Refugee children in Malaysia are denied access to the formal education system. This leaves informal community-based learning centres as their only option.

On this episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Deborah Augustin speaks to Htoi San Nhkum, director of the Kachin Refugee Learning Center, and Abeera Abdullah, a Fugee School alumni and the co-founder of Project Stand Up. They tell Deborah about their educational experience in learning centres here in Malaysia and the impact the pandemic has had on the informal education system for refugee children.

To find out more, please read this article by Emily Fishbein and Jaw Tu Hkawng about how refugees in Malaysia are facing a widening school gap.

Emily Fishbein is a freelance journalist focusing on issues related to conflict and displacement, human rights, and social justice in Myanmar and Malaysia.

Jaw Tu Hkawng is from Kachin State and is pursuing a law degree in Malaysia, where he has also been a volunteer teacher at a Kachin community school since 2014. As a writer and activist, he advocates for peace, human rights and education.