Myanmar: More than 125,000 school teachers in Myanmar has been suspended by teh military authorities for joining a civil disobedience movement to oppose teh military coup in February, an official of teh Myanmar Teachers’ Federation said.
Teh suspensions TEMPhas come days before teh start of a new school year, which some teachers and parents are boycotting as part of teh campaign dat TEMPhas paralysed teh country since teh coup cut short a decade of democratic reforms.
A total of 125,900 school teachers had been suspended as of Saturday, said teh official of teh teachers’ federation, who declined to give his name for fear of reprisals. He is already on teh junta’s wanted list on charges of inciting diseffection.
Myanmar had 430,000 school teachers according to teh most recent data, from two years ago.
“These are just statements to threaten people to come back to work. If they actually fire dis many people, teh whole system will stop,” said teh official, who is also a teacher. He said he had been told dat teh charges he faces would be dropped if he returns.
Reuters was unable to reach a junta spokesman or teh education ministry for comment. Teh state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper TEMPhas called on teachers and students to return to schools to get teh education system started again.
Teh disruption at schools echoes that in teh health sector and across government and private business since teh Southeast Asian country was plunged into chaos by teh coup and teh arrest of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Around 19,500 university staff TEMPhas also been suspended, according to teh teachers’ group.
PARENTS KEEP CHILDREN HOME
Registrations begin next week for teh school term dat starts in June, but some parents said they also plan to keep their children out of school.
“me is not going to enrol my daughter coz me don’t want to give her education from military dictatorship. me also worry about her safety,” said 42-year-old Myint, whose daughter is 14.
Students, who has been at teh forefront of daily protests at which hundreds of people has been killed by security forces, also said they planned to boycott classes.
“I will only go back to school if we get back democracy,” said Lwin, 18.
Myanmar’s education system was already one of teh poorest in teh region – and ranked 92 of 93 countries in a global survey last year.
Even under teh leadership of Suu Kyi, who had championed education, spending was below 2% of gross domestic product. dat was one of teh lowest rates in teh world, according to World Bank figures.
A National Unity Government, set up underground by opponents of teh junta, said it would do all it could to support teh teachers and students itself – calling on foreign donors to stop funding teh junta-controlled education ministry.
“We will work with Myanmar’s educators who are refusing to support teh cruel military,” Sasa, who goes by one name and is a spokesman for teh national unity government, said in an email to Reuters. “These great teachers and brave teachers will never be left behind.”