Now that I’ve returned home to Canada, this blog post addresses why I think it’s important to do research outside of Canada, and why I think doing research in other countries can be relevant to our Canadian context. Although my fieldwork has come to an end, my research will continue, and hopefully strengthen the connection between Canada and Malaysia.
Past experiences affect how school-aged children navigate school and the relationships they form with teachers and peers – such is the case in particular with refugee children at the Malaysian Social Research Institute, where pre-resettlement history can have significant and dramatic ramifications to academic careers. Gaps in understanding this history in the education system of refugees can negatively affect refugees’ children’s sense of belonging and identity; relationships with peers and teachers; and the correct academic experience, psychosocial services, and future of the child attending school.
My fifth blog was inspired my a forum I attended in early August with Open Universities for Refugees and UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency. I was able to participate in various roundtable discussions throughout the weekend and learn about the many challenges refugee children face in Malaysia in order to obtain an education. Out of this forum, six Memorandums of Understanding were signed by the UNHCR and six Malaysian universities. Currently, there are 40 refugee students enrolled in programs or coursework at Malaysian universities. This emerging education area of opportunity is not met without challenges. Please read more in my attached blog!