by – Salai Hung Tun Gei
Three hundred and forty seven out of 1421 schools in Chin State were located in Paletwa Township whose occupied vast majority of schools in Chin State. However, the town was the least success rate of matriculation since previous years. Due to recent armed conflict, repeated open and close of schools became a critical concern for education sector.
Experts from education and school teachers pointed that a reason of the concerns was that primary education was a basic for increasing the numbers of success rates of matriculation. Village tracts and sub towns had more numbers of primary, middle and sub high schools than the main town of paletwa. Paletwa Township, the southern part of Chin State, located in the northwest of India and Bangladesh occupied numerous area and population.
“If students were not able to attend school like kids from villages who did not attend school, education would be in slow progress. The current situation was uncertain and education would be still in slow progress because of uncertainty of re-opening schools”, said Naw Da Hlaing, a teacher from Laungmatu Village of Paletwa Township.
In the education year of 2018 and 2019, Paletwa had the vast majority of matriculated students and in total there were 1770 students who took exam and, only 6. 84 %, the least success rate passed the exam. In previous years, the township was the vast majority with the least success passed.
A farther of an IPD said “parents were not able to support their children to go schools. Piece of clothes including school uniform was required and the supports from other sources were not sufficient.”
“Students would lose opportunities to go school and would struggle hard in future”, said U Tera, a field director of Chin Human Right Organization. From human right perspective not having opportunities to go school was violation of rights to access education. In the long run, the more kids who did not go to school, the more crime would increase,” said U Tera continually.
In previous four months, because of the escalation of armed conflict in Palewa, 118 schools were closed and teachers on duty did not want to go to the assigned schools. As a consequence, schools were still closed on the opening period and the numbers of teacher were insufficient.
“Schools were still closed due to the noises of gunshot and the numbers of teachers were not enough. Some went back to their homes and did not come back while some teacher kept staying”, said Naw Da Hlaing, a teacher.
There were 347 schools in Paletwas and experienced the shortage of teachers while the school were open. The under coordination of Union and State government, 360 numbers of non-permanent school teacher were appointed. However, 306 numbers of subject skilled teachers were still required.
U Aung Min, a township education officer said, “The schools were no longer closed. The schools where experienced the shortage of teachers had been added 360 teachers and in township level the 306 numbers of teachers were still required. But the report had been sent to the state government and the state official had told that they would report to Union government”.
Although, the new teachers had been positioned, the subject skilled teachers were still under the requirement. The quotas of teachers for school were not able to assign as the requirement and the existing teachers were assigned duties to cover the requirement.
U Paung Lung Min Thang, a spoke person of State Government said, “Currently we were not able to provide as the designed numbers and just recruited for teaching in school. We at this moment attempted not to face a lack of teacher. I admitted that we were not able to provide quantities of teachers in full but tried not be school without teachers.”
“It was true that teachers were not enough because of the war but also because of extending the numbers of schools. There were only two persons, a principal and an office assistant in some schools”, said Daw Nan Dar Hlaing.
“My wish was I would not prefer to extend the numbers of schools. Appointing a new teacher was fine but never covered the required numbers. Extending the numbers of teachers would be fine rather than extending the numbers of school. Just increasing the numbers of school is not suitable”, said Daw Nan Dar Hlaing.
The continuous armed conflict between Arakan Army and Tatmadaw enhanced the numbers of IPD and the status quo of closing schools more than ten were faced in Rakhine state.
Local NGOs said, “With a consequence of armed conflict, there were around 60000 IDP in Rakhine and more than 3000 IDP in Paletwa Chin State so far. Appropriate schools should be provided to continue education without damage”