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Report: Mohammed Idris Abdullah (stringer)
Topic: Plan International is among the handful of agencies running learning centers in Kutupalong Camp 7, a community of 40,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas.
Translation summary: Since December, the aid group Plan International has operated a dozen youth and adolescent centers – six for boys and six for girls. Juma Akter, a mentor with the organization, said each center enrolls roughly 30 students. The students learn literacy basics and some life skills, including cleaning.
The centers face challenges, Akter said. Some families do not permit their daughters to attend, and some students think they should be paid to take classes.
Jorina Begum is one of the teachers. Now 28 and a native of Myanmar’s Buthidaung Township, she instructs 28 girls. Her students are glad to have the chance to learn, she said, but they also want access to a Burmese high school curriculum.
By June, UNICEF plans to introduce a pilot program to expand formal schooling in Bangladesh camps. It will begin offering a Burmese curriculum in grades six through nine, starting with 10,000 students. To date, most Rohingya youths have been restricted to learning centers offering lessons through the second-grade level in English, mathematics, Burmese and life skills.
2-way report: Mohammed Rukon Uddin in Cox’s Bazar
Topic: Rohingyas living near Shamlapur Camp 23 feel the strain of rising rents.
Translation summary: Approximately 11,000 Rohingyas live in or near Shamlapur Camp 23 in Cox’s Bazar district. Those who live in the camp don’t pay for shelter. But many live in the host community, where they pay annual rent to property owners. Those owners have raised rates substantially over time, some renters say. “ We chose this place as this is better to live,” said Mohammad Ayub, a Rohingya who said his annual rent jumped to 4,000 taka ($47.30) from 3,000 ($35.50) the previous year. “Increasing rent this way will causes us burden.”
Another renter, Abul Hashim, said he chose Shamlapur because it’s “close to our homeland” of Myanmar but closer to the Bay of Bengal coast. His rent, once 2,000 taka ($23.70) a year, is going up. The owners “told us if we can’t afford to pay extra, then leave,” Hashim said. He compared Rohingyas’ lives to those of migratory birds, with “no permanent place for us to live.”