School con­tin­ues in war-af­flicted Kayin State

The Myanmar Times - - News - EI SHWE PHYU news­room@mm­times.com

NEARLY 250 school children dis­placed by on­go­ing fight­ing in Kayin State are con­tin­u­ing their ed­u­ca­tion in makeshift class­rooms, with­out desks, text­books or white­boards.

The teach­ers from vil­lage schools around the Mae Tha Wor area are do­ing what they can to en­sure the clashes do not dis­rupt the school year. So the stu­dents gather on the floors of the Myaing Gyi Nguu monastery where over 3800 civil­ians are tak­ing shel­ter.

“Our teach­ing plan is to not stop the aca­demic year be­cause of the on­go­ing bat­tle,” said Ko Nay Lin Htet, deputy of­fi­cer of Hlaingbwe town­ship’s Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fice.

The Tat­madaw and an aligned Bor­der Guard Force have been en­gaged in hos­til­i­ties against a splin­ter fac­tion of the Demo­cratic Karen Benev­o­lent Army (DKBA) since Au­gust 28.

On Septem­ber 14, the State Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fice in­structed the teach­ers to go ahead with their les­son plans at the tem­po­rary shel­ter.

Among the fam­i­lies tak­ing refuge at the monastery, there are 233 pri­mary school children and 12 sec­ondary school stu­dents from 11 schools in the fight­ing-af­fected area. Around 30 teach­ers came along with the fam­i­lies, ac­cord­ing to Ko Myint Aung, a lo­cal vol­un­teer in Hpa-an town­ship.

None of the class­rooms are fully equipped, and the stu­dents from all grade lev­els have been grouped to­gether.

“Most of the makeshift class­rooms do not have chairs. The children are sit­ting and writ­ing on the floor. There are not enough white­boards,” said Ko Myint Aung.

The dis­placed fam­i­lies are re­liant on food and med­i­cal sup­plies donated by the Min­istry of So­cial Wel­fare Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment and by area res­i­dents. Ac­cord­ing to lo­cal aid vol­un­teers, mos­quito nets are needed.

A to­tal of 3874 peo­ple from 22 vil­lages – 1880 male and 1994 fe­male – are stay­ing at the Myaing Gyi Nguu monastery.

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