Tuesday, 27 September, 2022

Rohingya children to learn in mother tongue in 50 centres

After being forcibly displaced from their homeland in Rakhine state of Myanmar, it was like a dream for the Rohingya children to get the opportunity to learn in their mother tongue.

Considering the limited access of the displaced Rohingya children to education, the Nippon Foundation donated US$ 2 million support for them. BRAC has launched a project with the amount to ensure educational facilities for the Rohingya children.

Under the US$ 2 million project, BRAC will build 50 steel-structured two-storey learning centres at the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to provide educational facilities for the Rohingya children. This project aims to ensure educational access for 8,000 Rohingya children aged between 4 and 14 years there. The Nippon Foundation is also supporting BRAC to open and run 100 pre-primary centres for 3,000 host community children aged between 5 and 6 years with this funding.

Having learning space in the crisis settlements of Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas is the most crucial in Cox’s Bazar. Now this project will ensure the Rohingya children’s access to education.

As the host community in Ukhya, Teknaf and Ramu upazilas of Cox’s Bazar is under significant stress, the project targets 3,000 host community children age 5-6 years to get pre-primary education from the BRAC operated learning centres to prepare them for primary education. Parents and community engagement will be prioritized to select the location of centres and those will be established on the community premises.

“I visited the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to see what was happening there and the ground reality. When I was there, I found the situation much more serious,” chairman of The Nippon Foundation Yohei Sasakawa told a recent function in the city.

“I have seen the refugee camps from Myanmar side and Bangladesh side as well. And as a result, I actually saw how diffident the situation is. And under such a diffident situation, the Bangladesh government is trying to provide humanitarian aid (to the displaced Rohingyas),” he said.

Sasakawa, also WHO goodwill ambassador, said considering the present circumstances, women and children are the most vulnerable in the conflict-prone areas across the world and “that is why we need to provide support to women and children”. “With the partnership with BRAC, we will be able to provide more humanitarian support,” he added.

BRAC Executive Director Asif Saleh said about 55 percent of the displaced Rohingyas staying in Cox’s Bazar are children and they have very limited access to education. Apart from facilitating education to the Rohingya children, he said, this project will support 3,000 children of the host community as they are also very vulnerable and have limited access to education. “Rohingya children will learn in their mother tongue in these learning centres in Cox’s Bazar,” he added.

In Myanmar, the majority of them have no legal identity or citizenship. In Bangladesh, their children are not being registered at birth. So, they lack a legal identity, and they lack a refugee status. Until conditions in Myanmar leads to their eligible repatriation, the Rohingya children remain status-less minority. This excludes these children from getting a formal education curriculum and they are desperately in need of marketable skills.

The results of a survey completed in December 2018 on 180,000 Rohingya children ages 4-14 showed the extent of the need for education.