Myanmar with education crisis

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – July 19 Scenes

MoeMaKa, July 20, 2023

Myanmar with education crisis

In a report released by the World Bank, it was noted that Myanmar’s education system is now in crisis. Anyone who lives in the country and has school-age children will surely understand this crisis firsthand.

The World Bank’s report on the education crisis shows a 12 percent drop in student enrollment in 2017–22 as a significant statistic. After the military coup, the enrollment rate of high school students was only 22 percent, i.e., a drop of 78 percent, and the impacts on the education field after the coup made it fall into crisis were described.

After the military coup, both civilian employees and armed force members participated in civil disobedience “CDM” activities. Of these, educational employees and health employees participated in the largest numbers. After the health workers went to CDM, the governmental hospitals and clinics where the public could attend and receive treatment became almost non-functional. Similarly, a large percentage of the educational staff also joined the CDM movement, so it was not easy for state-owned primary schools, middle schools, and even universities and colleges to operate properly.

In other words, just like the structure of the armed groups is broken, even if there are students who want to learn in the schools, there are not enough teachers in the relevant fields to teach them. Another point is that after some high school students and many university and college students actively participated in the peaceful protest, some high school students and many university students joined armed organizations in later stages as the military brutally cracked down on the peaceful protest with live ammunition, resulting in the deaths of many innocent civilians in the mass protest. This may be another reason for the current situation.

Since teachers and education staff are participating in CDM, schools have reached a situation where both quantity and quality are not efficient. Many concepts from political views, such as why they would enroll their children in state-owned schools where there are even no sufficient teachers, and why they would have their children learn slavery education under the coup military council’s ministry of education, have emerged among the public. Moreover, there were hopes that they would have their children go back to school after the victory of the revolution in 2021.

Many youths between the ages of 16 and 20 have gone into the forests or joined the village people’s defense forces. There, they have attended military training and joined hands to fight in battles, instead of studying in schools.

When the revolution went on for more than a year, they began to implement a program called interim education, which did not recognize the military council’s education. However, even after more than a year of interim education programs, there is still a situation where there is no systematic organization. It can be said that educational status is beyond the worst in the areas of internal armed conflict. In regions like Karenni State and Sagaing Region, there is no condition to learn education. The situation of not being able to give time for education as they have to flee the war, the situation where they have to learn while fleeing the war, and internet, electricity, and communication outages have destroyed the children’s educational opportunities under the civil war.

There are thousands of school buildings that have been destroyed during the armed conflict, and there are hundreds of schools that have been burned down. Hundreds of thousands of education staff have left the country and are working in neighboring countries, and you will see them in the news re-writing their own experiences. There are children who can attend paid private schools either in person or online, and there are many who connect to online schools for free or for a small fee.

As children of the class who can afford money, they can study abroad, but the number of such children is only a few tenths of the population, and most of them are in a situation where they can’t even attend the interim education in various forms or state-owned education from halfway.