chapter  6
20 Pages

Educational Challenges and Sociocultural Experiences of Somali Students in an Urban High School

Many Somali students in the U.S. have come from war-torn regions in East Africa and have spent many years in refugee camps in Kenya or Ethiopia. As a result of the ongoing civil war in Somalia, many of these students received little or no formal education prior to their arrival in the U.S. (Farah, 2002). Others received some schooling in refugee camps; however, their education was often interrupted (Friedman, 2002). Once they arrived in the United States, many

Somali students and their families experienced a great deal of stress in adjusting to their new country. Towns and cities with large concentrations of Somali residents have struggled to provide educational and social services for students and their families. How schools respond to this tremendous challenge will have a significant impact on the educational and economic achievement of Somali students (August & Hakuta, 1998). For this reason, it is critically important for educators and policy makers to understand the complex factors that affect the educational achievement of these students.