Half a million Rohingya children yet to see inside of classroom: Amnesty

Rohingya children stand in a queue at a registration camp in Cox’s Bazar. File Photo: Reuters
Rohingya children stand in a queue at a registration camp in Cox’s Bazar. File Photo: Reuters

Star Online Report
The international community must not shirk its responsibility to the education of Rohingya children in Bangladesh Cox’s Bazar camps, Amnesty International has said ahead of the first Global Refugee Forum.

More than half a million children have yet to the see the inside of a classroom since they arrived in the refugee camps more than two years ago, the global rights body said in a press statement yesterday.

The Global Refugee Forum, which is being hosted by the UN’s refugee agency in Geneva and takes place from 16-18 December, has made the education of one of its six key themes.

“The Rohingya children in the camps in Cox’s Bazar must not become a lost generation. The international community must accept that they will not be able to return home to Myanmar anytime soon. And they cannot continue to see their futures slowly stolen from them in conditions where they are being denied their right to education,” said Saad Hammadi, South Asia Campaigner at Amnesty International.

“When a child receives an education, everyone benefits. Both Bangladesh and the international community must step up and share the responsibility of educating all children of Rohingya refugees and the host community as well.”

The host community in Cox’s Bazar suffers both from a shortage of teachers as they seek better-paying jobs often in humanitarian agencies and high student dropout rates due to pressure on children to enter the workforce early to meet the higher cost of living as household incomes continue to fall.

According to an assessment by the Inter Sector Coordination Group in October 2019, nearly third of 1,311 households have at least one primary or secondary school-aged child, who was not attending school in Cox’s Bazar.

The 2019 Joint Response Plan for Rohingya refugees and the host community in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh received only 40 per cent of the funding requirement for education out of US$ 59.9 million required as of October.

Humanitarian officials fear that the funding for education may decline further in 2020.

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