The government is particularly worried about the draw of a decent education
Jun 16th 2022
Noor kaiser knew his dream of becoming a doctor was ambitious for a boy living in a refugee camp. He studied hard nonetheless, hoping it would one day become reality. But that was before authorities in his camp in Bangladesh’s south-eastern region of Cox’s Bazar bulldozed his school in April. “Now I don’t do anything all day,” says the 13-year-old Rohingya boy. “My dream ended in Class 6.”
The demolition of Noor’s school reflects a wider policy to discourage Rohingya refugees from settling permanently in Cox’s Bazar. Since 2017 Bangladesh has admitted some 700,000 members of the Muslim minority after they were driven from neighbouring Myanmar in a brutal campaign by the Burmese army. America and the un considered the violence systematic enough to call it genocide. But the government has always insisted that refuge would be temporary. The army’s return to power in Myanmar in a coup last year and the reign of terror the new junta has unleashed on the country since then means the Rohingyas will not return home soon. Fearing integration, Bangladesh’s government has opted to circumscribe their lives ever more tightly.