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The Financial Express

UN lauds BD’s decision to expand education for Rohingya children

Published: January 29, 2020 14:01:17 | Updated: January 29, 2020 16:45:53


A child read a book in a make-shift school run by Rohingya teachers in Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on February 7, 2019 — Reuters/Files A child read a book in a make-shift school run by Rohingya teachers in Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on February 7, 2019 — Reuters/Files

The United Nations and humanitarian community have welcomed Bangladesh’s decision to expand access of education for Rohingya children and adolescents living in Cox’s Bazar camps.

“We believe this a positive step,” they said in a media statement after a recent meeting of the National Task Force chaired by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.

It is  a clear indication of the commitment by Bangladesh to ensure access to learning for Rohingya children and adolescents, as well as to equip them with the right skills and capacities for their future and return to Myanmar when the conditions allow, the statement read. 

In line with the government’s decision, the education sector for the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar now plans to pilot the introduction of the Myanmar curriculum in the Rohingya refugee camps starting in April, initially targeting 10,000 Rohingya students in grades 6 to 9. 

The use of the Myanmar curriculum will be expanded to other grades in phases, UNB citing the statement.

UN said these efforts will help to accelerate an 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”.

When conditions become conducive and refugees are able to return to Myanmar in a safe, dignified and sustainable way, these efforts will also help children reintegrate into the Myanmar education system and society, the UN said.

In Myanmar’s Rakhine State, the UN and partners will also continue to provide educational support and assistance to Rohingya and other affected communities, to the extent possible.

Till date, the Education Sector in Cox’s Bazar has provided informal education opportunities to 324,000 Rohingya children aged 4 to 14 years based on the Learning Competency Framework and Approach (LCFA). 

In addition, over 10,000 Rohingya adolescents aged 15 to 18 years have received literacy, numeracy, life-skills and vocational skills training.

Education plays a key role in every child’s development, but it is even more critical in the current situation of displacement for Rohingya children, adolescents and youths. 

Without adequate opportunities for learning and hope for the future, they will be more exposed to risks of trafficking, child marriage, exploitation and abuse, said the UN.

In the host communities, skills training have been provided for out-of-school Bangladeshi adolescents from among the poorest families.

Bangladeshi adolescents have also been enrolled in vocational training programmes, learning different practical and technical skills. 

Further to the Government’s decision, the humanitarian actors in Cox’s Bazar will now reinforce learning opportunities to children and youths in both the host communities and the camps.

The United Nations and humanitarian community are able to provide education for Rohingya children thanks to support from development partners, read the media statement. 

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