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Glimpses of Light in Darkness: Rohingya Students Shine in University Entrance Exam

By M.S. Anwar – Opinion Editorial

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Rohingya Students Studying in an IDP Camp in Sittwe in an Squalid Condition. Yet, they are accused of not having tendency of learning.

They are discriminated. They are oppressed. They are segregated in schools. They are not taught in schools. And they are not provided study materials. Yet, they have done the unthinkable and made us proud. Above all, they have won a psychological war over their oppressors. I am not talking about anyone but Rohingya students that have passed University Entrance Examination or Matriculation Examination with flying colours in all examination boards wheresoever they had been allowed to sit for exams. And they belong to a community that is considered to be one of the world’s most persecuted people and is subjected to Genocide.

University Entrance Exam Result Day that normally falls in June is a day that every student in Myanmar anxiously waits for. Today, on June 7, 2014 morning, their wait was over. The results of University Entrance Examinations that took place last March were out today. Several Rohingya students, whose community was arbitrarily accused by sociopath President Thein Sein of not having tendency to pursue education, passed with flying colours. They have outshined Rakhines and their students in terms of education. They have broken the barriers put against their education to prove that the allegations made against them are absolutely baseless. Above all, it is a great moral boost for Rohingya people.

Mohammed Yusouf, a Top Scorer

There are almost 200 students that have passed the examination in Maungdaw and Kyeing Chaung (Bawli Bazaar) Examination Boards. So are 117 students in Buthidaung Examination. Of them, majority are Rohingyas. Among the distinction scorers, seventy percent are Rohingya students in Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships combined. And the top scorers in both townships are Rohingyas. (Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships are places where Rohingyas still have access to High School neglecting the discriminations, harassment and oppressions.)

There are six subjects or papers compulsory to be answered in the exam. In Maungdaw, out of six subjects, two Rohingya students –Mohammed Yusouf and Ma Thida Aung- scored five distinctions, one student –Abdul Rahman- scored Four Distinctions, another -Zainal Mustafa- scored three distinctions respectively. Besides, many more students passed with two distinctions and one once distinction.  In Buthidaung Township as well, top scorers –one with four distinctions and two with three distinctions- are also Rohingyas. The most amazing thing is that two students –Maung Maung Soe and Ma Tin Aung- from an open prison called Aung Mingalar Quarter in Sittwe (Akyab) Township passed the examination. One of the two students, Maung Maung Soe- even had two distinctions. Similar stories all over Arakan! Wherever Rohingya students were allowed to sit for exams!!

Yes, Rohingya students have proven what they can do amidst the extreme oppression. They have made us proud, feel happy and most importantly, gave us another reason why we need to continue our struggles. Now, it is up to us to polish them, groom them and push them on the stage they deserve. We know for a fact that the future of the students is still in limbo. Myanmar Government and Rakhine State Government will hinder them from pursuing further studies as they have been doing it for decades.

We must take their responsibilities for they are our futures, our leaders and our nation builders. Let’s not just sell their names for self-fish purposes. Let’s not create another tough and troublesome situation for our students in the name of providing higher education like it is happening in Sudan. Let’s do something genuine and make them our leaders.

Last but not the least; we would like to congratulate all the students for making us proud and showing glimpses of light and hope in darkness. May God bless you all! I wish you can achieve your goals and success follows you.


M.S. Anwar is a student, analyst and reporter on Arakan. He can be reached at: