A third of school buildings in lower Burma are below safety standards, according to an education official.
Speaking to Myanmar Thandawsint Journal, Thazin Thin, the director-general of No. 1 Department of Basic Education, said that 6,000 buildings out of the more than 20,000 schools in lower Burma were all below structural safety standards due to the lack of funds.
The repair budget for all 6,000 school buildings is about 3 billion kyat, roughly US$3.09 million, she said.
Win Pe, a retired education officer, confirmed that on a budget of about $500 per school, it is very difficult for the buildings to be up to standard.
Questions of building integrity in Burma’s schools were raised on the heels of an accident last week. A second-floor corridor of a high school collapsed in Thegong Township of Pegu [Bago] Division on the first day of classes, leaving 17 students injured. A resident of Padigon said that the school building was about 50 years old and in desperate need of repairs.
Addressing the Financial Commission at a 2014-15 fiscal year budget meeting in January, President Thein Sein pledged that the education budget – allotted 5.43 percent last year – would be increased to 5.92 percent.