Rohingya children back to school

Child laughing and holding a little blackboard Child laughing and holding a little blackboard Photo by Akshayapatra on Pixabay

22 September 2021

Rohingya refugee children come back to school after the world’s longest school closure

According to Relief Web news, more than 164.000 Rohingya children in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh returned to learning centres today after one of the longest disruptions to schooling globally due to COVID-19. The same source reports the government’s announcement that learning centres could reopen for children in grades two to four after a drop in positive testing rates for COVID-19 nationally and in Cox’s Bazar to around 5% this week from over 30% in early August. Bangladeshi schools reopened on September 12 but Rohingya children were still waiting to resume their education.

Save the Children, with the help of Rohingya and Bangladeshi teachers, have provided education to Rohingya refugees and the host community at 100 learning centres in Cox’s Bazar camps since 2017, when almost one million Rohingya refugees fled Myanmar into Bangladesh. About 456.000 children are living among almost 900.000 refugees in the camps at Cox’s Bazar. Learning centres run by humanitarian agencies, which provide primary-level education for Rohingya refugee children, were closed 18 months ago. This closure was added to the severe discrimination and denial of their most basic rights that Rohingya children have been suffering until today. According to a report of Save The Children of June 2021, more than 700.000 Rohingya children across Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia are prevented from accessing quality education. This makes children vulnerable to their family’s choices to survive, like child labour and child marriage, and to heavier abuses such as trafficking and detention.

Save the Children welcomed the re-opening of learning centres but called on the government to allow other age groups to also return to their classrooms and for a pilot programme using the curriculum from Myanmar. Onno Van Manen, the Country Director of the Association in Bangladesh, said that efforts need to be re-doubled to provide quality education to Rohingya children and this can be also achieved through community outreach to convince families to send their children back to school.





Author: Jasmina Saric; Editor; Gianpaolo Mascaro 

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