Wednesday, 19 June 2013

More education centres for refugee kids in Malaysia

Source nst, 18 June

ESSENTIAL: A non-governmental organisation is setting up three more Rohingya Education Centres in Kedah, Pahang and Johor in the next three years.

BUKIT MERTAJAM: THE Future Global Network Foundation (FGN) will be setting up three more Rohingya Education Centres (REC) in Kedah, Pahang and Johor in the next three years.

Its chairman Ahmad Azam Ab Rahman said the first of the three centres would be set up in Alor Star next year, followed by two more in Kuantan and Kluang in the next couple of years.

Ahmad said the REC will equip the Rohingya community seeking refuge in this country with basic education and knowledge for their survival.

FGN had opened two REC in Klang, Selangor, and Permatang Pauh here, operated by a non-governmental organisation, Wadah Percerdasan Umat Malaysia (Wadah).

"REC was initiated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which funds the programme and FGN, as the project manager, accommodates about 270 students aged from 6 to 14 years throughout the centres," he added.

Meanwhile, Penang REC headmaster Mohd Arif Abdul Latif said the centre, which began its operation in 2010, has a headmaster and six teachers.

He said the centre conducts Bahasa Melayu, English, Mathematics, Science, Moral Education and Arts classes for the students.

"Our teachers are highly qualified. Some of them have degrees in their respective subjects," he said.

Arif said the curriculum was based on the standard set by the Education Ministry and monitored by the Takmir Education Foundation.

"Our centre operates from 7.30am to 1.30pm from Monday to Friday, and after the classes, the children attend the Islamic religious classes at the madrasah nearby," Arif said.

The United Nations had reported that the Rohingya community, which hails from the Rakhine state of western Myanmar as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

Many Rohingya have fled to ghettos and refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh and the Thai-Myanmar border following ethnic unrest over the past 35 years.

According to the UNHCR, as of May 31, there were least 30,000 Rohingya refugees seeking shelter in this country.

Ahmad Azam Ab Rahman (fifth from left) launches the Penang Rohingya Education Centre Sports Day at the Sony Sports Complex in Seberang Jaya.

Read more: More education centres for refugee kids - Johor - New Straits Times

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