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Rohingya Students Face Ethnocentric Discriminations at Schools in Buthidaung

By MYARF & Aung Aung ׀ Monday, August 25, 2014

Buthidaung, Arakan State ׀

Rohingya students studying at different schools in Buthidaung Township are facing ethnocentric discriminations at the hands of Rakhine racist teachers, say the local Rohingyas.Buthidaung

According to the reports, Rakhine teachers do not deliberately conduct classes at the schools where there are majority Rohingya children studying. Besides, school authority abuse the funds allocated for the students at the school.

A local Rohingya has reported how Rohingya students face problems at a school as mentioned below.

“There is a government primary school at Pha-yon-chaung village in Buthidaung Township. Its head teacher is Daw Oo Mya Thein, the wife of the village’s administrator, Maung Than Htay infamous as a Rakhine extremist. And it has seven teachers.

There are approximately six hundred students at the school. Of them, fifty plus students are Rakhine children, while the majority i.e. more than five hundred plus are Rohingya children. Hence, most of the time, the teachers are absent from the school. When they do attend the school, they waste their time with useless chatting among themselves all the time. Nobody takes action against them for failing to perform their duties.

Besides, the union government provided text books and exercise books for the students at the school like at any other schools in the country at the beginning of the schooling year. But she sold out most of them without distributing to the Rohingya students and spent the money for her personal use.

UNICEF has also donated Kyat 1,000 for each student at the school. However, she didn’t give a single penny (i.e. Kyat) to any Rohingya student” said a local of Pha-yon-chaung village.

In a separate incident reported below, the headmistress of a high school at Nyaung Chaung village in Buthidaung Township has closed down its outlet primary school as it is meant for Rohngya children. Besides, she monthly collects money from Rohingya students and uses them for her personal purpose.

“Basic Education High School at Nyaung Chaung village first located amidst Rohingya village. Later, it was shifted to a place between Rakhine village and Rohingya village. Consequently, Rohingya children under the age of ten are facing problems in travelling too far for their primary school inclusive in the high school.

Therefore, the previous school was kept as an annex primary school to the main High School. Primary Standard, Standard One and Standard Two were used to run at the school. The headmistress of the school, Daw Shwe Moe Nyo, accepted and registered Rohingya children for the school at the beginning of the school year. However, she later closed down the school citing insufficiency of furniture (such as tables and chairs) and shortness of teachers.

However, when the Rohingya parents and elders proposed that they would provide furniture for the school and volunteer teachers to teach the students, she collected the money from the people as much as possible. Despite that, she has not resumed the primary school citing that she has spent the money for making and providing furniture for the high school. She seems to have spent the money for her own purposes.

We just feel that she is not reopening the school just because it is meant for our students” elaborated a local of Nyaung Chaung declining to be identified.

“Besides, she collects Kyat 3,000 from each Rohingya student of high school and Kyat 2,000 from that of middle school respectively under the pretext of conducting tuitions. Most of the schools in Myanmar are government schools and any student studying at the schools do not require to pay any tuition fees.

Despite taking the money, she doesn’t conduct any tuition for the students. As a result, many students of poor family background are facing extreme difficulties.

Furthermore, Rakhine students and Rohingya students have been segregated in many schools. It is just to make things easier for them in not conducting classes for Rohingya students” he continued.

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