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Momen: Rohingya children must be educated in their own language

  • Published at 07:50 pm August 12th, 2021
Rohingya children
Rohingya youngsters learning at the centre Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The foreign minister expressed concern that the lack of education for Rohingyas may lead to radicalization and extremism

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has reiterated Bangladesh's position to provide education to Rohingya children sheltered in the country only in Rohingya language under Myanmar curricula.

"This [education] must be done in Rohingya language under Myanmar curricula so that once they return, they can be reintegrated in Myanmar," Dr Momen conveyed to Karina Gould, Canadian minister of international development, during his recent virtual meeting. 

Also Read - Bangladesh vaccinates Rohingya refugees against Covid-19

He also said that Canada should first introduce her education program in Rakhine State where nearly 600,000 Rohingyas are in IDP camps. 

"Once the education and teaching program appears to be successful in Rakhine state, only then they can introduce the program amongst the Rohingyas stranded in Bangladesh," he added.

In response to the Canadian minister’s call for providing education to Rohingya children in Bangladesh, Momen came up with Bangladesh’s position, stating that Bangladesh also wants to provide education to Rohingyas.

Dr Momen reiterated Bangladesh’s proposal that the UNHCR can recruit teachers from Myanmar for this. 

He also underscored that if education, health and pathway to citizenship for remaining Rohingyas in Rakhine state can be ensured by the UN by investing more resources there, this would encourage displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to return to their homeland. 

Also Read - Rohingya children find refuge in education

Dr Momen expressed concern that the lack of education and other rights for Rohingyas may lead to radicalization and extremism, and thus this is important to resolve the crisis at the earliest.

The Canadian minister recalled that Canada has already provided medicine and oxygen concentrator support to Bangladesh through UNICEF and some NGOs, and stated that such assistance including vaccine support may come in the future. 

Informing that Bangladesh has commenced vaccinating displaced Rohingyas over 55 years numbering around 48,000, Dr Momen highlighted the fact that not a single Rohingya person in Bangladesh has so far died due to Covid-19.

He also underscored, depicting the natural hazards that Kutupalong camps have been facing, that the facilities in Bhasan Char are far better.

“The UN and international community need to come forward to support the humanitarian operations in Bhashan Char as soon as possible.”

The foreign minister thanked Canada for its consistent political and humanitarian support for the displaced and persecuted Rohingyas, including for the genocide case ongoing in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

Mentioning that the repatriation of displaced Rohingyas remains as the priority for Bangladesh and also of the Rohingyas themselves, he urged Canada to take a leadership role in this regard. 

Thanking for Canada’s political support to the ICJ case by Gambia on the alleged genocide against Rohingyas, Momen requested Canada to come forward to assist Gambia through making financial support for the proceeding of the case.