Review Article

Interventions supporting the integration of refugee children in the primary school life: Roles of the child’s contexts of development

Rasheedah O. Adams-Ojugbele, Nontokozo Mashiya
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 16, No 1 | a769 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v16i1.769 | © 2020 Rasheedah O. Adams-Ojugbele, Nontokozo Mashiya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 October 2019 | Published: 05 November 2020

About the author(s)

Rasheedah O. Adams-Ojugbele, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nontokozo Mashiya, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

The development of children in an atmosphere that supports and promotes their socio-emotional, physical and cognitive well-being is imperative for the realisation of the sustainable development goal 4 for 2030. The school environment constitutes an important context where children learn and acquire both social and academic skills, through their interaction with adults and peers, materials and objects in their immediate environment. The aim of this article was to advance the debate on studies focussing on intervention programmes that support the school adjustment of refugee children in primary schools in host countries. Specifically, the article focussed on analysing the available school-based intervention programmes for refugee children in the primary school life. The article utilised the integration theory and the bioecological model of human development as lenses for analysis. The article picked on selected empirical articles and reviews for inclusion in the analysis. Findings from the analysis indicate that the primary school experiences of refugee children in different parts of the world are complex and vary. Whilst some refugee children enjoy inclusion in the primary school life, others are faced with varied challenges, which might impact negatively on their successful integration and adjustment into the school system. This article advocates for an inclusive intervention, where the different persons and contexts involved in the social and academic integration of refugee children interact in a manner that promotes and supports the specific social and developmental needs of refugee children for a favourable outcome.

Keywords

refugee children; school experience; intervention programmes; social interaction; integration; child development.

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