Myanmar

Students find joy in new classrooms in Rakhine State

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Schoolchildren in Baw Du Pha village, Myanmar, have found new reasons to get excited about going to class, thanks to a brand new school building constructed by Islamic Relief.

“Around 80 of us used to huddle in a classroom,” says thirteen-year old Mg Hla Myint, describing the makeshift classroom at her old school in Rakhine state.

The schoolgirl is one of 12,300 people living in one of Sittwe’s two camps for those uprooted from their homes by communal violence.

Thanks to Islamic Relief, she and her classmates now have a new school building with fit for purpose classrooms and brand new desks.

“We shared a small desk. When I moved, I would hit my deskmate’s elbows… [now] our classroom is spacious. I feel fresh throughout the day as it is no longer crowded. I’m so happy!”

The new classrooms can host a student-teacher ratio of 1:55, a huge improvement from the previous 1:90. Head teacher U Chit Swe commended the work of Islamic Relief, adding that children can now thrive in better learning environment.

Islamic Relief, which has been working in Myanmar since Cyclone Nargis struck in 2008, built the school with the support of Organization of Islamic Cooperation Humanitarian Relief Fund (OICHF).

Myanmar is particularly prone to natural disasters, so Islamic Relief designed the school to serve as evacuation shelter during cyclone season.