Students Fear for Their Lives

The Myanmar military reopened schools months ago, yet they remain nearly empty. In an interview with Aljazeera, one high school student told them, "I haven’t been going to school because there have been explosions at schools recently. None of my friends are going either... My school hasn’t been attacked yet but when I hear of explosions at other schools it makes me so scared and so I am staying home." Many students refuse to go to school both out of protest as well as fear for their safety. Teachers and students who choose to return to school run the risk of violent attack and murder by anti-military groups. The same student told AlJazeera, “I think the PDFs are trying to scare students away so we will protest with them. But both PDFs and the military are now taking such extreme sides. Even the PDFs are now saying that if we don’t join with them it means we support the military, and they are threatening us.”

Many students have complaints regarding the existing education system, particularly around college degrees, which are unusable outside of Myanmar and have little material benefit in-country. With minimal reward and the fear of death, both from the military as well as anti-military groups, tied to a return to school, the great majority choose to stay at home.

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