRWA in Figures. Retrieved from https://www.unrwa.org/resources/about-unrwa/unrwa-figures-2017
Villalba, José A. (2009), “Addressing Immigrant and Refugee Issues in Multicultural Counselor Education,” Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory and Research, Vol. 37, no. 1, 1-13.
Wengert, Gabriela, and Alfaro, Michelle (2006), “Can Palestinian Refugees in Iraq Find Protection?” Forced Migration Review, Vol. 26, 19-21.
World Bank Group (2017), Forcibly Displaced: Toward a Development Approach Supporting Refugees, the Internally Displaced, and Their Hosts. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
Xie, Xiaolin, and Xia, YanXie (2011), “Grandparenting in Chinese Immigrant Families,” Marriage & Family Review, Vol. 47, no. 6, 383-396.
Zhou, Min, and Bankston, Carl L. (2000), The Experience of Vietnamese Refugee Children in the United States, New York: Eric.