International Educator - March/April 2017 - 36

36  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R + A P R .17

Yel Luka Deng, a teacher from South Sudan in the
Teacher Resource Center of Kakuma refugee camp in
Kenya, consults via phone with his Teachers for Teachers
mentoring group-part of a professional development
program led by Teachers College at Columbia University,
in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees and the Lutheran World Foundation

17 years, which leads to a "vicious circle of an uneducated
population becoming frustrated with their options."

Continued Support in the United States
When a refugee family leaves the camps and moves to
the United States, there can still be rough roads ahead.
To help address those challenges, the Center for
Science and Mathematics Education at The University
of Utah launched the REFUGES program in 2012 for
the local community.
Some of the area's refugees were born in the camps
or grew up there, where schooling can be limited.
"Refugee camps are just about survival," says Tino
Nyawelo, director of diversity and recruitment at the
Center for Science and Mathematics Education, and an
assistant professor of physics and astronomy.
In the United States, students are put in classrooms
based on their age, and can be ill-prepared for the
experience. "A 10-, 11-, or 12-year-old can have a hard
time succeeding. They can't fit in," says Nyawelo, who
is from South Sudan. He earned his master's degree in
physics from the Abdus Salam International Centre for
Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, and his PhD in theoretical physics from the Free University of Amsterdam.
Parents of refugee students aren't accustomed to the
U.S. school system, and their English language skills may
be limited, so they aren't able to assist their children
with schooling and homework, Nyawelo says.

MARY MENDENHALL

Teacher training at the camp is typically very
limited, while the Teachers for Teachers program
provides ongoing training, coaching, and mentoring.
The program has two tracks; the short-term track
includes intensive training for four days, as well as
two months of coaching and two months of mentoring. The long-term track includes a year of training, coaching, and mentoring. The trainings cover
the teacher's role and well-being; child protection,
well-being, and inclusion; pedagogy; and curriculum and planning, says Shezleen Vellani, a master's
student who coordinates the Mobile Mentoring
(M-Mentoring) part of the program. Some teachers
receive extra training and serve as peer coaches.
An integral part of that effort is the M-Mentoring
program, which connects teachers with experienced
educators from around the world via mobile phone.
At Kakuma, "there are more telephones than toilets,"
Vellani says.
The prototype for the program was created in
2015, and the pilot program was launched at Kakuma
in 2016. Using the WhatsApp application on their
smartphones, teachers can seek input and advice
from their mentors. For example, a teacher in Kenya
might take a video clip of a science lesson they've
taught, and send it to a mentor in the United States for
feedback, Vellani explains.
The pilot program began in the fall of 2016 with about
55 primary school teachers and 14 mentors involved,
Vellani says. A second cohort is starting in 2017. The
mentors come from the United States, Canada, Kenya,
and South Africa. Each mentor works with four or five
teachers, and they discuss problems, questions, concerns,
and new ideas. "The teachers are really open to any
opportunity. They just crave information," she says.
The teachers in each group come from various
primary schools at the camp. Kakuma has 18 primary
schools and about five high schools, Mendenhall says.
Thon Jok, who is from South Sudan, teaches English
at the camp. "I have learned so many things as an individual. I never thought it could yield productive fruits."
Jok says he's learned classroom management techniques, which are invaluable as he teaches a class with
more than 200 students. "Mobile mentoring is the key to
success for both teachers and learners," he says.
Discussions are underway with UNHCR on the
possibility of expanding the program to other refugee
camps in Africa, Mendenhall says.
It's imperative to provide educational opportunities
for refugees, she says. The average duration of a crisis is



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Global Spotlight Cuba
Insights
Voices
Feature: Lay of the Land: What Now?
Feature: Finding Common Ground through Art Therapy
Feature: Empowering Refugees Through Education
Campus Profile: New York Institute of Technology
Campus Snapshot: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
Partnering
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 1
International Educator - March/April 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Global Spotlight Cuba
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Insights
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Voices
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 13
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Lay of the Land: What Now?
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 18
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 22
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Finding Common Ground through Art Therapy
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 28
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Empowering Refugees Through Education
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 38
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Campus Profile: New York Institute of Technology
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 40
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 42
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 44
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 46
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Campus Snapshot: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 48
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 49
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 50
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 51
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 53
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 54
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 55
International Educator - March/April 2017 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 57
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 58
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 59
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Partnering
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 61
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 62
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 63
International Educator - March/April 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 65
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 66
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 67
International Educator - March/April 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover4
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