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Remedial education program for Syrian refugees: ensuring their learning during a protracted crisis

Taro Komatsu (Faculty of Human Sciences, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan)
Kaoru Ghalawinji-Yamamoto (Faculty of Human Sciences, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan)
Yukari Iwama (Program/Operation Department, Humanitarian and Development Program Unit, World Vision Japan, Tokyo, Japan)
Sayo Hattori (Former Program Coordinator, World Vision Japan, Tokyo, Japan)

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development

ISSN: 2396-7404

Article publication date: 21 November 2023

Issue publication date: 21 February 2024

91

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how vulnerable refugee children's education can be supported in the first asylum country during a long-term, complex crisis. More specifically, the authors examine the impact of a remedial education (RE) program on academically challenged Syrian refugees' sustained learning and well-being in Jordan during a protracted emergency.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the 2012 United Nations human security framework, the authors analyze the quantitative results of program evaluation, supplemented by qualitative surveys and stakeholder interviews that asked about the aspirations of refugee children and their guardians, their school experience and the refugee–host community relationship.

Findings

The authors' data suggest that the program enhanced targeted Syrians' protection and empowerment. Their increased sense of safety and improved academic performance and learning motivation were likely owing to child-friendly classroom management and pedagogies that facilitated interactive and differentiated learning. Their human security was further strengthened when they learned with Jordanian children who experienced similar academic challenges and with teachers sympathetic to their plight. Meanwhile, a human security framework calls for humanitarian agencies' strategic engagement with local partners to ensure refugees' learning continuity.

Originality/value

Refugee education studies in first asylum countries are rare. Even rarer are studies focusing on academically low-achieving refugees with full consideration of the protracted and complex nature of a crisis. This study suggests effective measures to increase their human security while calling for humanitarian aid organizations to use long-term thinking.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study received partial funding from the Sophia Institute for Human Security and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP17J07440. The authors are thankful to the grant providers and the two reviewers for their valuable feedback, which has enhanced the manuscript.

Citation

Komatsu, T., Ghalawinji-Yamamoto, K., Iwama, Y. and Hattori, S. (2024), "Remedial education program for Syrian refugees: ensuring their learning during a protracted crisis", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCED-02-2023-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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