The Bangladeshi government just expelled two young Rohingya women from college because it denies education to Rohingya refugees. This isn’t the first time. Starting in January this year, its expelled scores of young Rohingya kids enrolled in Bangladeshi schools near the refugee camps. There is non-formal primary education organized by Rohingya within the camps but they aren’t allowed to go to high school or college. To get their kids into the secondary schools from which they were expelled, parents had to obtain false documents.
The struggle of the oppressed for education is one of the most pivotal & politicizing issues. In W.E.B. Du. Bois magisterial “Black Reconstruction in America: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860–1880” (first published in 1935), he wrote about how newly freed slaves in the US South prioritized education & established the first free public schools for both Black & white children.
Rohingya refugees are going to be living in Bangladesh for awhile so the government cannot continue to treat them as sub-human. Allowing the Rohingya to work & go to school are elementary human rights. The Bangladeshi government can cry poor-mouth from now until the cows come home but if its economic system weren’t creating billionaires off the backs of child & sweatshop labor, it would have enough resources for education & other social services. And the world would be a lot safer for Rohingya refugees, especially the women & kids. Not to mention for the child & sweatshop workers.