Student Enrollment at the Thai-Karenni Border IDP Camp Has Decreased by Half for the Current Academic Year

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By Kantarawaddy Times

The number of students enrolled at the Thai-Karenni border IDP schools, administered by the Karenni Education Department (KnED), has decreased by half for the 2024-25 academic year compared to the previous year, a school official reported.

“Comparing the number of students from last year to this year, about half have disappeared. This is due to the military and political conflicts. Many are disappointed by the lack of security and stability. Some students have dropped out due to the difficulties they faced. We deeply regret that they are dropping out of school at such a young age” said the official.

In June 2023, the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp, which houses college students, was targeted by junta airstrikes. Since then, the school has been unable to hold classes at its main campus due to security concerns. Students have been forced to find shelter and continue their education wherever possible.

Students have been taught in caves, forests, and dry riverbeds under makeshift rainproof shelters. However, with the approaching rainy season, the school faces challenges in finding safe and suitable locations for classes. Many of the riverbeds and ravines where they have been holding classes are prone to flooding.

The airstrikes and bombings have also caused significant psychological trauma for both students and teachers. As a result, many have sought refuge in safer locations.
Currently, the school plans to reopen for students from kindergarten to high school. Enrollment and transfers are still ongoing. It has been reported that kindergarten and first-grade classes will be taught using the MTB-MLE system. The school is currently in urgent need of school supplies and water resources.

“The situation here, as you know, is not safe. Despite this, we are trying to provide a safe and convenient learning environment for students and teachers as much as we can. We plan to set up the school in an outer village where there is a safe place to stay. The biggest challenge is water. We lack sufficient water for toilets and drinking. We also face challenges with acquiring school supplies as the new academic year approaches. These are the main challenges we face,” the official added.

The IDP camp currently shelters over 2,000 people. The number of students enrolled for this school year at the IDP camp is currently 570. Last year, enrollment reached thousands of students. The IDP camp has been hosted to Karenni people fleeing the civil war within their state and this year marks the third year of the camp’s operation since the military coup.

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