Afghan Refugee Teacher Education (From 1980 To 2015): A Qualitative Case Study of BEFARe, Peshawar, Pakistan

Najma Begum, Syed Munir Ahmad


Refugee teacher education has remained an area of research and practice that has received little attention of academics and researchers alike. In first providing a brief description of the Soviet model of education after their arrival in Afghanistan, the purpose of this paper is to describe the process of rehabilitation of Afghan refugees and provision of emergency education to them. Grounding this empirical research into Lev Vygotsky’s and Yrjo Engeström’s First Generation Activity Theory (FGAT), and Second Generation Activity Theory (SGAT, henceforth),this research paper aims to decipher the socio-economic and cultural context of Afghan refugees before applying SGAT on Afghan Refugees Teachers’ Education (ARTE, henceforth). Qualitative research design was used to conduct this research, whereas, data was collected from primary sources through conducting semi-structured interviews and Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) to gain deep insight into the subject matter. However, secondary sources, such as reports of UNHCR, BEFARe/GTZ were also used to substantiate the central argument. Purposive sampling strategy was used to get sample for the study. Major findings of the study show that the influence of the curriculum taught to student teachers brought certain changes in Afghan refugee teachers’ pedagogical skills, and resolved the problems of some classroom teaching practices. The findings also showed that BEFARe remained successful in changing Afghan refugee student teachers’ teaching methods from traditional teaching to activity based teaching. The study contributes to the current knowledge in the field of teacher education and training, the Afghan Ministry of Education, and other NGOs’ working in Afghanistan for education, emergency teachers’ training in general, and specifically refugees’ education across the world.

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