6 June 2015 -- In Inaccessible and Under-Resourced the Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP), a project of the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), draws on interviews with 146 individuals, largely in 17 predominantly Mon rural villages of Ye, Kyainnseikyi, and Yebyu Townships in Mon and Karen States and Tenasserim Region, to present an exploration of education challenges in rural Mon regions of Burma. Through this report, WCRP aims to highlight the significant challenges faced by both students and teachers in government-led Basic Education and ‘Mixed’ Schools, and in non-state Mon National Education Committee (MNEC) operated Mon National Schools; first exploring the issue of education dropout, and second outlining resource constraints in rural village schools.

WCRP expresses concern that, despite some progress on national-level education reform, the benefits of reform have clearly yet to be seen in rural ethnic areas of the country. Overwhelmingly, WCRP’s main findings were that education in rural Mon regions remains inaccessible for children from poor families, and that rural village schools remain chronically under-resourced.

More specifically, research highlighted that, despite the Burmese government’s commitment to Millennium Development Goal No. 2 (Universal Completion of Primary Education), over a third of children who stated when they had left education dropped out before completing Primary School. Meanwhile, three quarters of students who gave reasons why they had dropped out from education cited problems connected to livelihood difficulties. In terms of resource shortages, 14 of 23 village schools surveyed indicated problems with insufficient material and human resources.

In this report WCRP calls for all parties concerned with education in Mon regions, including the Burmese government, MNEC and international aid organisations, to undertake all necessary measures to address the highlighted concerns. In particular, WCRP advocates that all parties must take comprehensive action to limit the effects of poverty on school attendance and to strengthen resources available to rural village schools. WCRP hopes that the data contained within this report may be used as a starting point for follow-up research and stepped-up engagement, facilitating measures that may slowly begin to improve education prospects for some of Burma’s most marginalised children.

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