International support is vital for countries like Bangladesh to make the shift to inclusive education ensuring education for Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, said a new global report today.
Bangladesh, the report published by UNESCO says, is one of only two countries in the list of top 10 host countries not to provide inclusive education to refugees though Bangladesh officially does not term Rohingyas as refugees.
Some 93 percent of the education sector’s US$26 million requirement for the Rohingya emergency in Bangladesh was not met in 2017, while the food security sector exceeded its target.
The 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report – Building bridges, not walls – published by UNESCO, analysed the impact of the movement of people on education systems but also the impact education can have supporting societies to respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by migration and displacement.
Among the top 10 countries hosting refugees, Bangladesh has so far excluded Rohingyas from its national education system, while Pakistan has had an ambivalent stance, says the report mentioning that even there, one of the provinces, Balochistan includes refugees in its education plan.
Between the end of August 2017 and early May 2018 around 800,000 Rohingyas arrived in Cox’s Bazar district fleeing targeted violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar.
Over 90 percent resides in spontaneous and makeshift settlements or host communities in over 1,600 locations in the Cox’s Bazar, a district close to the Myanmar border.
The government of Bangladesh also has come a long way in changing its approach, the report observed.
For decades, Bangladesh refused to recognize the majority of Rohingya residing in the country since 1978 as refugees.
Bangladesh, according to the report, was reluctant about addressing their education needs, did not accept international assistance, to the extent that it would dismantle centres set up by humanitarian organisations, and it was sensitive on the language of instruction.
In 2016, Bangladesh revised its Strategy for Myanmar Refugees and Undocumented Myanmar Nationals, listing education as an intervention area for the first time.
This encouraged humanitarian efforts and sensitised local authorities before the massive influx.
The report has not only listed problems but also collected evidence from all over the world about changes of heart. It mentioned that governments are rapidly embracing the inclusion of refugees in their education systems.