The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Provision of Afterschool Programs: A Response to the Educational Needs and Outcomes of Newcomer Students in Canada

Edward Shizha, Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada)

Edward Makwarimba, University of Alberta Retiree (Canada)


Newcomers in major destination countries, including Canada, face tremendous challenges including racism and discrimination (Houle, 2020; Makwarimba et al., 2013).  Newcomer students (both immigrants and refugees) feel excluded in the Canadian education system, which does not fully support their learning needs (Shizha et al., 2021; Volante, Klinger & Siegel, 2021). Although Canada is considered a safe country for immigrants, newcomer students often face challenges integrating into their new school environment. So, what is the future for these students’ educational outcomes? What assistance programs/strategies should be developed and/or pursued to assist them? The objective of this study was to build knowledge and understanding of the educational needs and experiences of these newcomer students and examine the availability and nature of afterschool programs and how they could be effectively used to support newcomer students’ learning and academic outcomes. Data were collected through a literature search of various databases including Web of Science, Scopus, and Google docs, as well as through an internet environmental scan of provincial and territorial service provider organizations to inform our analysis. A scan of afterschool programs offered to newcomer students by service provider organizations was conducted using a template created by ESDC, a federal government department that supports investments in the educational, employment and social development of Canadian youth (Employment and Social Development Canada, 2022). Literature review revealed disparities in educational outcomes, school completion rates and transition rates to postsecondary education by diverse newcomer students, while the scan showed that afterschool programs are required especially for refugee students who experience mental health challenges and miss out on significant periods of schooling, which affect their graduation rates. The study found a significant combination of afterschool programs that are provided by service provider organizations that include scholarships, homework support, mentorship, tutoring, mental health and social well-being support, and language programs that help newcomer students develop self-confidence and resilience for academic success. The study concludes that appropriate afterschool programs for newcomer students are an educational strategy that improves their academic outcomes.



afterschool programs; educational outcomes; newcomer students; resilience; service provider organizations



[1] Employment and Social Development Canada. (2022). About the Supports for Student Learning Program. Ottawa: Government of Canada.

[2} Houle, R. (2020). Changes in the socioeconomic situation of Canada’s Black population, 2001 to 2016. Ethnicity, Language and Immigration Thematic Series. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 89-657-X2020001.

[3] Makwarimba, E, Stewart, M., Simich, L., Makumbe, K., Shizha, E., & Anderson, S. (2013). Sudanese and Somali Refugees in Canada: Social Support Needs and Preferences. International Migration, 51(5), 106-119.

[4] Shizha, E., Wilson-Forsberg, S., Masakure, O., Mfoafo-M'Carthy, M., & Lafreniere, G., (2021). Stereotyping High School Immigrant African Male Students in Pursuit of Postsecondary Education. In A.A. Abdi (ed.), Critical Theorizations of Education (pp. 143-156). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill.         

[5] Volante, L., Klinger, D. A., & Siegel, M. (2021). Confronting the challenges of immigrant student underachievement: A comparative analysis of education policies and programs in Canada, New Zealand, and England. Comparative and International Education, 49(2), 35-50.


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