School continues in war-afflicted Kayin State
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.