RERA: Cox's Bazaar
The rapid influx of more than 727,000 Rohingya people from Myanmar since August 2017 presented a shock to the communities in Cox's Bazar, a diverse district already under significant stress. Cox's Bazar is one of Bangladesh's poorest and least disaster-resilient districts. Prior to the Rohingya influx, education outcomes in Cox's Bazar were already among the lowest in the country. Schools across the district had a history of under-enrollment and poor retention, and the majority of heads of household had not received any education. Throughout Cox's Bazar, these schools are feeling the impacts of the Rohingya influx. USAID/Bangladesh commissioned a Rapid Education and Risk Analysis (RERA) to understand the impact of the Rohingya influx on pre-primary through secondary education in Bangladeshi schools in Cox's Bazar. The specific objectives of the RERA were to (i) gain a broader understanding of the risks, needs, assets, and capacities of the education sector in Cox's Bazar, and (ii) inform education programming to support Bangladeshis in Cox's Bazar, particularly host and impacted communities.
A RERA is a "good enough" qualitative situation analysis that examines the education sector, the learners, and the community as a dynamic system of multiple contextual risks and assets. The RERA in Cox's Bazar was conducted in October 2018 and focused on the situation of Bangladeshis in a limited, purposive primary data sample of schools in 32 communities in 6 upazilas (sub-districts) across Cox's Bazar: Ukhiya, Teknaf, Ramu, Cox's Bazar Sadar, Maheshkhali, and Pekua. The RERA reached 900 respondents through 141 focus group discussions and 33 key informant interviews.
- Overall conclusion: The latest Rohingya influx has deepened the plight of already struggling school communities throughout Cox's Bazar district.
- School communities have demonstrated abundant humanitarian goodwill toward the arriving Rohingya refugees.
- The quality of education in Cox's Bazar is declining.
- The influx has impacted access to education, especially for female students.
- The influx disproportionately impacted the poor and the most marginalized.
- Recent gains in school retention are now being reversed.
- The influx is exacerbating the district's pre-existing contextual risks.
- School communities express growing frustration over the impact of the Rohingya influx.
- School communities are insufficiently resilient to the range of increasing risks.