Kawkayeik, 28 September
Following the military takeover, more than 370 schools in the territory of Karen National Union ended up under the administration and management of the KNU’s Education Department, according to the Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN).
The KPSN released a report titled “A shifting power balance: Junta control shrinks in southeast Burma” on September 26.
According to the report, since the military coup in February 2021, junta’s ability to control
southeast Myanmar has significantly loosened, both militarily and in terms of governance.
The military regime has also lost control over 370 schools, all of which are currently under the administration and management of the KNU’s Education Department.
The KNU’s Karen Education and Culture Department (KECD) had 382 schools in the 2019-2020 academic year, but after the military coup, the number of KECD schools increased by nearly three times to over 900 in 2023.
The KPSN said the huge increase in the number of KNU schools and the collapse of junta schools directly reflected the KNU’s expansion of territorial control after the military coup, and with the progressive loss of military camps and shrinking Naypyidaw control, many former junta schools have come under KNU administration and now function as KECD schools.
It also reported that a large number of the military council’s teachers had already joined the CDM movement and switched to working in KECD schools. Many private community schools have also now come fully under the KNU.
Meanwhile, the KECD has had to establish new schools in some places to accommodate children fleeing the junta’s intensified air and artillery attacks on their villages.
The KECD and the Karen Teacher Working Group are seeking international assistance not only to cover the operating costs of a growing number of schools in Kawthoolei but also to repair and rebuild schools destroyed by ongoing junta airstrikes.
News-Than Lwin Times