Thaw Lay, a high school student from Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, knew that this school year would be unlike any other. “I was excited, but I also knew that things would be a little different, when school reopened later this year”, he recalls.
Thaw Lay and his fellow students face unprecedented levels of disruption to their education: on 21 July, following a slowdown in new local transmissions of the virus, the Ministry of Education announced a phased reopening, starting with high schools.
“From school closures to disruptions in the ongoing reforms, we are facing one of the greatest crises in the education sector today”, said Min Jeong Kim, Head of the UN education agency (UNESCO) office in Myanmar. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to disproportionately impact the most vulnerable children and youth in Myanmar, exacerbating existing educational inequalities.”