Community initiatives, humanitarian aid and the impact of COVID-19 – Peace Research Institute Oslo

Five years have passed since more than 700,000 Rohingya fled the brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh are the largest and most densely populated refugee camp in the world.

About 50% of the refugees are under 18 years old. The government of Bangladesh bars Rohingya refugees from formal education. Instead, refugee children are offered non-formal education programs from various non-governmental organizations.

What does the education landscape look like for Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh? What impact has the Covid-19 pandemic had on learning options among refugees and host communities? What are the challenges for education providers operating in this context and ‘what works’? What do the refugees themselves want and what are they doing to achieve their goals?

The EducAid project, hosted at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), in collaboration with Cornell University, USA, and Innovations of Poverty Action (IPA) seeks to answer these questions. The project draws on both quantitative data based on a series of household surveys of refugees and hosts, and a qualitative study of Rohingya teachers and students which includes a film project documentary.

In this seminar, we present and discuss some results of the project. The research is funded by the Research Council of Norway through the NORGLOBAL programme.

Preliminary program

12:30 p.m.: Coffee, light lunch

1:00 p.m.: Gudrun Østby (PRIO): Welcome and presentation of the EducAid project

Sabrina Karim (Cornell): When Governments and International Organizations Shut Down: Refugee and Host Community Use of Education Services During Covid-19 and School Closures in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Haakon Gjerlow (PRIO) The impact of Covid-19 on the education of refugees and children in host communities: back to school after reopening or (still) left behind?

Marte Nilsen (PRIO) “Something is better than nothing”: Refugee-led learning and education initiatives

Documentary film directed by young Rohingya refugees

comments and experiences from the ‘field’ (TBA)

Round table: Looking ahead: what can be done to improve the educational situation of refugees and children in host communities?

Coffee and meetings

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