An education in refugee schooling
Words and photos: Kate Mayberry
There are more than 150,000 people registered as refugees in Malaysia. Some have fled conflict. Others persecution. All have escaped frightening situations in the hope of finding safety and security.
About 33,000 of the refugees are children under the age of 18; a third of those at the age where they should be going to school.
But Malaysia doesn’t allow refugee children to attend government schools — much as it doesn’t allow their parents to work (legally). Instead, the UNHCR and NGOs have together created a parallel system of “learning centres,” funded by private donations and charitable groups.
There are now 125 learning centres across Malaysia, providing not only an education, but also a semblance of security in an often precarious existence.
To find out more about the lives of refugee children in Malaysia, please see: