For a generation of Rohingya, M’sia’s their only home

Arifa
By Arifa January 18, 2016 10:11

For a generation of Rohingya, M’sia’s their only home

“I learned to read and speak in Bahasa Malaysia from my friends when we lived in a Malay village in Kemaman (Terengganu). I wanted to study more and become a policewoman but I never got the chance,” recalled 19-year-old Rohingya refugee Hamida Mohamed Yosuf.

Hamida is one of the 150,000 Rohingyas who call Malaysia home, their families having settled here after fleeing from persecution in Myanmar.

While they have managed to scrape together a semblance of life for themselves here, many yearn for the opportunities that education and legal recognition of their status would bring.

Malaysia’s public education system is one of the country’s success stories, chalking up a literacy rate of 90 percent. But Rohingya refugees, however long they may have been in the country, do not have access to government-funded schools.

“To get good jobs, you need education. I never had that but I tried to send my eldest son in a government school. They wouldn’t take him. They said only children with an identity card can enrolled,” said her brother Nur Islam.

However, he did manage to get his 11-year-old son into a religious school in Rawang run by Rohingyas, paying a fee of RM150 a month.

Their father Noor Mahamad said that he had tried to send his children to school but the authorities told him to first get a letter from the Home Ministry.

“But back then I was always working, trying to make a living so I never had the opportunity to do that,” he said. For a generation of Rohingya, M’sia’s their only home

“I learned to read and speak in Bahasa Malaysia from my friends when we lived in a Malay village in Kemaman (Terengganu). I wanted to study more and become a policewoman but I never got the chance,” recalled 19-year-old Rohingya refugee Hamida Mohamed Yosuf.

Hamida is one of the 150,000 Rohingyas who call Malaysia home, their families having settled here after fleeing from persecution in Myanmar.

While they have managed to scrape together a semblance of life for themselves here, many yearn for the opportunities that education and legal recognition of their status would bring.

Malaysia’s public education system is one of the country’s success stories, chalking up a literacy rate of 90 percent. But Rohingya refugees, however long they may have been in the country, do not have access to government-funded schools.

“To get good jobs, you need education. I never had that but I tried to send my eldest son in a government school. They wouldn’t take him. They said only children with an identity card can enrolled,” said her brother Nur Islam.

However, he did manage to get his 11-year-old son into a religious school in Rawang run by Rohingyas, paying a fee of RM150 a month.

Their father Noor Mahamad said that he had tried to send his children to school but the authorities told him to first get a letter from the Home Ministry.

“But back then I was always working, trying to make a living so I never had the opportunity to do that,” he said.

Source: Malaysiakini

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Arifa
By Arifa January 18, 2016 10:11

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