Parents in Putao Concerned About Reopening of Schools During COVID-19 Pandemic

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Parents in Kachin State’s Putao Township are questioning the authorities’ decision to re-open schools in July, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools in the township will accept student registration for Grade 9 and 10 from July 13-18, with high schools opening again on July 21, according to the head of Putao’s education department.

“I think the authorities need to wait a while to open schools,” Ja Tu, who lives in Putao, told NMG. “This is a pandemic and it affects our lives. I think their education can wait until later… If the virus affects our children, the situation will be a lot worse.”

Ja Raw, another Putao parent, expressed similar sentiments.

“I’m worried about my children. I don’t know what will happen if schools open again. If the schools don’t open, our children will just grow one year older. I think it’s better not to open schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Seng Khun, principal of a high school in Putao’s Kawngka Htawng ward, told NMG that classes would be separated into two sessions, morning and afternoon, to decrease class size to a maximum of 20 students. Students will alternate between studying at school for one week, then at home for one week.

Students will be assigned a specific registration date to prevent crowding, do so three feet apart, and given a limited time to collect textbooks.

Parents have asked the Putao authorities to review their decision as the virus continues to be a threat in the country.