The Barriers to Education among the Palestinian Refugee Children in Malaysia (Halangan Pendidikan di Kalangan Kanak-kanak Pelarian Palestin di Malaysia)


  • Iyad Muhammad Eid Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, IIUM.
  • Rohaiza Rokis Assoc Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, IIUM.



Keywords: refugee children, education, UNHCR, MSRI, Palestinian, 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.


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How to Cite

Eid, I. M., & Rohaiza Rokis. (2019). The Barriers to Education among the Palestinian Refugee Children in Malaysia (Halangan Pendidikan di Kalangan Kanak-kanak Pelarian Palestin di Malaysia). Journal of Islam in Asia <span style="font-Size: 0.6em">(E-ISSN: 2289-8077)</Span&gt;, 16(2), 369-399.