ISKL Hosts Refugee Teacher Training Program
Trina Cobbledick, MS Learning Resource Teacher
The room was a buzz of activity as 60 administrators representing 37 different refugee schools were hosted in a collaborative exchange of ideas. The event, co-hosted by ISKL and UNHCR (The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) on Saturday, January 18, was held to kick-off the new year of the ISKL Refugee Teacher Training Program.
According to UNHCR records, there are over 46,600 registered refugees under the age of 18 in Malaysia. Because Malaysia isn’t a signatory on the 1951 Refugee Convention, these children do not have access to public education so refugee communities set up their own schools. The ISKL Refugee Teacher Training Program was started to provide teachers at these schools with regular training. Twice a month on Saturday mornings, ISKL faculty volunteers deliver interactive workshops.
Bushra Hassan, the principal of Fugee School, has been attending the training with her teachers since it began three years ago. She is very happy with the practical skills that the teachers at her school have gained and implemented in the classroom such as reader’s theatre and more effective summative assessments. "The teachers enjoy the training as they get the opportunity to practice and exchange ideas. The Fugee School has tremendously benefited from the teacher training.”
The impact is felt by ISKL faculty as well. “I learn something new from the participants every time I volunteer,” says Suji DeHart, the program founder, “and I leave feeling inspired and energized.”
During Saturday's session, ISKL administrators and teachers facilitated engaging discussions with the administrators of the refugee schools to address the questions, priorities, and needs of their schools. The information gained from this exchange of ideas will be used to further develop the Refugee Teacher Training Program and broaden its reach.
About Trina Cobbledick
Trina is in her fifth year at ISKL as the Grade 8 Learning Resource teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Education, Masters of Educational Psychology and is currently studying International Inclusive Leadership. Trina is originally from the Canadian prairies. In her spare time, she loves to write, read, travel, run and explore nature.