Malaysia + 1 more

Education for Rohingya Refugee Children in Malaysia


Rohingya refugee children face immense challenges in getting access to education. Research shows that Rohingya children in Bangladesh are facing an educational crisis: they cannot attend public schools, and their education is restricted to limited non-formal education from NGOs and sporadic refugee-organized teaching efforts. Of the five countries that prohibit refugees from accessing public schooling – Bangladesh, Burundi, China, Malaysia and Nepal – Malaysia hosts the second largest number of Rohingya refugees. What level of access do these children have to schooling? This policy brief investigates Rohingya refugees’ access to non-formal education in Malaysia through the cases of two communitybased refugee schools.

Brief Points

  • In the absence of access to public education, Rohingya refugees attend UNHCR-funded learning centers or community-based schools.

  • More teacher training is needed to provide quality education for refugee children.

  • Rohingya parents often consider education to be of secondary importance, compared to having a job.

  • Girls’ education is severely limited, due to parents’ unwillingness to send adolescent girls to mixed gender educational facilities.

  • Malaysia and other host states should recognize the needs of refugee children and allow them access to quality education.