As Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy steps into power in Myanmar this month, one of the big questions is whether the Nobel Laureate’s party will improve human rights in the country – particularly for the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims. Confined to prison-like internment camps, a generation of Rohingya children are growing up deprived of education, leaving little hope for their future.


The future for the Rohingya children of Myanmar looks bleak. They will receive, at most, a high school education. Under the current system, a child would be lucky to complete the fourth grade.

The vast majority - 60 percent - have never even been to school because their families are too poor. An estimated 80 percent of Rohingya are illiterate.


“There are not enough schools and some children’s parents cannot afford the cost of the school supplies for their children,” says Save the Children chief teacher U Kyaw Hla.

救助儿童会的吴觉拉(U Kyaw Hla)说:“学校数量不够,一些孩子的家长买不起孩子的上学用具。”

There are only five government schools for all 12 Rohingya camps in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State, and little education assistance. NGOs like Save the Children and UNICEF have set up temporary learning spaces, but even these classrooms are understaffed and underfunded.

在缅甸西部的若开邦所有12座罗兴亚营地里,只有五所政府官办学校,基本没有教育补助。儿童救助会(Save the Children)等非政府组织和联合国儿童基金会(UNICEF)建立了临时学习场地,不过即使这些教室也存在人员和经费不足的问题。

“We’ve gotten some stationery from the government education department last year. But this year we haven’t gotten any support or relief from the government," says U Tun Kyaw, a Rohingya government school teacher. "I teach standing because the government has never provided me with a chair to sit on.”

政府官办罗兴亚学校教师吴吞觉(U Tun Kyaw)说:“我们去年从政府的教育部得到了一些文具。不过今年,政府还没有给我们任何支持或救助。我要站着教课,因为政府从来也没有提供椅子让我坐。”

There is one upper school for the Rohingya camps, but only two students graduated in 2015 due to the poor level of teaching.


But Hla Aye Yin, the Educational Assistant Director for the Rakhine State parliament, defends the government's educational programs for Rohingya, who she refers to as Bengali, a term preferred by the Myanmar government but rejected by Rohingya residents.

不过,若开邦邦议会的教育事务助理主任拉埃茵(Hla Aye Yin)为政府的罗兴亚教育项目进行辩护。她把罗兴亚人称为“孟加拉人”,这是缅甸政府喜欢的称呼,但罗兴亚居民拒绝接受。

“Yes, we have arranged a basic education service for them, although they are living in separated community," she said. "Even our General Director [of Rakhine State Education] is taking responsibility for it. Now, I heard that new school buildings will be provided in both Bengali and Rakhine refugees’ camps soon.”


Even if help soon arrives for those in the camps, any university level education is impossible here. The Rohingya are barred from attending college in Rakhine, despite the fact that the refugee camp looks out over the gates of the region’s only university.


Myanmar’s government justified the exclusion of Rohingya from Sittwe University as a way to maintain peace after a wave of anti-Muslim violence in 2012. Now they can only glimpse the promise of higher education through a guarded wall covered in barbed wire.