Classes For IDPs In Karenni State Stopped By Funding Shortfalls & COVID-19

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Just when classes for children affected by the fighting in Karenni State were due to start, they were cancelled because of Burma’s third wave.

Teachers who had joined the country’s protest movement and fled into the jungle to avoid arrest by the military regime organised classes in the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps where thousands of civilians are housed in the middle of the rainy season.

The teachers wanted to set up a school in Lo Ber Kho for nearly 400 Grade 7 students, some of whom were displaced while others were from the village, located west of Demawso Township.

“Our plans to start classes were scuttled by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to practise social distancing because the disease is spreading so fast and it is difficult to gather the children,” a volunteer teacher from the village told Kantarawaddy Times.

A class of over 100 students in the village of Ho Wan in June, also in western Demawso Township, had to cancel classes because they could not get further support from private donors.

“We opened a class in the church in Ho Wan… After a month, we had to shut down the class. There were no books and no other support for the children,” said one of the teachers.

The teachers told Kantarawaddy Times, they don’t have desks, chairs and not enough teaching materials for the children. Also, no one has face masks or hand sanitizer to protect themselves from getting the virus.

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