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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Briefing Paper: COVID-19 and Online Education of Indigenous Students in Bangladesh

There are around 50 different indigenous peoples in Bangladesh with a total estimated population of nearly 4 million. Indigenous peoples in Bangladesh are represented disproportionately among both the poor and extreme poor. They are one of the most backward groups of the society. They have continuously been targeted to aggression, attack and eviction from their ancestral lands. These problems are slowly but steadily resulting in their marginalization and corroding their social fabric. Indigenous peoples mainly live in remote areas, outside the mainstream of national economies and development support. The areas they inhabit are even more likely to lack basic infrastructure such as roads, markets, schools and health facilities than the other areas of population.

Comparatively, indigenous communities are left behind from basic services of the government, including no access to health services, medical support and reliable information, education facilities for indigenous students in remote areas. The indigenous peoples lag far behind in respects of education and consciousness. However, government led effective measures to address the problem is not visible. The ongoing pandemic creating even more problems for indigenous students to avail their education.

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