All of the high schools in conflict-affected southern Chin State accepting enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic years were prevented from opening when classes across Burma resumed again on July 21, following the end of a partial lockdown introduced in early April.
Salai Aung Min, head of Paletwa Township Education Department, said none of the learning institutions could comply with the new health regulations set by the government’s Ministry of Health and Sports, intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when students return to classes.
Government health officials rated schools across Burma with scores of A, B or C, with A being the highest and C the lowest. Every high school in Paletwa Township received a C, he says, preventing their openings.
Only 13 out of the 38 high schools in Paletwa Township were accepting enrollment for the school year. All failed to meet the Ministry of Health and Sports’ preconditions.
Until the government helps the school introduce improvements in line with its pandemic protocol, a total of 734 students won’t be able to continue their studies. Middle and elementary classes are scheduled to start sometime after high schools resume in Burma.
Fighting between Burma Army and Arakan Army has caused massive displacement in Paletwa Township, blocking food and other essential rations from reaching the beleaguered township. In the town of Paletwa, there are 5,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), of whom 1,134 are students.
There are not enough schools for all the IDPs, as well as educational materials and uniforms.