Children attending the new Learning Center
Imagine your favorite teacher growing up. Did you feel valued in their class? Were they attentive to your needs? Did they make learning fun?
Unfortunately, many Rohingya children have never experienced a supportive, engaging learning environment like the one many of us had. In the crowded refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, less than one third of the more than 500,000 children are in school.
But that is changing in BRAC’s more than 500 Learning Centers and Child-Friendly Spaces.
For many Rohingya children, this is their first chance to be in a learning environment where teachers are attentive to their needs. For some, it is also their first opportunity to access education at all.
Now, after opening the first two-story Learning Center in Kutupalong camp, Cox’s Bazar last month, 240 more children will join the nearly 70,000 BRAC is already serving.
Standing 39 feet-high and constructed of bamboo and other sustainable, locally-sourced materials, the new Learning Center is a feat of architecture. Thoughtfully designed by architects from BRAC University, the building incorporates Rohingya architectural traditions and sits two feet above the ground to avoid flooding during the extreme weather patterns the region is prone to.
Similar to BRAC Learning Centers in other regions, the new two-story structure will offer basic primary education for children aged 4-14, with an emphasis on learning through structured, play-based activities. The curriculum focuses on basic math, science, and literacy in Burmese and English, as well as life skills, physical play, rhymes, and stories.
Each session in a BRAC Learning Center is jointly led by women from the Rohingya community and women from the Bangladeshi host community, who speak a dialect of Bengali similar to the Rohingya language. This model trains and empowers Rohingya women and promotes person-to-person peacebuilding between the communities, which is critical in addressing tensions that are arising over strained resources.
Learning Centers also provide holistic support for Rohingya children, incorporating child protection measures, linkages to health and nutrition services, and parenting sessions to engage families in their children’s educations. They offer comprehensive psychosocial support for children and families through group sessions and individual home visits conducted by over 230 barefoot counselors and 40 para-counselors.
Thanks to your generous support, tens of thousands of little learners in Cox’s Bazar now access our comprehensive education and protection services.
But still, nearly 350,000 children in the settlements lack access to education. We want to do more. That is why we have set an ambitious goal to reach at least 100,000 learners by 2019.
Donate or spread the word to help us make sure no child is left behind.
Thank you for ensuring that every Rohingya child has the chance to build a better future.
View from the second story of the Learning Center