New School Built for Underprivileged Chin Children
27 October 2011: A new school building constructed for ‘underprivileged’ Chin children is soon to be open in a remote area of Chin State.
Sponsored by a British charity Children on the Edge, the school building is nearing completion, and will have four teachers and accommodate a total of 84 Chin children for their primary education in Tilum village, Falam Township, according to the organization’s website.
Tilum, which is about 3 miles from Tibual village, one of the military bases of Burma Army Battalions, has seen its locals suffering from various forms of abuses including forced labour, arbitrary taxation, extortion and oppression.
Consequently, many people have left the village, according to Children on the Edge.
“The remaining 19 households (which consist of 3-4 families sharing the same house) are those who lack the money or capacity to leave the village or those who are too afraid to settle in other communities.”
Many families cannot leave as they rely on jhuming cultivation, growing rice or sweetcorn in order to survive, it added.
“There is no transportation out of the village so the children remaining in Tilum have no chance of an education. This is why it’s so vital for us to support the community and build a primary school.”
The situation in Tilum represents a typical case of long-standing government neglect and gross underfunding of education Chin State, which has resulted in sharp drop-out rates among school children in the rural areas in recent years.
Chin State is the only State in Burma where there is no separate Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health under the new quasi-civilian government.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang