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A Research on Syrian Refugee Children’s Assimilation into Canadian Society

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Over the past several decades, roughly 35,000 Syrian refugees have been accepted into Canada. As the refugee population increases, it is becoming more important to understand the factors that promote and foster pre- and post arrival mental health of children and their academic achievement. Experiencing forced migration and armed conflict increase the likelihood of psychological trauma symptoms and discrimination that inevitably has an impact on academic ability and achievement. This paper will determine whether children are obligated for suffering from these difficulties that will hamper their future well-being and assimilation into Canadian society. Canadian schools have allowed the educators to respond to individualistic cultures, socioemotional and educational needs of students whose families are fleeing hardship, global conflict or persecution to explore safe haven in Canada. Public schools are readily available and sustain adequate resources to ease the risk for school-age Syrian refugees. 

Introduction

About 58 million people were exiled from their homes and displaced within their country or worldwide as a result of various conflicts. In the face of war and resultant humanitarian crisis, moving was the only choice to safeguard their life. The number of displaced people globally is growing and has likely surpassed 60 million by now. These refugees are exposed to multifarious threats and need to be protected in various ways, which international conventions have explored in their consideration of the holistic situation of the refugee. International migration is a component that has symbolized global mobility for centuries and thousands of years and has greatly become a priority for nation-states worldwide. Governments are searching to establish and apply the most effective policies to regulate diversity and integrate immigrant students so they can be an addition to the economic prosperity and sociocultural fabric of their society. Canada has spread a vast amount of ethnic diversity where their education system plays a significant role in the immigrants within this physically large country. For many years, the Canadian government has been resettling refugees in accordance with the United Nations Convention. The government gives refugees access to financial support, healthcare services, and resettlement assistance including employment and language training. ESL (English as a Second Language) educators play an important role in the resettlement process for both adults and children, they cater to issues associated with acculturation and the negotiation of one’s identity in a new cultural and linguistic landscape. Unique needs related to forced migration especially displacement, war, interrupted schooling, work-related development and poverty necessitate an education approach that goes beyond the involved focus of most modern classrooms to assist students’ foundational human needs. It is fundamental that immigrant children have jobs and income equivalent to their educational fulfillment as adults and contribute to the sociocultural cohesive of their communities. The role of schools is to encourage this process and incorporate immigrant children through education. 

Literature Review 

Resettlement, Effects of Pre-migration Trauma and Post-migration 

Syrian refugees’experience pre-migration exposure to armed conflict, demolishment from their community and post-migration stressors due to relocation and resettlement. These encounters faced has fracture refugees lives resulting in dramatic shifts in their ecological system (Stewart, 2011). The consensus of available data on refugees consists of one in ten refugee adults resettling in Europe, Australia, and North America having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one in twenty suffering from major depression disorder, and one in twenty-five having a generalized anxiety disorder. Living in a warzone, witnessing violence, murder, torture, parental imprisonment, separation from family, the community, and living in a refugee camp increase the rates of PTSD among the Syrian children as a central factor impacting on their post-migration resettlement (Hadfield et al. 2017). The joining of pre-migration trauma and post-migration trauma must be highlighted due to the internal and external behaviors correlated with psychological well-being issues and the significance of academic achievement (Hadfield et al. 2017). Over a long time, refugees mental health and discrimination outcomes drastically develop while resettling. 

Discrimination, Academic Achievement and Psychological Well-Being of Syrian Refugees

Being newcomers in Canada, most refugees arrive with hopes, dreams, rights, freedom, equality, and multiculturalism. Many times refugees are most likely to experience distinct treatment, racism, and violence when it comes to finding jobs, housing, and approaches by law enforcement and immigration officers. These contacts with Canadian citizens have left Syrian refugees to feel unsafe, unwelcomed and become victims of hate crimes in Canada. Canada’s societal discourses and actions shape the context of reception of refugee children and youth both in school and in their communities after settlement. Research evidence suggests that there is a linkage between explicit and implicit discrimination and poor academic achievement. Refugee-background children attending schools encounter overt racism, peer-based abuse, bullying, and subtle forms of discrimination that conclude effective learning, the overall well-being of the child, their mental and physical health and acculturation. Immigrant children reside in Canada to achieve education as a requirement for a successful future, resulting in positive academic performance and being associated with excitement, whereas they experience failures that are associated with crucial distress. With shame and a perceived sense of inability from teachers and peers, students at times felt that the amount of effort required for academic success surpassed their mental and physical ability, given the non-academic responsibilities they had in their life (Hilario et al. 2018). Whether it actually happens or is perceived, racism and discrimination serve as an ongoing challenge for refugee students. 

Winnipeg Study 

A qualitative study in Winnipeg reports students talking about not feeling safe on the streets, being persecuted for the color of their skin, their ethnicity, profiled by police, and mistreated by students, teachers, and administrators at their school (Stewart 2011). On behalf of the teachers and community members that support the education of Syrian refugees, they believe that schools were not doing enough to reassure cultural understanding among students. Discrimination should be notable as a risk factor for school-aged Syrian refugees in Canada. A signed agreement by the UN convention for the protection of refugees has made a commitment to support refugees who have experienced armed conflict and forced migration, which includes mitigating and challenging encounters of discrimination in the Canadian society (Beiser and Hou 2017). 

