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School Closures Across 9 Rakhine Townships Amidst Fears of Fighting and Military Council’s Shelling

  • By: Web Master
  • | Date: 26 November 2023
  • | Viewer: 1.5k

 Hundreds of schools across nine townships in Rakhine State have been shut down, citing security concerns arising from the persisting conflict in the region and the intermittent shelling by the Military Council.


The nine townships experiencing school closures are Minbya, Pauktaw, Rathedaung, Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, Mrauk-U, Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Ann, as per information from an education official.

Almost all the schools in Pauktaw and Minbya are closed, and in rural areas, security concerns prevent teachers from attending schools, resulting in school closures”, he told Narinjara.


In Rakhine State, clashes between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Military Council have resurfaced since November 13th, causing tens of thousands to be displaced by the conflict and leading to the closure of numerous schools.


"There isn't an official letter from authorities to close schools, but the teaching staff, now war-displaced themselves, are unable to come to schools anymore”, an education staff from Rathedaung Township explained.


A Minbya resident mentioned that nearly the entire Minbya town has been evacuated due to the Military Council's indiscriminate firing of artillery and small arms into the town almost daily. This has resulted in the closure of shops and schools as well.


"The Military Council shoots randomly with artillery and small arms almost every day, so who would dare to go to school? People have to flee for safety as even living at home is too risky. Sending children to school is unsafe, and teachers can't come to school either”,  the source told Narinjara.


Likewise, in Pauktaw, schools were shut down as nearly the entire town evacuated due to fear of arrest and violence from the Military Council. The detention of some education staff by the Military Council has also heightened concerns, according to a family member of an education staff from Pauktaw.


"My brother, who is a teacher, has been arrested along with other teachers. This kind of action is very harmful to education. The entire town is now deserted, and all the schools are closed”, she told Narinjara.


"Worried parents aren't sending their children to schools due to the fighting, and teachers can't go to schools anymore”, an education staff from Maungdaw Township also noted.


Rakhine State has 3193 basic education schools, specifically, 487 high schools, 1171 middle schools, and 1535 primary schools.


Narinjara could confirm that hundreds of schools are presently closed due to the security situation in Rakhine State. However, the exact number couldn't be disclosed as attempts to contact the Rakhine State Department of Education were unsuccessful.

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