By The Rohingya Post
“Everyone has a dream. I had a dream in Myanmar. When I stay in the camp, I am in danger that my dream will be lost. I did not see any opportunity that I can fulfil my dream. Nevertheless, I believe that I can fulfil my dream one day.”
In a video message from the world’s largest refugee camp, Enam Uddin, a 12-year-old Rohingya boy sent a message to the world on the importance of education for refugee children.
Speaking in an open field in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, he thanks the government of Bangladesh and the public for their continuous supports in sheltering over a million of Rohingya who fled into the country after Myanmar sanctioned the genocidal campaigns against Rohingya in Northern Rakhine where he originally hailed from.
“I would like to thank Bangladesh government and public. They helped us very much in accommodating us. So, I really appreciate them,” Enam felt gratitude who fled on August 25, 2017.
After being in the camp for two years, he said his dream was in danger due to the lack of proper educational programme while living in miserable conditions where over 60% Rohingya children are affected with inadequate education.
Enam described, “Student life is the most important part of a man’s life. It is also called the golden period of life. In our golden study time, we became refugees in Bangladesh.
“Many children cannot learn education. Many children are affected with education. Many children are suffering from it because there is no proper education and there is no higher education. And I am today suffering very much from it.”
He is worried of long-term effect on the refugee children in the camp without proper or higher education.
“I meant that two years past, 60% of students are affected with education in the camps. It means we are one-eyed.”
“And then, there will not have a person to speak a word for the Rohingya.”
He quoted the famous Nelson Mandela’s quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.”
He believes “Education is the fundamental human rights. Education is the backbone of a nation. Education can change the darkness.”
Enam made a special request to Bangladesh and the international community, “Please give us either proper education or opportunity for higher education or please stand up for our rights. If we get our rights, we will go to our country [Myanmar].”
He also emphasised the importance of education by pleading to Rohingya parents to educate their children, not to let them to work or waste time, and in particularly not to “let them to marry [young] in their student life.”
Enam’s message comes at a crucial moment when Rohingya students seeking higher education in Bangladesh face expulsions from schools and colleges for being Rohingya and Bangladesh’s stance on no formal education for Rohingya refugees fearing of permanently staying in the country.
“If we need to live long-time in the camps, and also if there will not have any programmes for proper education, I am certain that 100% of students will be affected [with] education. It means we are blind [without education],” the foresighted Rohingya refugee teenager clearly points out the importance of education for his community.