Rohingya children walk in Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar of Bangladesh. Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugee children are deprived of formal education. (Photo: Stephan Uttom/UCA News)
Noor Sadek’s dream of getting an education and becoming a lawyer one day was crushed in late August 2017, when Myanmar's military launched a genocidal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state in response to attacks on security forces.
“I was a 10th-grader in a school in Maungdaw town that closed abruptly. We lived in hiding before we crossed the border into Bangladesh in November,” recalled Noor, now 17.
The seven-member family settled in Kutupalong camp, the largest of about 30 Rohingya refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. The camps altogether accommodate about one million Rohingya, most of whom fled Myanmar after the 2017 atrocities.
Noor’s parents hoped to get education for their five children in Bangladesh, which was fulfilled partially. “Only two younger siblings attend a child-friendly space for some basic education, but three of us including myself are unable to get any education. My friends also face the same situation,” Noor said.