The Cox's Bazar CSO-NGO Forum (CCNF), a platform of local NGOs and civil societies, on Saturday called upon all concerned to take up special rehabilitation programmes for local educational institutions and students in Cox's Bazar affected by the Rohingya influx.
In a press release, the network of 50 local NGOs and civil society organisations active in the promotion of development and human rights in Cox's Bazar, made the call ahead of the International education day, which will be observed on Sunday.
It also recommended the introduction of education for Rohingyas with Myanmar curriculum to make Rohingya repatriation sustainable.
According to the press release, some local education institutions were initially used as temporary barracks for military personnel at the beginning of the Rohingya influx in 2017, and many Rohingyas also took refuge in various institutions. As a result, these institutions shut down their activities for a few months.
Many students stopped going to school because of the increasing number of people and the huge congestion of vehicles used in relief programmes. Many college students and teachers got the opportunity to join the various organisations involved in the relief programme. From one school, seven out of ten teachers quit and joined another job.
The statement stated that only 2.6 percent of global relief programme has been allocated to the education sector.
The CCNF said although Rohingya children aged 6-14 years have been included in the non-formal education programme initiated by the Bangladesh government and various organisations, 83 percent of adolescents and youth aged 15-24 years do not participate in any education programme.
Education programmes up to level 1-4 are currently being conducted for more than 300,000 children and adolescents in approximately 6,000 learning centres. There is a sense of frustration among students and their parents about the lack of educational opportunities for those over 15 years of age and the lack of education in the Myanmar curriculum.
Pressurising Myanmar for resolving Rohingya crisis
Rohingyas want to return to their homeland, but there is also enough interest in higher education among students. But students have been deprived of their regular studies for the last three years. They fear that their educational life will become uncertain if they return.
The CCNF’s recommendations include infrastructural development of local educational institutions, recruitment of skilled and trained teachers should be ensured and stakeholders including donors should come forward to ensure special incentives for local students. Technical curriculum in local education and establishment of technical college can be effective in this regard.
Diplomatic initiatives are needed to ensure that the Rohingya curriculum and that educational activity adopted here are recognised by the Government of Myanmar. The international communities, including the UN, need to put pressure on Myanmar.
The CCNF urged the UN and international donors to take effective action to ensure the recruitment of adequate teachers and training for them. Many Rohingyas are educated in Cox's Bazar camps and they can be trained as teachers.
Involvement of local and foreign educators in the creation of a new and effective curriculum and teacher training is needed. Our universities can play an important role in this respect, the CCNF says.