Refugee education and training in Zambia : policies and administration
Kasuta, Tepa Earnest.
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Refugees are involuntary immigrants, people caught up in catastrophic socio-political upheavals, and have no choice except to relocate and live in stateless conditions. The main focus of the study was on how the policies that pertain to their education and training in a host country, Zambia, are translated into services of access to institutions of learning and scholarships by three agencies, namely; the LWF/ZCRS, the UNHCR - run Refugee Services of Zambia, and the OBF. Information was collected from 70 refugees sponsored by these agencies; 10 officials from the agencies and relevant government institutions using questionnaires and unstructured interviews; books and agency documents. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics and cross tabulations with the help of a computer.The data show that international instruments to which Zambia has acceded conjoin the socio-political environment in Southern Africa in influencing Zambia's legislation and practices in allowing refugees access to institutions of learning. The agencies have not remained only givers of scholarships; also they play a significant role in finding school places for refugees. In some cases, however, they subject refugees to I.Q. tests in addition to the public examinations which they all sit for with everybody else. The conditions for being offered a scholarship by the agencies do not vary significantly while the nature and level of provisions do. The later is due to different levels of flexibility set in the relations of the sources of fudning with the dispensing agencies. There is no reference to the refugee's financial position as condition for the granting of a scholarship.It was fovind that a large number of the students are studying for the career they want. Others say that they could have studied for something other than what they are now if only they had a chance to choose, more information about training opportunities, or a sponsor for what they want. While the refugee students expressed sincere appreciation for what they believe only their sponsors can do, they are equally convinced that their sponsors can improve their lot sometimes without putting in more money.The study recommends to the agencies that:They introduce svipplementary scholarships;Granting of scholarships and assisting refugees to secure school places should be split into two separate services and ;They establish a career guidance and information system either singly or collectively.