Ahead of the International Day of Education, the Cox's Bazar CSO-NGO Forum (CCNF) has called upon all concerned to undertake special rehabilitation programmes for local educational institutions and students in the district affected by the Rohingya influx.
In a press statement issued on Saturday, the network of 50 local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations active in the promotion of development and human rights in Cox's Bazar, also recommended the introduction of education for Rohingya children – aligned with Myanmar's curriculum – to facilitate Rohingya repatriation.
Many local educational institutions were initially used as temporary barracks for military personnel at the beginning of the Rohingya influx in 2017, and many Rohingyas took refuge in various institutions, the media statement said.
Consequently, these institutions shut down their activities for a few months.
Besides this, many local students stopped going to school in the face of increasing numbers of people and congestion created by vehicles used in relief programmes in those areas.
Due to many other related issues, the entire education system in the district is under threat, the media release read.
Although Rohingya children aged between six and 14 years are included in informal education programmes initiated by Bangladesh and other volunteer organisations, around 83% of adolescents and youth aged 15-24 years do not participate in an education programme, the press statement also said.
Further, there is frustration among Rohingya students and their parents about the lack of educational opportunities for those over 15 years and the lack of education in the Myanmar curriculum.
To address this issue, the CCNF made some recommendations.
Firstly, it recommended developing the infrastructure of local educational institutions, recruiting skilled and trained teachers as well as providing special incentives for local students.
Secondly, it highlighted the importance of enhancing diplomatic initiatives to ensure that the Rohingya curriculum and educational activity adopted in Cox's Bazar is recognised by Myanmar. It said the international community, including the United Nations, needs to put pressure on Myanmar.
Thirdly, it recommended the United Nations and other international donors ensure the recruitment of adequate numbers of teachers and provide training for them.
Fourth, it said the involvement of local and foreign educators in the creation of a new and effective curriculum, and teacher training, must be ensured.