In 2004, there was a conflict between teachers and students in a village named Khunkhar, located in Mongmit Township, Northern Shan State. That conflict was a very crucial factor that has been influencing the students’ life forever.
Most teachers in that village were government teachers coming from the city. The villagers had to pay for their salaries and provide everything they needed including food and rice. The villagers were very honest. However, the teachers were not satisfied with the villagers’ support. Thus, they asked from the students attending the schools again.
Once in a week, the students were ordered to provide some cooked curry, vegetables, firewood, oil, and money. If the students did not comply with their orders, the teachers found the excuse to beat the students, then, took out the points from their exams.
Moreover, they went to the head of village and complained to him that they did not want to stay and teach in that village anymore because they did not get enough salary and enough food. The villagers were very worried if the teachers would leave their village, because it was difficult to get a teacher.
In addition, they were also afraid that their children would not be able to read and write. Thus, the villagers always complied with the teachers’ desire even though they were very poor.
One day, the teacher ordered the students to bring curry for them. Unfortunately, there was a student named Sai Pi who could not get the curry for his teacher on that day. He was not able to fulfill his teacher’s need because his family ran out of food during that week. His family was very poor.
They worked for their meal just from day to day and continued their lives. However, his family tried to send him to school like other children despite being poor. Because of the reason that he could not provide the curry, he was punished by his class teacher. She asked him to read all the lessons that she had taught from the beginning of the year without looking at the book.
Unfortunately, that student could not read all the lessons. He was asked to sit up and down for 500 times. Also, he was beaten up 50 times at his thighs. His thighs were injured, full of the marks of stick and he was weak. During that night, he suddenly got sick due to this punishment from the daytime at school.
At night time, he screamed and asked for help. He kept saying, “Teacher, I am afraid, don’t beat and hurt me anymore, please,” during a sleep. The chairman called for a meeting regarding this event because this news spread all over the villages. The teacher gave the reason that she beat him because he did not review his lessons, could not answer and was rude to them.
Nevertheless, that was not the real reason that she gave to the chairman of village. Afterwards, she said if the villagers did not agree they, all the teachers, would not teach anymore. The villagers were very upset. Even though they knew the truth, they could not do anything. The teachers also said to the villagers that they did not want that student, Sai Pi to attend the school anymore, because he did not obey their orders and broke the discipline of the school.
The next day when he went to school, he was expelled from the school. His family was very upset and went to the teacher to give a chance for one more time. Nevertheless, the teacher did not grant permission for that student to attend the school anymore.
From that event onwards, Sai Pi was afraid to hear even the words – “teacher and school”. His innocent mentality was full of fear. Eventually, because of that event, the students were depressed and did not want to attend school. Most of the students left school from that year and their lives were dark forever. There were many children who were illiterate in that village.
Similar events still happen in that village. Students are still being abused by the teachers. There is no one who dares to solve such unjust case. It is unsolved until now.
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