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Myanmar: Despite a shortage of teaching aids, over 200 camp schools cater to refugee students

Myanmar people have come together to serve the future generation as schools are permanently closed due to a military coup on February 1, 2021, and the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
A girl from one of the IDPs' camps is doing writing practice on the whiteboard. Photo: Citizen Journalist

Myanmar people have come together to serve the future generation as schools were closed due to a military coup on February 1, 2021 amid a raging Covid-19 pandemic. 

Over 200 schools are opened for internally displace persons (IDPs) in Demawso and Hpruso townships in the Loikaw diocese.

IDP's Camps in the Loikaw diocese need teaching materials as the supply chain has been blocked since May 20.

"The children need learning materials such as whiteboards, pens and other things. Due to travel restrictions, it's still difficult to bring these things to the camps," said Banyar, the director of Karenni Human Rights Organization.

Despite the lack of teaching materials in the camps, over 200 schools are opened in IDPs' camp in Karenni State in Loikaw diocese, reported Kantarawaddy Times on November 4.

Teachers volunteer in the new camp schools run by local IDPs committees. Most of these teacher-volunteers are the ones who left their jobs after the coup joining the protest movement.

Each class consists of 50 children, and most of them are primary school students, a report in  Kantarawaddy Times stated.

"The instructors mainly teach basic subjects like Myanmar, English, mathematics, and their mother language," said Banyar.

He added that the schools organize fun activities for the students to help them overcome their physical and mental traumas.

The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force had launched a special one-month education program in the IDPs camps in Demawso Township, where people haven't returned to their villages since May 20.

For one month, members of the civilian resistance group lead entertaining activities in the class for the student's enjoyment and help them learn.

In addition to the 200 schools in Demawso and Hpruso townships, there were also schools in Loikaw, Shardaw and Hpasoung townships in the diocese of Loikaw.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 thwarted attempts to start classes in the camps in Karenni State in June.

The diocese of Loikaw is located in Kyayah State, which is a war-torn territory in the country after the military coup in February. Until now, many people in the territory of the Loikaw diocese, especially in the remote areas, are taking refuge in the mountainous regions, the most vulnerable being children and women in the refugee camps.


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