Maungdaw schools closed following deadly raids
SCHOOLS across Maungdaw district, 402 in total, were closed yesterday in the aftermath of coordinated raids by unknown assailants on three police outposts along the Rakhine State border with Bangladesh, according to the state’s Education Office.
The district encompasses the townships of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, where 183 and 219 schools were shuttered, respectively.
“All schools in Maungdaw district are closed today,” U Aung Kyaw Tun, an officer for the Rakhine State Education Office, told The Myanmar Times yesterday. “Exams are postponed for now.”
The half-year examination period for basic education schools in Rakhine had been slated for October 8 to 14.
U Ohm Myint, an officer for the Maungdaw District Education Office, said more than 90,000 students were enrolled in Maungdaw township and over 66,000 were enrolled in Buthidaung township.
Daw Tin Tin Win, one of more than 1300 teachers in Maungdaw township, said most teachers remained at their residences following the attacks, while some had returned to their hometowns in light of the schools’ indefinite closure.
“Some teachers have gone back to their native towns,” U Ohm Myint said. “Safety [concerns] for teachers and the children was the reason for closing the schools temporarily.”
“Teachers who are in Kyi Kann Pyin village [where one of the attacks took place], and are working there having come from other regions, are now temporarily living in the No 1 Border Guard Force [headquarters] ... The schools will be reopened when the region is stable,” U Aung Kyaw Tun said.
The coordinated assault took place in the early hours of October 9, with the assailants killing at least nine police officers. Speaking at a same-day press conference in Nay Pyi Taw, U Kyaw Tin, deputy minister for foreign affairs, said an investigation into the attackers’ origins and affiliation is ongoing.