The international community must not shirk its responsibility when it comes to the education of Rohingya children in the camps in Cox’s Bazar, Amnesty International said ahead of the first Global Refugee Forum.
More than half a million children have yet to the see the inside of a classroom since they arrived in the refugee camps more than two years ago.
The Global Refugee Forum, which is being hosted by the UN’s refugee agency in Geneva and takes place from 16-18 December, has made education of one its six key themes.
“The Rohingya children in the camps in Cox’s Bazar must not become a lost generation. The international community must accept that they will not be able to return home to Myanmar any time soon. And they cannot continue to see their futures slowly stolen from them in conditions where they are being denied their right to education,” said Saad Hammadi, South Asia Campaigner at Amnesty International.
“When a child receives an education, everyone benefits. Both Bangladesh and the international community must step up and share the responsibility of educating all children in Cox’s Bazar, Rohingya refugees and the host community as well. The Bangladesh government can start by lifting the restrictions on education for refugees currently in place.”
The host community in Cox’s Bazar suffers both from a shortage of teachers as they seek better paying jobs often in humanitarian agencies and high student dropout rates due in part to pressure on children to enter the workforce early to meet the higher cost of living as household incomes continue to fall.
According to a multi-sector needs assessment released by the Inter Sector Coordination Group in October 2019, nearly third of 1,311 households surveyed in Cox’s Bazar have at least one primary or secondary school aged child who was not attending school.
Access to appropriate accredited quality education is fundamental to equip the Rohingya children with knowledge that they can use to enjoy and claim their rights while also contributing to the economy irrespective of where they are.
“It is in everyone’s interests to see that all children in Cox’s Bazar receive a quality education as is their right. Education can lift entire communities. Far from being a burden on a national economy, it should be seen as an investment that will yield great dividends. But the denial of education can have very negative consequences,” said Saad, reports bdnews24.com.