UNICEF (2012) defines peace education as “a natural tool to prevent conflict and to promote social, economic, and political justice among a nation’s youngest citizens,” providing learners with tools to resolve conflict and respect human diversity (p. 4). This education approach focuses on teaching a learner about her human rights, empowering her to claim her rights, and identifying those responsible for protecting those rights. According to UNESCO and UNICEF, rights-based education can contribute to social cohesion, respect for non-violent conflict resolution, and positive social transformation (2007).
The project is envisioned to be implemented within 5 years (estimated start time March/April 2019). The underlying idea is to bring education to the children at camps since they are not allowed to go out. It will be implemented through a permanent committee composed of CRRIC personnel and local, overseas educators.
The primary objective of the project is to provide primary and secondary education to Rohingya children in the camps. The secondary objective is to provide educational support to higher secondary level aspiring and promising Rohingya students.
The underlying strategy of this project hinges on the fact that while the children must receive education, it is incumbent that such education should also prepare them for the future employment in various sectors whether they live in Bangladesh or are repatriated to Myanmar. Notwithstanding the fact that these children either have had some or no education at all (for example, group A), through a focused approach in delivering education, they must be made confident imbued with self-esteem. The five pillars of the strategy are one, a focused and flexible education curricula development befitting to three groups of children in the camps. It helps in countering radicalization in the camps. Online contents will help in exposing children to the outside world and enable them to access varieties of educational materials. Peace education should equip children to mitigate conflict non-violently. Two, utilize existing NGOs resources and pool of educators in the camps (i.e. community ownership). Three, training teachers from within the refugee camps (i.e. a relational approach). Four, mainstream the education with recognition in line with Bangladesh and Myanmar formal education system. Five, provide scope to continue education after the end of five years term (i.e. sustainability planning).
The project will be delivered in five phases as follows:
Phase – 1: Contact and coordination with NGOs on ground, gather best practice model (such as Rohingya Children’s Education Programme’ (RCEP) conducted by Children on the Edge), and contact government and non-government agencies for education delivery. Gather volunteers.
Phase – 2: develop flexible, child-friendly education, and focused curricula in line with Bangladesh and Myanmar. Develop a pilot model.
Phase – 3: stakeholder consultation in the camps and marshaling of resources. Train the teacher program delivery. Run the pilot model.
Two years will be required up to implementing phase – 3.
Phase – 4: pilot project commences with once school each for three groups of students.
Phase – 5: project feedback and sustainability.
The pilot projects would be opened in the two largest camps – Kutupalong and Balukhali and it would be run for at least 6 months.
For further reading:
Learning from Promising Practices in Refugee Education
Education is like oxygen for us: https://blogs.savethechildren.org.uk/2017/09/education-like-oxygen-us/