With the increasing number of kids’ programs we have at CRP, we decided that it is necessary to include parents in the educational process.
For the past year, CRP has been holding monthly parents awareness sessions to talk about different topics relevant to our style of education as well different struggles that refugee parents might have when it comes to raising their kids. This includes many different topics such as the process of enrolling into school for refugees and other topics like how to get your child to enjoy school, the school exams, first aid, personal hygiene, and the negative side of internet usage.
“In a normal parent-teacher conference we mostly talk about our kids’ academic progress and feedback on that from the teachers. In these sessions, however, we delve deeper into the educational process and make sure that we the parents and CRP are on the same page,” says Wesaal, one of the parents attending a recent session.
Munah, one of CRP’s volunteer staff members and who has a lot of experience both as a mother and a seasoned instructor leads the sessions. “For we parents, there are a lot of topics we don’t talk about with our children which can create a barrier between the parent and the child that grows with time,” she says.
The first of these sessions that was held this semester discussed the different reasons that led some of the parents to not enroll their kids in school. Many parents expressed their concerns about how their kids would be treated and whether they would get bullied for being a minority group of students. During this session, we had arranged a visit from the principal of a local school as well as some teachers that discussed the concerns that some of the parents might have had that lead them to keep their kids out of school.
Vitally, they also talked about how some of the families that are new here don’t realize the amount of time it might take to get resettled which leads them to not enroll their kids in school.
“I’ve learned new ways to interact with my child, and very valuable lessons that I can apply at home, stuff that I never thought about or taken into consideration,”
says Rabab, another attendee.
These sessions also provide an opportunity to talk to other parents who might have similar struggles with schools as refugees. In the previous session, some of the parents talked about how some teachers can be inconsiderate regarding the situation of refugee students with some of the requests that they might have for their students. “Instead of spending 1 JD that I might not necessarily have on clay for an art class I could use that money to buy vegetables for my family,” says Ashwaq, another parent at the session.
Thanks to Rotary International for bringing together parents and CRP to discuss these important topics.