Arakanese Matriculates Dream Tertiary Education in Refugee Camps

By October 20, 2017 17:35

Arakanese Matriculates Dream Tertiary Education in Refugee Camps

Southern Cox’s Bazar: Living in makeshifts with every kind of miseries, many Rohingya matriculates have not yet given up dreaming higher studies who have been stripped of the right and access to education in their ancestral fatherland of Arakan by the Burmese government.

There are thousands of Rohingya fresh matriculates who were banned from joining university and collegians who were not allowed to complete their studies.

One of the systematic genocidal means Myanmar has adopted against this miserable minority is deprivation of education aiming at disqualifying new generation of this people and blaming them of illegal migration if they can’t speak Burmese well, as is done.

Besides other violations of fundamental human rights, Rohingya education has also a dark history over the time. In addition to unavailability of sufficient educational facilities, lack of quality education, institutionalized discrimination, and imposition of restrictions in both basic and higher education from time to time, finally in 2012 the students were totally banned from university studies.

In the first step in eighties, Arakanese Rohingya students were not allowed to travel to the universities outside Arakan state other than Sittwe University, the only university in Arakan – their admissions were confined to this university and they were granted only the majors available there though their grades were high.

In the second step in nineties, the Muslim students were not admitted to the professional universities and faculties like medical science, engineering, technology, computer science, etc.

In the 10s of the new millennium, the Myanmar government had upgraded its restrictions against Rohingya students and they were allowed to apply to arts specializations only like History, Burmese, English, etc.

Finally in 2012, higher studies were totally closed to these Rohingya students, and the Sittwe University was locked for them.

Since that, thousands of matriculates who passed the matriculation examination facing various challenges like poverty, violations, persecutions, restrictions and discriminations in every aspect of life were stuck in this stage of the life journey.

In addition, this situation discouraged the younger generation in pursuing the basic studies and hardworking there.

Since 2012 the private education system called madrasa education has been banned, and even tuition classes, home studies, Qur’an learning cycles were outlawed.

“Burma has intentionally closed all the educational institutions in order to disqualify and demoralize the new generation of our minority. The moral foundation of this people is almost destroyed.” says Mohammad Saleh, an educator from Arakan taking refuge currently in Bangladesh, adding “Since 2012 it has been more than half a decade that there is not a single graduate in public education nor in madrasah education.”

Another expert views this situation from the social perspective who worries that “if this situation continues more few years, there will not be anybody to lead the society. Those educated peoples still play the role of spiritual leaders and social leaders.  But very soon the society is going to be led by illiteracy, and the social future is feared to be worse.”

Here is one of the victim of Buddhist aggression, Maung Maung Myint, who passed the matriculation examination 2016 under Myanmar Examination Board achieving the first position in Maungdaw District, and received some honorary awards of excellence from the local authorities and civil societies. Unfortunately, he has been driven out of his village to refugee camps like others and is looking for a future chance to achieve his final goal in life.

Myint belongs to an educated family in Balibazar led by his pharmacist father and the family is currently passing refugee life inside a makeshift. As he could not join university after his great success in matriculation, the most he has done is an alternate name in Facebook “a dreamer of university” in Burmese.

Ahkter Husin is another victim of Burma’s discriminatory policy. He is from Atta Pyuma village of Northern Maungdaw. Though he completed his matriculation successfully in 2012, the university studies still remain a dream and Husin is not sure to what extent his dream will come true. He says “providing us with educational opportunities will be far better than any benevolence else.”

Husin is a member of Educated Rohingya Youth Forum, through which he likes to be engaged in educational activities out of his love for students and studies.

The literacy rate among Rohingya minority is very low. Education is a part of the solution to their problem. If we wait to provide them educational facilities until the solution of their problem, the society will no longer realize the importance of that education.



By October 20, 2017 17:35

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