Ten thousand Rohingya refugee children living in the Cox’s Bazar camps will have enrolled in a UNICEF programme that teaches the national curriculum of their home country of Myanmar by the end of May.
Launched in November 2021, the Myanmar Curriculum Pilot seeks to ensure the fundamental right to education for Rohingya children and will prepare them for their return to Myanmar, UNICEF said in a statement, reports bdnews24.com.
“There is a tremendous demand for education among Rohingya refugee children, and UNICEF and partners are on the ground in the camps, responding to that demand,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF representative to Bangladesh.
Over 400,000 Rohingya children of school age live in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. About 300,000 of them are attending 3,400 learning centres organised by UNICEF and its partners.
Most of the children have been studying under the Learning Competency Framework Approach, an emergency informal learning system that caters primarily to children aged 4-14. However, the new Myanmar Curriculum Pilot is based on the national curriculum in their home country and aims to provide Rohingya refugees with a formal, standardised education. It also hopes to provide schooling to older children who have been unable to access education.
The initial pilot targets 10,000 children in grades six to nine. This would usually cover the 11-14 age group, but, due to many Rohingya children having fallen behind on their studies, most of those enrolled are between 14-16 years of age. UNICEF plans to scale up this project and eventually teach all school-aged children the new curriculum by 2023.
Despite the efforts of UNICEF, approximately 100,000 Rohingya refugee children of school age are not attending school. UNICEF says it is reaching out to these children and working to remove the obstacles to their education.
“We need to do all we can to give these children hope, to provide them with education, to prepare them for their futures in Myanmar. UNICEF will continue to work with the Rohingya refugee community, the Government of Bangladesh and partners until every refugee child is reached with quality education,” said Sheldon Yett.