“Isn’t it better to have fewer expectations than bigger disappointments?”

“Isn’t it better to have fewer expectations than bigger disappointments?”

Learning literacy skills

After a series of conversations with her parents and home-visits by NRC staff, both Kulsum and Yasmin, who is the mother of a two-year-old daughter, enrolled in the nearby learning facility.

Kulsum’s family is happy as she is acquiring basic literacy skills, but they are still looking for a suitor. Kulsum feels that the reason Rohingya women do not dream big is that “it is better to have fewer expectations than bigger disappointments.”

However, after spending almost a year with her peers, both Kulsum and Yasmin have developed a different perspective on life. “We have acquired a basic education. Now we can keep track of monthly expenses at home,” they say.

They would love to gain some financial solvency as well to support their families. This is why they are eager to investigate the skills development packages NRC is about to introduce in their camp.

In the camps, NRC used to provide informal education with basic literacy to the learners. And they do not receive any form of certification for that knowledge. Only recently have the government allowed aid organisations to implement the Myanmar Curriculum in the camps.

UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations responsible for delivering education services within the camps are pushing for an assessment and an official certification process

Aliya Noor, NRC’s education project manager in Bangladesh has been closely observing learners’ participation since then.

“I am aware of the challenges Rohingya adolescent girls face to pursue education. But they do want to learn more than basic literacy. And I have observed a sharp rise in their participation after we started implementing the Myanmar Curriculum,” she said. As long as the population remains hopeful of their return, learning their curriculum will be a key issue for them.

Norwegian Refugee Council expects that learners within the camps will receive course completion certificates which will act as a type of learning record. This will help them get a job or manage their livelihood when they return to their country.

Aliya is optimistic about female participation. And Yasmin is determined to send her daughter to the learning facilities.

“I have gathered knowledge to teach my daughter the basics at home, but I want her to have a better and prosperous life. I would love to see her going to the learning facilities and someday become a doctor or teacher. And for that I am prepared to tackle the prejudice around.”