Save the Children is calling for an urgent and significant scale up of education programming for Rohingya children living in Bangladesh’s overcrowded refugee camps, ahead of the UN leadership’s most high-profile visit to Cox’s Bazar to date.
Over 70 percent of school-aged Rohingya children are currently out of school in Bangladesh – most of them arrived after violence, killing and sexual assault broke out in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State on August 25 last year.
“More than 327,000 Rohingya children are currently out of school in Cox’s Bazar. They are being deprived of the right to learn basic skills like reading and writing, which would empower them to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. This is setting an entire generation of children up for a very bleak future,” said Save the Children’s Country Director in Bangladesh, Mark Pierce.
“Education isn’t an optional luxury; it’s a lifesaving intervention. It brings hope and opportunity to children, providing them with a return to familiar routines while helping to alleviate the psychosocial impact of violence and displacement.”
Mr Pierce said that of the Rohingya children who have access to informal learning opportunities in the camps, most attend sessions that run for just two hours per day, and often at levels far below their age grade. He emphasised the need for quality education to help refugee children catch up.
“As the UN Secretary General, UN high Commissioner for Refugees and President of the World Bank visit the camps today and witness the grim conditions Rohingya children are living in, we urge them to do everything in their power to scale up the provision of quality education in the camps and give children hope for the future.
“We are also urging the Government of Bangladesh to recognise the right of Rohingya refugee children to education, and ensure that they have access to safe, quality and inclusive learning opportunities while they are displaced.
“We continue to call for a long-lasting solution to the crisis that allows for safe, dignified and voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya, which respects the basic rights of children and their families and is underpinned by international law.”
With the support of the Bangladesh Government, Save the Children is running nearly 100 centres that support children’s learning and wellbeing in their mother tongue, Rohingya, in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918 for interviews.