STATE MINISTER for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossain on Thursday asked the NGOs to take permission before operating education centres at the Rohingya camps. Because the government has decided to provide only non-formal education to the Rohingya children, equivalent to Grade three, under which they would be taught basic Mathematics, English and the Burmese language. There is no permission to teach anything else in the camps. The State Minister said that the government has planned to set up new learning centres to impart education to the Rohingya children. These would be established and run with a $25 million World Bank grant under the government's Reaching Out-of-School Children project. UNICEF would develop and monitor the centres that would provide basic education to as many as 1.50 lakh Rohingya children at the two mega camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf. Learning materials would also be provided to the children free of cost. Training of the 1,500 selected teachers, from both local and Rohingya communities, has already begun under the supervision of UNICEF. As part of the World Bank project, pre-vocational training would be imparted to 8,500 local adolescents too in the eight upazilas of Cox's Bazar, who quit studies after completing primary education. Dropped out persons aged 15-23 years will get training in 22 categories-driving, housekeeping, sewing and others-for three months under the supervision of Save the Children. Portions of the grant would be spent on the psycho-social rehabilitation of an estimated two lakh Rohingyas and local children, the renovation of 100 government primary schools and the purchase of computers and other equipment at District Primary Education offices. Some NGOs are running freestyle education centres in the refugee camps since their arrival. But it is still not sure when the Rohingya refugees could return to their homeland. So any policy regarding refugee issue must be taken cautiously. It won't be wise to ensure their permanent residence here by fulfilling every basic need by spending a huge amount of money.Â
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