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Schools have been raided, threatened during the Myanmar recovery crisis | Conflicting Issues

103 schools and other learning centers were raided in May, new information from Save the Children reveals, fearing that the safety of students could be compromised in the aftermath of the February 1 military coup.

The Children’s Rights Commission said explosive devices and grenades were used in many attacks.

“Save the Children is a shock to these threats, which not only endanger the lives of children, but also undermine what has already been a threat to children’s education in Myanmar,” it said in a statement.

“School is a safe haven for children and should not be neglected. The attack on schools is a serious breach of the children’s rights, and no school should be deliberately violated.

The coronavirus had already taken over children in Myanmar during the months of training when Prime Minister Min Aung Hlaing overthrew the government on February 1, arresting elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and government officials.

Since then, thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest, and the military has used force to destroy its opponents. The Assistance Association for Political Prison reports that at least 860 people have been killed and about 5,000 people are in prison.

In the past, under the auspices of the military, embassies have closed universities and, as of February 1, the military has taken over many schools and universities in the country. Thousands of teachers joined in a disobedient group released.

When schools were set on fire or detonated by a bomb, it is not clear who caused the attacks. The military has accused the anti-government movement, but freedom fighters have told independent reporters in Myanmar that they are only fighting against the military and will not harass civilians.

Save the Children told Al Jazeera that it “does not have reliable information” for those leading.

Authorities fired thousands of teachers for taking part in protests [File: Kaung Zaw Hein/EPA]

UNICEF has also reported “an explosion” in schools, teaching centers and offices “in recent weeks.

“Violence in schools or around schools is totally unacceptable,” the UN office in Myanmar said in Facebook on June 3. “Schools and other educational institutions need to be protected from conflicts and violence. . ”

Soldiers in schools

Children in public schools started returning to their classrooms at the beginning of the month, but many young people are too scared to go.

“I haven’t been able to go to school for the last year because of the virus. And this year I would not dare to go, “a 10-year-old girl from Magway County told the agency.” I want to go to school, but I’m scared. Even though the school gates are closed, there are soldiers inside, and I’m afraid of the military. explosions while there. ”

The Myanmar Teachers’ Association told The Irrawaddy newspaper, Myanmar’s media outlet, that less than a million students have returned to school out of concern for their safety.

Pictures of the first day of school were broadcast on television showing armed soldiers at school gates, buses and even classrooms, some apparently encouraging young children to carry guns.

“Even for us, we are concerned about the violence that can occur when we go outside while the military continues to harass civilians,” the mother of a high school student told The Irrawaddy, expressing concern in front of the military. “How can we send our baby to a place where we can’t even see if anything has happened to them?”

The strike has taken over at least 60 schools and universities across the country since March, says Save the Children.

“The military does not have a place in schools or other places of learning,” it said in a statement. “In any case, children should not be armed with all kinds of weapons. The reckless behavior of armed men is unethical, puts children at risk and violates international law on education. ”

Students outside their school in Sittwe, Rakhine state capital, June 1 to start a new term [Stringer/AFP]

Myanmar signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that all children have the right to adequate education.

Save the Children says the international community, including governments and member states of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, should address these threats and provide safe and inclusive education in response to the Myanmar crisis.

“Children are often the victims of conflict and violence, and what is happening to children in Myanmar at the moment may not be so urgent.” the group told Al Jazeera in an email.

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