Bangladesh to improve schools for Rohingya refugee children

Authorities in Bangladesh in partnership with the United Nations will expand educational programs for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugee children living in refugee camps who are currently receiving only basic lessons, officials said Wednesday.

The children, who fled with their families from neighboring Myanmar to the camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, now attend about 1,500 learning centers run by UNICEF that provide basic education, drawing and other fun activities.

 Under the new program starting in April, they will receive a formal education using a Myanmar curriculum from grade 6 to 9, the U.N. said in a statement.

The U.N. said initially 10,000 Rohingya children will be enrolled in a pilot program using the Myanmar curriculum.

About 400,000 Rohingya children currently live in the refugee camps, and global rights groups have been demanding that the Bangladesh government allow them to have a formal education.

More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017, when Myanmar’s military launched what it called clearance operations in Rakhine state in response to an attack by an insurgent group. Security forces have been accused of committing mass rapes, killings and burning thousands of homes. In total, more than 1 million Rohingya refugees currently live in Bangladesh.