Only one high school was allowed to resume classes in Chin State’s Paletwa Township when schools started up again across Burma in the third week of July as part of the country’s easing of a partial lockdown started in April.
Salai Aung Min, the head of the Paletwa Township Education Department, said only a single high school was allowed to open because of the instability caused by the conflict between armed groups. In addition, personal protective equipment (PPE) required to comply with new health regulations set by the government’s Ministry of Health and Sports to prevent infections of the novel coronavirus wasn’t sent to the township.
“We are still trying to open the other high schools in Paletwa but we haven’t received PPEs for our schools.” The health department doesn’t have enough supplies for the schools, he explained.
In Paletwa Township, there are 38 high schools and the education department had planned for 15 to open. But they still need infrared thermometers, face masks, face shields and hand sanitizer.
The Ministry of Health and Sports rated schools across Burma with scores of A, B or C, with A being the highest and C the lowest. Nearly all of Paletwa Township’s high schools received a C, which prevented their opening on July 21.
Until the government helps schools comply with new regulations to prevent viral infections during the pandemic, hundreds of students in Paletwa Township won’t be able to resume their studies.
There are 216 high schools throughout Chin State, and only 21 opened on July 21.