Student Attendance Remains Low as Schools Reopen in Maungdaw

Maung Aye

Maungdaw: Some of the schools in Maungdaw in Arakan State reopened from the 13th of August after being closed for over two months due to the violent attacks in the area. However the number of students attending is still very low.

Maungdaw high school (Photo by Narinjara)

“The schools were reopened according to the announcement by the authorities, but students are not going to their schools because the security is still unreliable in our area. The teachers are leaving school very early due to the lack of student attendance”, said a resident of downtown Maungdaw.

He said that the authorities had announced the reopening of schools on the 13th of August in their recent meeting with the town elders.

An official from the education department in Maungdaw also confirmed that the attendance of both students and teachers was very low.

“The attendance of students as well as teachers are still very low in the schools. Only 6 female teachers and about 40 students attended the high school, a class of four attended the primary school and no small children came at all during the last week. Furthermore the middle school in the town could not be reopened,” said the official.

The official said the schools were changed to operate in two shifts – the morning shift was for Arakanese students and the afternoon shift for Muslim students—in order to prevent untoward incidents in the schools, but no Muslim students have yet attended.

He added that there are 160 schools in Maungdaw District and most of the schools are still unable to be reopened due to low attendance.

According to many parents in downtown Maungdaw, they still have security fears and do not send their children to school despite them being guarded by security forces.

A villager from Nanthartaung Village in northern Maungdaw Township said schools were also closed there.

“There are around 70 students in our village, but they and others from nearby villages cannot attend their schools because they have been closed since the violent attacks occurred in our area. There are no teachers as they left the villages after the attacks.”

Local authorities originally intended to open the schools on the 8th of August but had to postpone this due to bomb threats.