Schools close amid on­go­ing fight­ing in Muse

The Myanmar Times - - News - SHOON NAING shoonnaing@mm­times.com

SCHOOLS in north­ern Shan State have been closed fol­low­ing the flareup in fight­ing be­tween the Tat­madaw and four eth­nic armed groups.

Nearly 100 ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion schools have been shut in the town­ship of Muse, where the bulk of the fight­ing has oc­curred, ac­cord­ing to the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment of north­ern Shan State. An ad­di­tional 12 schools have been closed in Kutkai town­ship with an­other nine tem­po­rar­ily shut­tered in Man­ton.

More than 21,000 stu­dents, most of them in pri­mary school, have had their ed­u­ca­tion in­ter­rupted by the con­flict, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial from the State Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment who asked not to be named.

The fight­ing be­gan on Novem­ber 20 when the al­liance made up of sol­diers from the Ta’ang Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Army, the Kachin In­de­pen­dence Army, the Myan­mar Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance Army and the Arakan Army launched an at­tack on 10 tar­gets in Muse and Kutkai town­ships.

“We will re-open the schools as soon as the ten­sions die down,” said the state ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial.

He added that ex­tra classes may be sched­uled to en­sure that stu­dents com­plete the re­quired cur­ricu­lum on time.

Ped­a­gog­i­cal ma­te­ri­als from the closed schools have been shifted tem­po­rar­ily to nearby vil­lages and camps away from the fight­ing, from which many peo­ple have fled.

A spokesper­son for the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and the di­rec­tor gen­eral could not be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day.

Ap­prox­i­mately 5600 peo­ple have been dis­placed by the re­cent clashes, with around 3000 civil­ians hav­ing fled over the bor­der to China this week.

‘We will re-open the schools as soon as the ten­sions [in north­ern Shan State] die down.’

Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial Shan State Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment

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