Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the international community to invest in Myanmar so that the Rohingya children can enjoy their rights including the right to education upon their return to Myanmar.
Hasina made the call from a roundtable discussion organised by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on ‘Investment for education of women and girls’ at the UN Headquarters, New York on Monday.
“We are thankful to the international community for their support in providing education to the Rohingya children in Bangladesh. I call upon them to also invest in Myanmar, so that these children can enjoy their rights including the right to education upon their return to Myanmar,” she said.
To address the needs of children’s education in conflict affected context, the prime minister proposed to consider three critically important factors.
“First, we have to understand that these children fleeing conflict, ethnic cleansing and genocide are carrying heavy psychological trauma. We have to look into their psycho-social needs,” she said.
Secondly, she said, the children fleeing conflict and ethnic cleansing cannot be expected to accustom themselves in a normal school setting. Hence, they need to be provided with informal and life skill-based special learning facilities.
And third, forcibly displaced Rohingya children are now living in a different cultural setting. These children need to be given education in line with their own culture, ethnicity and language, she added.
Hasina said, “Such education will help them keep their original identity. This will also prepare them for their life ahead once the return to their homeland,” reports bdnews24.
Prime Minister said many people around the world are confronting violence.
“Terrorism and violent extremism are uprooting people from their homeland. More than 65 million people remain displaced and the number is increasing every day. A majority of them are women and children,” she said.
“The issue of these refugees and forcibly displaced people is sensitive and delicate. They are traumatized, destitute and carrying horrific experiences of violence and atrocities. Many of these communities have suffered oppression and discrimination for decades in their homeland.”
Describing Bangladesh as a peace-loving nation, Hasina said that her father, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, fought against violence, deprivation and inequality.
“Unfortunately, we are bearing the brunt of violence in another country. Currently, Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. They have fled violence and ‘Genocide’ in Myanmar, where they lived for centuries.”
Highlighting that the Rohingyas had been subject to discriminatory state policies over decades, the prime minister said, “They were deprived of their rights to education, healthcare and freedom of movement. They were even stripped of their citizenship.”
“As they were fleeing atrocities in Myanmar, we opened our border for them and stood beside them. Our people opened their houses and shared their food during the most critical phase.”
Around 55 percent of the Rohingyas hosted in Bangladesh are children, according to Hasina.
Bangladesh in partnership with the UNICEF established 1,106 learning centres for imparting informal education to these Rohingya children.
These centres are providing psycho-social support and basic life skill training to one hundred and thirty-six thousand Rohingya children.
“We are continuing our efforts in adding new learning centres and distributing learning kits to the children. We have to bear in mind that the children fleeing conflict are in dire condition. They are devastated and lost. They require special attention,” said Hasina.
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