No more than a quarter of Myanmar’s more than 12 million pupils enrolled for the new school year amid a protest boycott against military rule and in the wake of a series of bombings, an official of a teachers’ group said.
There were noticeably fewer students at many schools in the main city of Yangon as the new academic year began on Thursday for the first time since both the Feb. 1 coup and the relaxation of curbs imposed last year against the spread of Covid-19.
Security forces stood guard at some schools and brought pupils under armed escort from their homes.
An official of the Myanmar Teachers’ Federation, who sought anonymity for fear of retribution, said that even fewer puplis had turned out than had been enrolled because parents were concerned about security, as well as joining the boycott.
Teachers were also afraid, he said, adding, “Some teachers go to school in normal clothing and change into their uniforms only inside the school.”
Schools have become another battleground for protest against the junta that seized power on Feb. 1, arresting elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and cutting short a decade of tentative democratic reforms.—AP