Thursday, 15 April, 2021

PM suggests special education measures for traumatized Rohingya children

Published on: 10:46 pm - Tuesday | September 25, 2018


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed special measures for traumatized children’s education particularly of Rohingya kids considering three “critically important factors” against the backdrop of their shocking experiences as she joined a high level meet on girls’ education here.

“Firstly, we have to understand that these children fleeing conflict, ethnic cleansing and genocide are carrying heavy psychological trauma. We have to look into their psycho-social needs,” she told the roundtable organized by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the UNGA summit sidelines.

The Bangladesh premier said these children should not be expected to accustom themselves in a normal school setting and “hence, they need to be provided with informal and life skill-based special learning facilities.”

“Thirdly, forcibly displaced Rohingya children are now living in a different cultural setting. These children need to be given education in line with their own culture, ethnicity and language,” she said.

Sheih Hasina insisted that such education would help them keep their original identity alongside preparing them for “their life ahead once they return to their homeland” addng that around 55 percent of the 1.1 Rohingyas who took makeshift refuge in Bangladesh were children.

The premier also urged the international community to invest in Myanmar, so the Rohingya children could enjoy their rights including the right to education upon their return there.

The roundtable, ‘Investment for education of women and girls’, was held at Conference Room 11 of the UN Headquarters on Monday afternoon local time, when the premier said Bangladesh was thankful to the international community for their support in providing education to the Rohingya children in Bangladesh.

“I (also) 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 said.

Sheikh Hasina said that many people around the world were confronting violence and terrorism that uprooted them from their homeland while despite being a peace-loving nation “unfortunately, we (Bangladesh) are bearing the brunt of violence in another country”. .

She, however, said such population displacement on the face of violence now appeared as a global phenomenon while “more than 65 million people remain displaced and the number is increasing every day (and) a majority of them are women and children”.

The premier said the issue of these refugees and forcibly displaced people are sensitive and delicate as “they are traumatized, destitute and carrying horrific experiences of violence and atrocities”.

Currently, she said, Bangladesh was hosting over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals who fled violence and ‘genocide’ in Myanmar, “where they lived for centuries”.

She mentioned that the Rohingyas have been subject to discriminatory state policies over decades as “they were deprived of their rights to education, healthcare and freedom of movement (while) they were even stripped of their citizenship”.

The premier said Bangladesh opened its border as they fled for life and stood beside them adding “our people opened their houses and shared their food during the most critical phase”. “Eleven hundred and six learning centres have been established in partnership with the UNICEF for imparting informal education to these Rohingya children,” she said.

She said these centres are providing psycho-social support and basic life skill training to one hundred and thirty-six thousand Rohingya children.

“We are continuing our efforts in adding new learning centres and distributing learning kits to the children. We have to bear in mind that the children fleeing conflict are in dire condition. They are devastated and lost. They require special attention,” she said.