As of end March 2017, there are some 150,845 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia and 35,941 of them are children under the age of 18.
However, Malaysia is not a signatory of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention.
In other words, not only there are no refugee camps to accommodate the refugees, the refugees are NOT granted access to formal education and therefore there are no ways in seeking sustainability for their future.
With great struggles, only 28% of these children have access to education.
Refugee children who have access to education in Malaysia attend either education projects run by UNHCR in partnership with Non-Governmental Organisations, or community-based education classes organised by the refugee communities themselves.
Yet, there is a lack of quality teachers in these community-based refugee learning centres.
They are sustaining the learning centres by receiving funds from the public or faith-based groups and only relying on volunteers to provide education assistance. This, unfortunately, has resulted in inconsistent teaching contents and therefore ineffective education for the refugee children.
A lot of volunteers goes in and out of refugee learning centres. However, in the end, students still are unable to converse properly, can't count properly, can't deliver certain speeches and can't even converse with us sometimes. We were really, really, worried about the situation. What happens if one WHOLE generation of students like them don't get the right education? "