This paper examines the initiatives of a faith-based, non-governmental learning center set up to teach basic literacy and numeracy skills to a group of Rohingya refugee children in Malaysia. Using the four criteria mentioned in the SAFE Approach; Sequenced, Active Focused, Explicit, the purpose of the study is to highlight the noteworthy practices of the center as well as to identify what are some essential weaknesses that need to be taken note of in order for sustained teaching and learning to happen. Based on the exploratory nature of the research purpose, face-to-face, in-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews and observations were used to collect the study data. Findings showed that while good intentions to serve the community seem to drive the initiatives, there is a dire need to see a shift in focus to training and development of human resources, particularly towards the teachers and volunteers who scaffold the children as they begin the challenging process of navigating a new educational environment. Finally, this paper concludes with some recommendations for a more sustainable program; particularly in the area of teacher/volunteer development.
Jennifer Tan, HELP University, Malaysia
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