Refugee Students get help with their homework

By Pratsiri Setthapong head news

Refugee students who now reside on the Gold Coast have recently been provided free professional tutoring and assistance with their study and homework at The Multicultural Homework Club, arranged by  Multicultural Families Organisation Inc. as known as the MFO Gold Coast. This program provides a service to assist and support students from diverse backgrounds to help them improve their social and academic skills. According to the Gold Coast City Council, there are 171 refugees have resettled on the Gold Coast through The Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Humanitarian Programme in 2011 – 2013. Most of whom speak 17 different languages other than English. In 2013, 47% of refugees on the Coast are children under 18 years of age.

Source: HealthyGC Chart created by Datawrapper

Source: HealthyGC
Chart created by Datawrapper

Managing Director of Multicultural Families Organisation, Cornelia Babbage recognized that refugee students come across the difficulty in achieving English language proficiency coming from a Non-English speaking background. “We noticed that a lot of kids have problems in school and their parents could not help them, even though most of the parents have the university degree” She also states that the majority of these students’ parents have higher education but are still unable to assist their children due to the textbooks and learning materials are only available in English. “When it comes to English textbook, short article and homework, most parents could not understand the English instruction and wouldn’t be able to assist their kids” The organisation invited volunteers and school students to join The Homework Club and share their knowledge with students. “We decided to invite volunteers and school students in our community who are doing well at school and want to do volunteer works and donate their time to our students” Originally, the program focused on the new arrival refugee students who live in Australia in a period of 5 years. Only recently the club has extended its services to all Non-English speaking students including students from immigrant backgrounds that were born in Australia and speak fluent English but still require academic assistance. “Lately we have kids that have been living here for longer than 5 years, some of them were born in Australia and can speak very good English. The assignments became very difficult that they have to ask for further assistance. Cornelia expressed that it is important to support and educate these students regardless of their original backgrounds as they are now the future of Australia. “Now there are many kids in the club, not only students from the refugee backgrounds. We decided to accept them all. Because the aim is to help the children of Australia at any cost. If our kids need help, we are going to help them.”

Photo by Multicultural Families Organization

Photo by Multicultural Families Organization

Currently, there are 25 high school students and 10 -12 primary students that attend the weekly Homework Club. High school homework support class takes place on Tuesday after school in Southport Library. Primary student class is held on Monday afternoon from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm at the MFO’s training room, 47 Scarborough St. Southport, Queensland


Southport Library Photo by Pratsiri