Millions of children lose access to education under military regime

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Sagaing, June (6)

More than six million students enrolled in schools run by the military council this academic year, yet millions of children are unable to go to school, according to the data of research organizations.

The military council announced on June 2 that there are up to 6.5 million students enrolled in basic education schools, private schools, and monastic education schools in various regions and states, including Nay Pyi Taw, in the 2023–2024 academic year.

The rate of school enrollment has increased compared to just over 5.6 million elementary-level students enrolled in military council-run schools in the 2022–2023 academic year.

However, there were more than 9.7 million students at the basic education level before the military took power in the 2019–2020 academic year, under the civilian government.

According to ISP-Myanmar data, there were an average of 12 million school enrollments per academic year, but at least eight to ten million children have lost access to education in the three years following the coup.

Children from Sagaing and Magway Regions, and Kayah State, where the military conflict between the military council and the revolutionary forces intensifies, have lost the most access to education.

A CDM school teacher in Sagaing said, “Children are having a hard time learning because of the bombardment, arson attacks, and destruction of public schools in areas controlled by the revolutionary forces. But we are undaunted and educate the students in the sheds and under the trees”.

There are self-supporting basic education schools established by the National Unity Government (NUG) as interim schooling in village tracts in the anti-regime stronghold of Sagaing, however, the students have not been able to accomplish their education due to fighting.

An official of the S&C, a local civil society organization, said that more children in Sagaing Region attend self-help schools than schools run by the military council.

Currently, S&C is building schools and providing teaching materials for elementary-level displaced children with financial support from donors.

The S&C group has completed the construction of only 14 schools and is still in need of classrooms and teaching aids, the official said.

The anti-regime stronghold of the Sagaing region suffered the most from the military council’s ground offensives and arson attacks, and the second most from airstrikes.

Meanwhile, all stakeholders involved in the revolution announced on June 3 that they will continue to implement the 18 points resulted from the holding of seminar to develop plans for continuing education for CDM students and revolutionists who lost their access to education during the spring revolution.

News – Than Lwin Times

Photo: KNU

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