Schools in Myanmar has opened on Tuesday for first time since the military seized power, but teachers and students defied the junta’s calls to full classrooms in a show of resistance.
Four months of national turmoil have followed the February ouster of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, with more than 800 people killed by security forces and a nationwide strike crippling the economy.
Public schoolteachers — dressed in the green and white uniforms mandated by the education ministry — were prominent in the early mass protests, joining railway workers, doctors and civil servants on the streets.
The junta has insisted schools open on Tuesday after a year’s absence due to Covid-19, but many educators had already decided they could not return to a job they love.
“I’m not afraid of their arrest and torture,” Shwe Nadi, a teacher from the commercial capital Yangon told AFP. Her name has been changed for her safety.
“I’m afraid of becoming a teacher who teaches the students propaganda.”
The 28-year-old was fired for supporting the civil disobedience movement — one of the thousands of teachers and academics the junta has sacked.
“Of course, I feel bad losing my job because I loved being a teacher. Although it is not well paid, we have our pride for being teachers as others respect us,” she said.