Irrawaddy Region Teachers Fear Violence After Regime Forces Reopening Of Schools

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Teachers and parents of students are fearful of being caught up in the urban conflict between the military and the People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) after the junta announced it would reopen schools closed by the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in the Irrawaddy Region.

An education director who’s not joined the CDM said Burma Army (BA) soldiers have weapons but live in fear of guerrilla attacks. ”We’re not guarded, but we’ve to open the schools. It seems like we’re being forced to die. ”

Soldiers, police and informants are often attacked by the PDFs in the Irrawaddy Region, and the education director said they must be protected from such attacks.

According to a retired military official from the Southwest Military Command, BA is too busy responding to PDF raids across the country to protect teachers, government employees and others who support the regime.

Teachers were ordered to reopen schools from primary to high school and distance learning courses for first-year students on 1 November.

“In my opinion, this is just a show for political purposes. There are no preparations for the reopening of the schools. I advise parents to not send their children to school,” said a teacher who joined the CDM.

Parents who don’t accept the rule of the military fear that if the schools are reopened, the armed forces will hurt the students if they protest against the regime, which they see as illegitimate.

The last time the junta tried to reopen schools in Burma was on 1 June.