Violence Against or Obstruction of Education in Myanmar (February-May 2021)

Originally published


July 2021

Mass Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) protests have been taking place across Myanmar after the Myanmar armed forces (known as the Tatmadaw) seized control of the country on 1 February following a general election that the National League for Democracy (NLD) party won by a landslide and formed the State Administration Council (SAC) on 2 February.

The military have since declared a state of emergency that will last for at least a year. A number of countries have condemned the takeover and subsequent violent crackdown on protesters. Hundreds of people, including children, have been killed and many injured during the protests.

Over the past months violence by both state security forces and non-state armed groups has distinctly impacted teachers, schools and universities. Support for the opposition has traditionally been high among university and secondary school students and some of their teachers. This has drawn educational institutions into the conflict affecting many students including even those that may not be opposition supporters.

This document by Insecurity Insight highlights reported incidents affecting teachers, schools and universities in Myanmar between 01 February and 31 May 2021 to illustrate the impact of the conflict on education.

Threats and violence against education facilities and teachers affects the provision of education directly when education facilities are no safe places and teachers disappear or are fearful. Students participating in anti-junta protests have been equally touched by crack-down on the opposition. However, they are not the specific focus of this report. Incident monitoring is not well suited to identify students affected by conflict. Most teenagers are also students making it very difficult to identify affected students within the general population. As a consequence, the total numbers of affected students will remain vague. Educational institutions and individuals working as teachers, by contrast, are usually identified as distinct categories in event reports thus allowing for monitoring and reporting on specific events and changing trends on how schools, universities and teachers are affected by the conflict.

The incidents are based on the dataset 01 February and 31 May 2021 Attacks on Education in Myanmar Data, available on the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX).