UNICEF takes initiative to spread education in Burmese refugee camps

Tuesday, 08 September 2009 10:37
Teknaf, Cox’s Bazaar: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been taking the initiative for spreading education in two Burmese refugee camps under the Cox’s Bazaar district in Bangladesh, since September 6, Monaf, a schoolteacher from the Nayapara camp said.
The project has been put into practice in two refugee camps—Nayapara and Kutupalong—through Research, Training and Management, or RTM international supported by UNICEF.

In these refugee camps, there exists only non-formal education till class five. After that, the students have no scope of further education. Parents of students have wanted formal education with all subjects for their children, for a long time and had frequently requested the concerned authorities, who sometimes visited the camps.

There are about 19 primary schools in two camps, 9 in Nayapara and 10 in Kutupalong with over 10,000 students, who have been studying in these two camps with the support of over 124 teachers, including women teachers, said another schoolteacher Kafayet Ullah from the camp.

However, on September 6, more than 10,000 students from both camps, aged from 8 to 13, appeared for a non-formal primary education class final examination. Over 5,600 students were from the Nayapara camp, while over 4,400 students were from the Kutupalong camp. This exam will be completed on September 9. The students have to appear for five subjects such as, Bengali, English, Social Science, Burmese and Math.

UNICEF will support this program for three years and all the students will be expected to complete class three level educations within a three year period, Master Amir Hakim said.

After the examination, another grade will commence with non-formal and formal classes. But, play-group and pre-primary students will not be included. Among over 10,000 students, there are 1,392 students from play group and 1,400 students from nursery.

If formal education with all subjects, is introduced along with experienced teachers to aid the process, the children of the refugees, will one day lead their community in a proper way, said an old refugee, from the Nayapara camp.

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