Educational Challenges in Canada 

Refugee children, youth, and families highly value education. When resettling the refugee youths identify education as a top priority, and describe its potential to improve their lives (Stewart 2011). Refugees have had success in the Canadian education system. Students from globally recognized war-zones who had experienced traumatic events performed as well as Canadian-born students, even surpassing them in certain subjects. The most significant service systems that school-age refugees engage with and learn to navigate is a school which is something that is crucial, but fraught with challenges. To make the school culturally safe, educators must create inclusivity, as schools represent a critically important transition period for refugee children, youth, and their families (Graham et al. 2016). Components that impact refugee students’ academic achievement is supporting English language acquisition, teacher preparedness, and mental health to meet the unique needs in school. If Canadian schools focus their resources on these three objectives, they can improve the academic success of refugee youth. Language acquisition is a difficult obstacle for refugees, given that requiring basic language competency does not translate into academic language and literacy skills. Having poor English language skills can negatively influence the teacher’s ability to assess refugee students’ strengths and needs, requiring additional resources for translators (Skidmore 2016). Language acquisition resources are very limited and do not meet the growing demand for high needs students necessitating educational assessments. Teachers in Canadian society are in need of increased training in the best practices for teaching students that have experienced traumatic events. Teaching strategies for delivering basic reading instruction to refugee students and instruction on implementing school inclusion practices for refugee students’. One of the most potentially effective and efficient ways to provide access to mental health services and supports to refugee children and youth is at school. Many school-based counselors are not generally trained to deal with complex trauma resulting from armed conflict and forced migration (Stewart 2011). This will give school-based counselors the benefit of increasing their knowledge of global, social, and political contexts of war, and the effect on children and youths’ psychological well-being, as well as economic and political factors that burden refugees and their experiences in Canada (Stewart 2014). These trauma-informed care and empirically based treatment interventions could enhance their effectiveness in working with refugee children and youth. 

Peer Factors in Canada 

Promoting the well-being of adolescent refugees are beneficial in peer relationships. Social change and self-esteem are anticipated by the nature of friend connections. Exile youth may experience issues shaping friend connections because of psychological well-being challenges, social disability, bigotry, sociolinguistic troubles, and rejection. The peers of many refugees bully them due to their racialized or minimized status in the resettlement nation, resulting in low levels of self-worth. Twenty percent of bullying and victimization can be reduced by establishing hostile to tormenting intercessions in school that is escalated and include parent gatherings, play area supervision, and firm disciplinary techniques. To be culturally relevant, anti-bullying and promote a whole-school ethos of inclusion and mutual respect (Hek, 2015). Refugees come to school with a history of trauma and horror that is different for each student, similar only in that many of their Canadian peers will never understand the struggles they have survived. Providing effective and culturally relevant programs across Canada would help advance the prosperity of both exile and non-displaced person youth. 

School Factors in Canada 

Syrian refugee children have been unfit to go to school because of the contention in Syria for extensive periods of time. Disrupted schooling can form challenges when they first begin to attend school in Canada. Impaired cognitive development, impaired academic achievement, anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorder are associated with trauma exposure. Schools in Canada may not always accommodate to the youths, but they tend to place children in grades above their previous schooling level and assume that they are low achieving due to language barriers (Brewer, 2016). Refugees come to the classroom in light of the fact that the classroom may not address their issues. Traditional homeroom structures may not work for them for an assortment of reasons. The students need helpful showing practices because of the troublesome conditions in which they live and have lived. 

Origins of Restorative Justice 

The three concepts of restorative justice are harm, accountability, and engagement. As crime is viewed as harm to individuals such as Syrian refugees, restorative justice seeks to repair the harm by addressing the needs of those involved. Restorative justice emphasizes accountability by linking the act of causing harm to obligations. As a result, repercussions are understood of their actions on victims and the wider community and to take responsibility to make things right as much as possible. The positive outcomes fostered by the approach have led educational authorities to apply restorative principles to school discipline. Restorative practices for students from refugee contexts? Developing the skills needed to become productive members of society is responsible by schools for socializing young people. In school settings, principles of restorative justice have been most commonly applied to disciplinary structures (Vaandering, 2010). Helpful training rehearses are the manners in which educators take care of the lived educational modules in a classroom. To be helpful for an instructor’s training, the educational programs (educator and understudy educational modules) should be significant to the present life conditions, receptive to evolving needs, and about relationship building. 

Another perspective that remedial encouraging practices address incorporates issues of intensity structures and self-assurance in a new society. Displaced people go to their host countries as outsiders attempting to discover their place and their voice. The prevailing society in Canada (being English talking and socially European) may accidentally confine the conceivable outcomes that outcasts have for work and individual life on account of language troubles, instructive challenges, and the overwhelming society’s feeling of privilege to the best while new foreigners get what is less attractive (lodging, business, and access to medicinal administrations). Therapeutic instructing practices can fill in as a strengthening apparatus. Therapeutic encouraging practices can fill in as a strengthening apparatus. These instructing rehearses will, in general, better serve the requirements of those understudies in manners that assistance them find character and a place in Canada while finding the help to grapple with ‘their’ histories.

Conclusion 

The reforms to support services in Canadian schools propose positive and negative impacts at the micro-, meso-, and macro-level, especially if combined with broader reforms to address psychological well-being, pre-migration and post-migration trauma, discrimination, academic achievement and mental health issues amongst Syrian refugees. Despite the barriers and challenges, I remain optimistic about the future success of Syrian refugee children and youth in Canada. As Canada improves, inclusive schools, trauma-informed teachers and administrators, effective teaching strategies and mental health supports can mitigate the risks of pre-migration trauma and post-migration discrimination and promote improved psychological well-being and academic achievement for students resetting in Canada.

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A Research On Syrian Refugee Children’s Assimilation Into Canadian Society. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-research-on-syrian-refugee-childrens-assimilation-into-canadian-society/
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