Refugees Seek Support for Chindren’s Education in Camp
11 April 2012: Refugees from Burma stranded in Nupo Refugee Camp along the Thai-Burma border say they are in urgent need of fund for establishing an English-medium primary school for children from the kindergarten to Grade-1 classes.
Camp leaders say they need about 4000 US dollars for the first academic year, which is scheduled to start enrolment as soon as the first week of May and open in June 2012. The school will teach four subjects, including English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Hygiene.
Mangpu, a Chin leader from the Nupo Refugee Camp, said there is no school using English yet even though there are about 16 basic education schools that use Burmese and Karen languages for text books and teaching.
“Currently, the classrooms are overcrowded with more than 35 students in each class. This leads to poor academic achievement and discipline problems among the students,” added the Chin teacher.
About 251 Chin refugees, with 105 females and 57 children mostly under the age of 13, out of an estimated total of 15,000 refugees are currently stranded in the Nupo Refugee Camp with the majority being Karen.
The school aims to accommodate about 80 students and 5 teachers, and is programmed to accept refugee children in the camp regardless of religion, ethnicity and social background.
“It is highly expected that students will be able to hear, read, speak and understand English properly and be different from other school products. This English school will bring a great change to refugee children as well as parents and communities,” continued Mangpu.
Nupo is home to three high schools, two middle schools, five primary schools and six nursery schools with a total number of 5,537 students and 214 teachers.
Last year, Chin individuals and communities including US-based Chin Youth Organization (CYO) donated funds to support the celebration of Chin National Day in Nupo camp.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang