Schools run by the National Unity Government (NUG) in Sagaing Region have resumed classes after they were forced to shut down following the brutal murder of six students and three teachers during a Burma Army attack on Let Yat Kone village school, located in Depayin Township, last month.
“We have to be extra cautious with the children after the Let Yat Kone incident. We made sure to dig trenches at every school and sometimes we put young children in the trenches and teach them just in case of an emergency. Some teachers told me that only 20 percent of the students went back to school after the Let Yat Kone incident. They (Burma Army) can come at any time and shoot at us. So, this is how we are preparing and getting ready to protect ourselves from their atrocities,” said a school teacher and member of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in Watlet Township.
The UN, ASEAN and the international community condemned the murder of innocent children and teachers, carried out by the Burma Army. Burma’s representative at the UN, Kyaw Moe Tun, warned that childrens’ lives are being lost as the international community delays taking action against the Burma Army for its atrocities.
“We face many difficulties. We are not able to teach peacefully and we have to listen to the sounds of helicopters. We have to learn ways to ensure it is safe for us to teach kids when the military doesn’t spare children. In particular, we look for a safe place to teach. We hid ourselves from the walls, trees and taught children in places that nobody can see us in in case of an emergency. It is not okay to teach inside trenches especially in the rainy season. It is also inconvenient for the children to flee into jungles and have to gather again,” said a teacher in Yinmabin Township.
On Oct. 8, the Burma Army conducted airstrikes on two villages in Watlet Township with two jet fighters. It arrested around 200 civilians and destroyed a school. The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) announced on Sept. 10 that schools in 13 states and regions of Burma were attacked at least 190 times in 2021. It also stated that schools and universities are being used by the Burma Army for military purposes