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Access to education remains a major challenge in post-Nargis Myanmar

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©UNESCO/N.Thaung
A school in Yangon destroyed by Cyclone Nargis

On 2 May 2008, Cyclone Nargis hit the coast of Myanmar, destroying most of the low-lying Irrawaddy delta region. Sturdy structures and homes were flattened and destroyed, trees uprooted and power lines downed.


11 August 2008 -While 450 primary schools in 11 townships of Yangon have had their roofs repaired and have received supplies (Essential Learning Packages, Schools-in-a-Box, Recreation Kits and Early Childhood Kits), challenges in reconstruction and educational supplies still remain.

According to INEE, in addition to a shortage of educational resources to rebuild schools, field reports indicate that some children are denied access to schooling unless they pay "donations" (school fees).

In response, a national education cluster composed of over 20 local and international organizations, including the Ministry of Education, has been established in Yangon. Education sub-clusters have been set up in Labutta, Bogale, Pyapone, Malamyinegyung and Patein. The clusters aim to provide access to a minimum level of basic education for all school-aged children in affected areas. Additionally, alternative learning opportunities for young children and out-of-school children in cyclone-affected communities are being offered.

The INEE has also published a handbook entitled, Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction. This handbook is meant to be used as a capacity-building and training tool for humanitarian agencies, governments and local groups. It also confirms the agency's commitment to children, youth and adults and their right to education during emergencies.

For more information or to download the handbook, visit the INEE website.

For more information on the situation, visit the Humanitarian Information Centre for Myanmar's website at: http://www.hicmyanmar.org/


 

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