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Bogalay schools told to reopen despite setbacks

Jun 13, 2008 (DVB), Local military officers in Bogalay township, Irrawaddy division, have been putting pressure on local schools to reopen despite the damage wrought by Cyclone Nargis, a township resident said.

A Bogalay resident said that the Education Ministry had announced that the start of the school term would be postponed in the township due to cyclone damage.

"The Education Ministry released an official announcement stating that schools would not reopen in Bogalay for another month because of the condition of the schools and everything," the resident said.

"But it seems that the local military strategic command wants to make it look as though the government was right in saying that all the relief efforts have finished and now is the time for redeveloping and rehabilitation, and they ordered the schools to reopen by 5 June," he said.

"They said we have to do whatever it takes to make it happen , but how are we supposed to do that when there are no school buildings?"

School fees for middle and high school students are the same as in other years, according to the resident, although many parents lost their livelihoods in the cyclone and are unable to pay them.

The resident said the military had created schools in two villages to give the appearance of a return to normal, but other communities had received no assistance.

"There is no village left and no schools either. The military have set up temporary schools in Kyun Tharyar and another village to show on TV and to the international community so that they will think the situation has gone back to normal," the resident said.

"But it’s only in those two villages. How are students in other villages supposed to go study when there is no school?"

Reporting by Aye Nai


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