Rohingya Refugee Education in Malaysia: An Analysis of Current Standards and Challenges

Hyunjung Lee

Good Hands Youth Center, Xaythany District, Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.

Md Mahmudul Hoque *

Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

The Rohingyas, the longest-standing stateless refugees in Malaysia, are continuously denied access to formal education. The UN Refugee Agency and local non-government organizations run learning centers that offer non-formal education to Rohingya children. Existing literature highlights that, in the absence of formal openings, alternative educational programmes remain the main provider of refugee education in Malaysia. This study, using the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies' five-domain framework, examines the educational standards provided to Rohingya refugees in Malaysia. The findings suggest that most learning centers lack financial, human, and infrastructural resources. Lack of opportunity for secondary schooling makes primary education less worth it. Moreover, prevailing cultural and religious norms make it challenging for Rohingya children (especially girls) to access educational opportunities outside the community. National examinations and academic accreditation for learning are inaccessible to refugees, including Rohingyas. This paper deliberates on some immediate and long-term measures that can potentially address these issues. However, all actors, including UNHCR and the Malaysian government, must collaborate towards formulating a sustainable solution to this critical problem.

Keywords: Rohingya refugees, education, human rights, challenges, Malaysia


How to Cite

Hyunjung Lee, and Md Mahmudul Hoque. 2024. “Rohingya Refugee Education in Malaysia: An Analysis of Current Standards and Challenges”. Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies 50 (7):416-37. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajess/2024/v50i71474.

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