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Speakers: Rohingya children should get education in their own language

  • Published at 07:10 am September 9th, 2021
Rohingya children
Rohingya youngsters learning at the centre Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

If they want to achieve their rights they need to fight with education, not weapons, they said

Rohingya children should be educated in their own language as they need to cope up with their life in Myanmar in future after getting repatriated, speakers said at a webinar

They were speaking at a webinar titled, ‘Education for Rohingya children’ organized by PEN Bangladesh, on Wednesday, marking International Literacy Day. 

Masum Billah, of the Out of School Education Program of Brac, said the Rohingya children need to get educated in their vernacular language or in English.

“They will learn Bangla naturally as they are living here.  However, the medium of their schooling should not be Bangla. They should get educated in English or in their own language in schools. That will help them in the long run,” he said.

He also said, Brac is running 700 learning centers in the camps; however, young adults do not have many opportunities to study in the camps. “Only two schools are there for secondary education,”  

However, there are some religious schools in the camps but some children do not want to go there, according to the Brac official.

File photo shows some Rohingya children |  Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

“They are more eager to go to learning centers as they can have cultural activities like drawing, singing and dancing there,” he told the webinar.

Journalist Israt Jahan Urmi said the people who had a traumatic childhood are more prone to get involved in criminal activities later in their lives but education can save them.

“Children need education to keep them occupied. When they get repatriated, they need to go back with institutionalized education,” she said. 

Security analyst AK Mohammed Ali Sikder said the Rohingya children should learn their vernacular language and need to be educated about their culture and heritage. 

“If they want to achieve their rights they need to fight with education, not weapons,” said the retired Bangladesh Army major general.

PEN Bangladesh Vice-President Biswajit Ghosh, who presided over the webinar, said: “Literacy is a human rights issue and Rohingya children should not be deprived of it just because they were displaced from their homeland.” 

Researcher Gouranga Mohanta said: “If we can plan the right kind of education program, implementation would not be a real challenge.”

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