Rohingya refugees make films about their struggle for education

In PRIO’s EducAid project, we have invited Rohingya refugees to create a series of short documentary films on the complex challenges refugees face in their quest for education. The young film makers have interviewed community teachers, young students and their parents to let them speak their mind about dreams, aspirations and the importance of education for their community.

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are denied access to formal education. Humanitarian organizations can provide some basic learning, but Rohingya children and youth want to exercise their right to quality education. Without education, they see no future.

Rohingya teachers and former university students have organized schools and private tutoring to meet the needs of the community, but they face persecution and harassment from the authorities for their efforts.

It has been five years since more than 700,000 Rohingya people had to flee from the brutal massacres by the military in Myanmar and Rohingya parents are deeply concerned about the future of their children.

Education is our only hope for the future


In this film, a Rohingya teenager explains how he has struggled to find ways to learn since he had to flee his home in Myanmar. A community teacher raises concerns about the future of the younger generations, and two fathers talk about how Rohingya people have suffered for generations due to illiteracy, violence and repression. 

Film production: Abdullah Habib
Research direction: Marte Nilsen & Nurul Hoque 

Education barriers for Rohingya children


A learning facilitator at an NGO organized learning center explains how the COVID-19 lockdown affected learning in the refugee camps and why many girls and boys have dropped out. A teenage boy describes the different strategies he make use of to get educated and to fulfil his ambitions, and a young man warns that the lack of work opportunities and educational opportunities lead young people into crime and desperation. 

Film production: Mirzan & Roshid Mubarak
Research direction: Marte Nilsen

Rohingya girls' education


In this film we meet two Rohingya teenaged girls who share their very different experiences in a society that does not encourage teenage girls to go to school. The first girl has challenged cultural norms by studying on her own and with private teachers and is now teaching children in her community while dreaming of a chance to study medicine and become a doctor. The other girl explains how displacement interrupted her schooling and that it now is too late for her to learn, as she is expected to stay at home. She talks with regret about how she envies other girls her own age who are allowed to continue learning. We also meet a father who values girl’s education and encourages girls to pursue their dreams for the better of their community. 

Film production: Abdullah Habib
Research direction: Marte Nilsen & Nurul Hoque

Our dreams and aspirations


In this film we meet three young and creative Rohingya entrepreneurs – one visual artist, one aspiring engineer and one dedicated to music. The three portraits show the variety of potential that is found in the refugee camps. The three young Rohingya have different ambitions in life, but all of them value education as the way to reach their potential and fulfil their dreams.

Film production: Abdullah Habib
Research direction: Marte Nilsen & Nurul Hoque

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