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PM: Invest in Myanmar for Rohingya children’s education

  • Published at 12:04 pm September 25th, 2018
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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina attends a roundtable organized by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Conference Room-11 of the United Nations (UN) Headquarters on Monday, September 24, 2018 Focus Bangla

She stated this at a roundtable with the Canadian prime minister at United Nations headquarters on Monday

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the international community to invest in Myanmar, as well as Bangladesh, so that Rohingya children can enjoy their fundamental human rights – including education,– upon their return to their homeland.

The prime minister was addressing a roundtable titled, “Investment for Education of Women and Girls,” organized by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Conference Room-11 of the United Nations (UN) Headquarters on Monday, reports UNB.

Speaking at the event, she said: “We are thankful to the international community for their support in providing education for the Rohingya children in Bangladesh. 

“I call upon them to also invest in Myanmar so that these children can enjoy their rights, including the right to education, upon their return to Myanmar.”

She also proposed considering three critically-important factors to address the needs of children’s education in the conflict-affected context—looking into their psycho-social needs; providing them with informal and life-skill based special learning facilities; and giving them education in line with their culture, ethnicity, and language.

“We’ve to understand that these children fleeing conflict, ethnic cleansing, and genocide are carrying a heavy psychological trauma, they can’t be expected to accustom themselves to a normal school setting as the forcibly displaced Rohingya children are now living in a different cultural setting,” she said.

The prime minister said that such an education will help them keep their original identity and prepare them for their life ahead once they return to their homeland.

Adding that many people around the world are confronting violence, she said: “Terrorism and violent extremism are uprooting people from their homeland. More than 65 million people remain displaced and the number is increasing every day. A majority of them are women and children.”

Sheikh Hasina said the issue of these refugees and forcibly displaced people is sensitive and delicate. 

“They’re traumatised, destitute and carrying horrific experiences of violence and atrocities. Many of these communities have suffered oppression and discrimination for decades in their homeland,” she said at the discussion.

Terming Bangladesh a peace-loving country, she said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman fought against violence, deprivation, and inequality.

“Unfortunately, we’re bearing the brunt of violence in another country. Currently, Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. They’ve fled violence and ‘genocide’ in Myanmar—where they lived for centuries,” said Sheikh Hasina.

The prime minister mentioned that the Rohingyas have been subjected to discriminatory state policies over decades and they are deprived of their rights to education, healthcare, and freedom of movement. “They’re even stripped of their citizenship,” she said.

“As they were fleeing atrocities in Myanmar, we opened our border for them and stood beside them. Our people opened their houses and shared their food during the most critical phase,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said around 55% of the Rohingyas hosted in Bangladesh are children.

She added that 1,106 learning centres have been established in partnership with Unicef to impart an informal education to these Rohingya children. 

“These centres are providing psycho-social support and basic life-skills training to one hundred and thirty-six thousand Rohingya children,” she said.

The prime minister said they will continue their efforts to add new learning centres and distribute learning kits to the children. 

“We’ve to bear in mind that the children fleeing conflict are in dire condition. They’re devastated and lost. They require special attention,” she concluded.