Aizawl: More than 6,000 Myanmarese children, who have taken refuge in Mizoram along with their parents following a military coup in neighbouring country last year, have enrolled themselves in various schools across the state, an official has stated.
Though there is no concrete law prohibiting the Myanmarese children from enrolling in Mizoram schools they could not be officially treated as ‘refugee students’ as the Centre has not granted refugee status to them, School Education Department Director Dr. H Lalthlangliana said.
Of the 6,195 such children, 5,221 have been enrolled in government schools, 184 in government-aided institutes while 790 in private schools, he said.
Language, culture, no barrier for children from Myanmar
Lalthlangliana said that as Myanmarese children belong to the Chin community, they do not face any language barriers and share the same ancestry and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram and also speak the Mizo language. In some cases, parents have hired teachers for their children, the official said.
Lalthlangliana also said that 68 children of Myanmarese nationals have enrolled for class 10 board examinations under the Mizoram Board of School Education during the 2021-22 academic session. Of them, 31 attended the examinations and all except three passed the exam.
Students to benefit from newly introduced Burmese courses
Recently, Mizoram University (MZU) and the Institute of Chin Affairs (ICA), a non-profit organisation, announced the introduction of a diploma course in Burmese language and communication skills at the varsity.
Burmese is the official language of Myanmar and is spoken by around two-thirds of the population in the South East Asian country.
The course will be offered by MZU jointly with International Development Research Centre (IDRC) from next month, Prof Lalnilawma, head of extension education and rural development department of MZU said.
“This course is recommended for students who wish to study Myanmar’s complex, multi-layered society, and work with local and international agencies in Myanmar,” ICA and Mizoram University said in a joint statement.
The course will initially be run for a period of 10 months (Semester I & II) beginning October.
More than 30,000 Myanmmar refugees in Mizoram
As per official records, more than 30, 000 Myanmar refugees have taken shelter in different parts of Mizoram since the military coup in February last year.
While the majority of them are living in relief camps, some are staying in rented houses on their own, and others are staying with their local relatives.
The government, in collaboration with village authorities and NGOs, has set up more than 150 relief camps across the state for them.
Mizoram shares a 510 km long international border with Myanmar.