Real People, Real Needs: Exploring the Experiences and Perspectives about Opportunities and Obstacles of the Deaf Education Program in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya Megan Youngs M.A. Candidate Comparative, International and Development Education / Educational Administration OISE Outline Background Definitions Rationale Research Questions Theoretical Framework Methodology Findings Conclusion Who are the Refugees? “increasingly, both pure refugees and purely economic migrants are ideal constructs rarely found in real life; many among those who routinely meet the refugee definition are clearly fleeing both political oppression and economic dislocation”(Papademitriou, 1993, p. 212) Forced migration Globalization Human-made & natural disasters Refugees & Long–Term Displacement Protracted Refugee Situations “One in which refugees find themselves in a long-lasting and intractable state of limbo. Their lives may not be at risk, but their basic rights and essential economic, social and psychological needs remain unfulfilled after years in exile. A refugee in this situation is often unable to break free from enforced reliance on external assistance” (UNHCR, 2010) Education in Emergencies ► Access to education is a human right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and numerous other international laws and treaties. ► Studies have cited basic education as a tool to protect children and youth and promote peace, stability and sustainable development (Sinclair, 2002; Mendenhall, 2008; Bethke, 2004; Razzak, 2005). ► Education is also the “basis for reducing poverty and inequality, improving health, enabling the use of new technologies, and creating and spreading knowledge” (EFA, 2008) Two Major Perspectives pathological (medical-centric) vs. cultural-linguistic Contradictory views and attitudes towards Deafness. The contradiction stems from several centuries old dichotomy entrenched in the “inherent unequal power dynamics” (Anderson and Barrera, 1995) which form the exoskeleton of the Deaf educational institutions and systems. Context: Deaf in Kenya ► 70 Deaf learning institutions 41 Deaf schools 30 Deaf Units 3 Secondary Schools 3 Vocational Secondary Schools ► 60 to 70 Deaf teachers Kenya Federation of Deaf Teachers (KFDT) What about the refugee camps in Kenya? Rationale Real People, Real Needs – Theme of World Refugee Day 2009 Emphasis on the “need to do much more to heed the voices emerging from the South itself” (Crossley and Watson, 2003, p.90 and Teasdale & Teasdale, 1999; Holmes, 2001) particularly to better understand the realities and the roles that educational institutions situated in rural parts of the country with basic infrastructure play in Deaf refugees’ lives. Research in the refugee field is relatively a new field, and this study will be one of the first attempts to explore existing educational opportunities for Deaf refugees in a refugee camp. There are large gaps in our understanding of the lived experiences of Deaf refugees in a refugee camp. Very little is known about Deaf refugees in the refugee camps. To document existing educational and civil society opportunities in Africa (often unknown to the international Deaf community), both in the academic and voluntary sectors. Research Questions What role does the Deaf education in refugee camps play in Deaf refugees’ lives? 1) What are the stakeholders’ experiences and perspectives of the opportunities associated with Deaf education? 2) What are the stakeholders’ experiences and perspectives of the obstacles associated with the Deaf education? 3) What strategies are stakeholders associated with the Deaf education units employing or advocating to address the continuing challenges and needs for Deaf refugee’s education? Theoretical Framework The Triple I Model proposed by Miles (Video Journal of Education, 1987) Initiation Linked to High Profile Need Clear Model Strong Advocate Active Initiation Implementation Orchestration Shared Control Pressure and Support Technical Assistance Rewards Institutionalization Embedding Links to Instruction Widespread Use Removal of Competing Priorities Continuing Assistance Methodology ► ► ► ► Illuminative evaluation methodology (Parlett & Hamilton, 1976) 6 weeks fieldwork at Dadaab Refugee Camp (June to July 2009) On site observations Semi structured interviews (videotaped) Translators Sign Language Interpreter ► ► Western/academic values vs. Cultural values Unique transcribing process with multiple languages Multiple Languages and Literacies “Street (1999) states global agendas related to literacy have distorted people’s thinking because they have overlooked the fact that within any culture there are many different ‘literacies,’ each with its own code and validity” (Crossley and Watson, 2003, p.87). Kenya Sign Language Somali Sign Language Home signs Kiswahili Somali English Stakeholders Hagadera Ifo Dagahaley 7 students 9 students 2 students 3 teachers 10 teachers 3 teachers 2 community members 5 community members 14 community members 2 SNE teacher/inspector 2 SNE teacher/inspector 2 SNE teacher/inspector 1 headmaster 3 headmasters 2 headmasters 1 CARE Basic Education Director Findings Dadaab Refugee Camp ► 300,000 refugees camp facilities are designed to meet the capacity of 90,000 refugees Monthly influx of approx. 6,500 new refugees Approx. 