It is universally accepted that education plays a key role in every child’s development, but it is even more critical for the displaced Rohingya children, adolescents and youth. Without adequate opportunities for learning and hope for the future, they are more vulnerable to trafficking, child marriage, exploitation and abuse.
Rohingya children in Bangladesh camps are unable to follow a path to formal education, deprived of the skills they desperately need to prepare for an uncertain future. Until now, the government had resisted calls to grant those children access to education, limiting learning opportunities to a few provisional centers that offer playtime and early primary school lessons scattered across the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. A few children who managed to gain access to local secondary schools were expelled on the government’s instructions. Restrictions on formal education loomed as a major controversy. That now looks to change.
Last month, the UN and other aid agencies welcomed Bangladesh’s decision to expand access to education for Rohingya children and adolescents living in Cox’s Bazar, now home to about 1 million displaced people.
In line with the government’s decision, a pilot program to introduce Myanmar’s curriculum in the refugee camps will begin in April, initially targeting 10,000 students in grades 6 to 9 with a team of 210 teachers and later expanding to other grades in a phased manner, according to the UN.
“These efforts will help to accelerate the expansion of education particularly to older children, make the content of education more relevant for refugees and allow us to more comprehensively meet the educational wishes of the Rohingya people,” the UN said.