Saturday, December 9th 2023

Cyclone Mocha destroys over 1,300 schools in Rakhine State

Cyclone Mocha destroyed 1,337 schools in Rakhine State and if those schools are not restored and reconstructed on time by the junta authorities, there will be no classes from 1 June next.

Except a few schools in the city of Sittwe, the officials have not visited any educational institutions in rural areas and no directives are issued from the authorities.

"No instruction is given on repairing the schools. The list of students have to be enrolled on time. The highest authority must do the needful,” said a local teacher.

The military government intends to reopen the schools from 1 June and applications for admission across Myanmar are invited on 23 to 31 May.

The cyclonic storm hit Rakhine State on 14 May and devastated not just schools but also other buildings including private houses and now the pupils have no place to go for learning.

The affected townships include Sittwe, Rathedaung, Ponna Kyunt, Kyauk Taw, Mrauk U and Pauk Taw.

Daw Hla Hla, a lady with school going children informed that there is no school left in her locality.

"How can you plan to reopen the schools? Most of the schools and private houses have been devastated by the storm,” added the lady.

Another woman from Pha Bwe village under Ponna Kyunt township questioned how the villagers will send their children to schools where they have nothing to eat.

According to the newspapers on 23 May, run by the military council, claimed that all the hospitals, clinics and schools were cleaned and restored with a priority. But the initiatives are not seen in Rakhine State that faced the storm.

Some localities like Sittwe, Kyaukphyu and Thandwe have witnessed the government actions to reorganise the schools and clinics, but those in rural areas are yet to get the benefits.

Cyclone Mocha destroyed 18,3024 houses including 1711 religious buildings, 59 monasteries, 1,397 schools, 227 hospitals/clinics, 11 communication towers, 119 flashlight poles, five transformers, one market and parts of two airports.

The families, affected by the storm, now start getting relief items from the military council along with the ULA/AA and social organizations. But most Rakhine localities are still deprived of
necessary items including the food and medicine.

The people are urging the international community to support them at this time of crisis, but not through the channels of the military rulers.

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