30,000+ refugees with hearing loss in the camps. ► ► 3 compounds within Dadaab separated by 5 miles radius Ifo Dagahaley Hagadera Numerous implementing and managing organizations working in partnership with UNHCR (MSF, GTZ, WFP, NRC, Action Against Hunger, Filmaid International, HI, IOM and SAVE) “Coming from a small rural village and I didn’t understand anything. They gave us new identification and ration cards. They gave us food and told us to stay at home... I did not know the area at all, I was afraid to get lost so my mother told me to stay. If I got lost, then I would remain lost because how do I hear my mother call my name? Then someone who was white, I didn’t know who, he came and talked with my father. He was surprised that I was Deaf. They tried to figure out what to do with me and touched me. I did not even understand at all as I did not even sign back then, I only knew Somali Sign Language. I didn’t know Kenyan Sign Language at all... Time went by, I waited and waited, then in 1992, I finally started my first school. Yes, I was one of the first Deaf to go to school... Teachers didn’t know anything about Deaf, this was the first time and there was no signing. The teacher came from Kenya. He first taught us ABC’s and we learned fast. I was around 10 years old when I started school ... I would play a lot and I would learn. I had shorts. I kept on playing and playing, then in 1994, we went up to next level. In 1994, Stephen came! Stephen came and was surprised to see Deaf people here, there was not many [Deaf people] back then, not like today, there was only few. Stephen asked us if it would be fine if he videotaped us, he did and videotaped of us showing signs, everything about our camp life, camels, home, school, everything. Stephen was satisfied, he gave us few things then he left. Stephen would come and go ... he was not a teacher, he was responsible for several camps.” (Teacher 13) Historical Timeline 1991 – 1st influx of refugees arrive from Somalia 1992 – First Deaf Unit was established at Ifo (12 students at Halane) 1992 to 1994 – two more Deaf Units were established at Hagadera and Dagahaley (including at Liboi holding centre) 1994 – Mr. Stephen Gachuhi appointed as Disability Program Facilitator 2004 – Mr. Fanuel Randiki appointed as Special Education Officer for CARE First batch of Deaf students attended Secondary School in Kenya 2006 – Three Special Education Teachers from Kenya were appointed by CARE for each camp First annual Deaf inter-camp football tournament Deaf Units in Dadaab ►7 Deaf Units Ifo Halane Unit Horseed Unit Midnimo Unit Western Unit Hagadera Central Unit Dagahaley Unity Unit Jubba Unit Deaf Units Central Unit Halane Unit Midnimo Unit Horseed Unit Total Enrolment of Deaf Students in this Camp 225 Deaf students* # 158 Deaf students* Total Enrolment of Deaf Students in the Unit 37 Deaf 28 students (std. 7 students (3 are 25 students (std. Students (3 are 1 to 5) (6 are integrated & 4 1 to 4) integrated in integrated) are in the unit) Std. 8) Unity Unit Jubba Unit 167 Deaf students* 9 students (6 are Deaf, 2 has mental disabilities & 1 has low vision and additional challenges) in std. 1 & 2 9 Deaf students (3 girls & 6 boys) 2 are in std. 2 and the rest are in std. 1 # of classrooms 2 classrooms 3 classrooms 1 classrooms 1 classroom and 1 classroom and Shares the 1 blackboard for 1 blackboard for classroom with 3 teachers 2 teachers the Blind Unitc Total # of 3 Teachers of Teachers of the the Deaf (One Deaf hearing female, 2 are KISE trained) 4 Teachers of the Deaf 3 Teachers of the Deaf 3 Teachers of the Deaf (One hearing female) 2 Teachers of the Deaf 1 Teacher of the Deaf # of Deaf Teachers 1 Deaf Teacher 1 Deaf Teacher 1 Deaf Teacher 1 Deaf Teacher 1 Deaf Teacher No Deaf teachers Administrators (Basic Education Director, Special Education Teachers, Special Education School Inspectors and Headmasters) Opportunities ► ► Building Community Awareness and Outreach Deaf Units and Deaf Teachers as Role Models Obstacles ► Competing Priorities and Lack of Technical Assistance Sign language training Funding Focus on access to education High turnover “the quality of education for the Deaf went down when teachers do not have sign language skills” (Administrator 5, 2009). Teachers Opportunities ► Deaf Units and Deaf Teachers as Role Models Obstacles ► Lack of Technical Assistance Linked to Instruction Sign language training/proficiency (hearing and Deaf teachers) Heavy workload (Levels, teachers, support, resources and teaching materials) School is “a very special thing because you learn everything, to know things, how to communicate, to become a better person. If there is no school, many will become thieves, rape girls and use drugs. Education will help you in the future so that Deaf can be equal with the world” (Teacher 6, 2009) Deaf Students Opportunities ► ► Opportunity to Access to Education Social Interaction Obstacles ► ► Community Stigma Lack of Link to Instruction Sign language proficiency Upper primary level ► ► Integration Difficult Transition to Deaf Secondary School in Kenya “When the board is full with writing, the teacher would read until it becomes hard to sign, harder to sign then he will just point at the word or he would just stop and leave the classroom. But now we have one Deaf teacher with sweet hands – he is complete! I get full information. Deaf teacher teaches me English and GHC but the rest of subjects – there is big problem there for me. I love English very much because it means the world, everything is in it” (Student 7, 2009) Community Members (Parents) Opportunities ► ► Discovering the Deaf Units Positive Changes in their Deaf Child Obstacles ► Community Stigma and Emotional Well-Being Separate Deaf School “Before I came here as a refugee, I have never believed that Deaf children can learn in school until I came here and was surprised to find out that Deaf children can learn normally like other children. I know from here. I am happy for this when I see these children can learn” (Parent 2, 2009). “Before I brought my children in school, it is like walking in the darkness but now with education it is like light, they have light from the teachers” (Parent 1, 2009). Deaf Units and ‘Triple I’ •Orchestration and Shared Control (?) •Pressure (Support?) •Technical Assistance (?) •Rewards Initiation •High Profile Need •Strong Advocate •Clear Model of Change (?) Implementation Institutionalization •Embedding •Widespread Use •Removal of Competing Priorities (?) •Continuing Assistance (?) Conclusion ► ► Why bother? Recommendations Sign Language as a Tool for Accessibility Deaf as Agents ► Importance of understanding different perspectives (opportunities and obstacles) Its impact on the ‘structure’, involved stakeholders, program’s aims Its strengths and weaknesses ASANTE SANA I want to express my deepest appreciation for everybody who truly believed in me and encouraged me to push myself beyond what I would have thought I was capable of achieving. By locating this particular iceberg floating among masses of icebergs, I have come to shed light on this iceberg, this research is for the Deaf refugees floating across the deserts of Africa.