JREC established the Rohingya Education Centre (REC) Pulau Pinang with support from UNHCR in July 2010. It was the first refugee learning centre established in Permatang Pauh, Penang and is now the largest refugee learning centre in the Northern Region of Peninsular Malaysia.
The vision is to equip Rohingya refugee children living in the mainland area of Pulau Pinang state with essential knowledge and skills for their future. REC Pulau Pinang curently serves 339 students and is managed by 16 Malaysian teachers.
Since then JREC has opened more schools in different states to cater to the educational needs of the Rohingya children. REC Klang started operation in July 2012 with some 57 students enrolled. In 2015, with initial funding from the Al-Bukhary Foundation, JREC opened REC Kuantan in Pahang with initial enrolment of 50 students. In February 2018, REC Gombak in Selangor opened its doors with an initial enrolment of 80 students.
JREC opened its latest education centre in Kuala Terengganu in September 2019 with an initial enrolment of 60 students. All the RECs offer primary level classes using the local Malaysian curriculum and syllabus , taught by local Malaysian teachers. JREC learning centres are qualified by the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MoE).
Beginning January 2020, secondary education is offered to more than 40 students nationwide. The secondary students have completed their primary education on December 2018 at REC Pulau Pinang and Klang respectively. Enrolment for secondary education is expected to increase as more REC students are completing their primary education along with those from nearby learning centres run by the community and other NGOs. At the present time there are a total of 826 students enrolled across all of JREC’s schools. Total number of employees is 60, this includes teaching and administrative staffs.
This programme is a strategic cooperation project between Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) that started back in 2017. JREC has been chosen as the sole implementing partner since the first phase, with REC Klang as the beneficiary.
In 2019, the programme has been extended to REC Gombak as well, where it benefits 145 students (boys and girls) from both schools. Phase 3 includes weekly football training for students with experienced coaches as the trainers, friendly matches with other football teams as well as football carnival at the end of the season.
The football training has become part of the learning process for the students. In the training, coaches integrate good values and key messages with football. Gender equality, roles and responsibilities, rights of the children and child protection and safety are examples of key messages which are prepared by UNHCR.
Coaches also stress on good values such as friendship, teamwork, winning mentality, good attitude and respect. This programme acts as beyond classroom learning where students learn non-academic essentials outside their schools and classrooms.
JREC had secured some funds through the UNHCR CLC project to help REC alumni who are not fortunate enough to continue with their formal education. The mission is to teach these children sewing skills that could help improve their livelihoods. The sewing classes started with students ages 13-16 years old. Their first products were tote bags used for their prize giving ceremony. We hope that this program will help our Rohingya children grow to be self-sustainable and responsible adults.
In order to make this program more beneficial to our students, we require some funding for teachers’ allowance and materials. Please scan the code to make a contribution.