MNEC schools face accommodation problems as registration numbers increase

July 17, 2020

HURFOM: For the 2020-21 academic year, the number of students who have registered for high school programs, run by the Mon National Education Committee (MNEC) in Nyi Sar Region dramatically increased.

Parents are afraid their children may be exposed to COVID-19, in national schools, and they are also concerned their children may be exposed to illicit drugs in national schools.  As a result many parents registered their children to attend MNEC run schools, commented Min Aung Zay, the Director of MNEC.

The large number of registered students will now make it difficult to adhere to physical distancing measures required as a result of COVID-19.

At Nyi Sar, there are no drug problems and not too many comings and goings so parents feel safe (if their children are attending schools  here),” said the Director.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 160 high school students were registered in the Nyi Sar Mon national high school. Now 200 students have been registered and more are expected.

When students from all grades come to school, we have to request villagers to provide a shelter for high school students in their houses. If each house accepts two students, it’s okay,” said the Director.

At the moment, students have to study in separated areas and only 20 students have been allowed in a single classroom. There is also a three-hour class a day limit.

In addition, in order to help control the spread of COVID-19, hand-washing basins are placed on the school premises and each student will be supported with a mask and a face shield.

The number of students has increased twice this academic year. High school students have to learn, study and stay at school (they have to stay at school for the whole academic year and are not allowed to go back home) so we have problems related to their accommodation. During COVID-19, they must sleep six feet apart, but there is not enough room. Now, other grades haven’t opened yet, but when primary and middle students come to school, there will be accommodation problems,” said Min Aung Zay.

Mon national schools exist in Kyarinnseikyi Township, Ye Chaung Phyar Region of Ye Township and Yebyu Township. These are all NMSP controlled areas.  In  areas where there is  mixed control between the  NMSP and the government, protocols on how to proceed must wait for instruction from the Ministry of Education of the Burmese government.

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