JRS Thailand works in two camps in Mae Hong Son province: Ban Mai Nai Soi (camp one) and Ban Mae Surin (camp two). The schools in the camps are run by the Karenni Education Department (KnED) and are supported by JRS.
Pasquino, a high school head teacher in Ban Mai Nai Soi with KnED, shared this testimony with JRS on education in the camp, food ration cuts, and the upcoming election.
My name is Pasquino and I am from Karenni State. I am a high school teacher in Ban Mai Nai Soi and I am 23 years old. Most of the students that I teach are between the ages of 15-21 and the grades are 9 and 10.
I teach Math and Science in English. The others subjects I teach in Burmese. The refugees in the camp cannot read or write in Burmese but in English many can. The language difference is a problem but KnED changed it to Burmese in hopes of integration.
Controlling the students is a problem because my experience was not enough to control them. I like to teach but I am the Principal so now my role has changed [to support the others]. My hope for myself is to serve my students well and for the community I hope they will educate all and recognize the importance of education.
I have heard about the ration cuts. I think the reduction in rations will affect us because we cannot stand by ourselves so our people and students will be affected. The students could leave because they do not have enough food and their parents cannot support them so they have to care of themselves and also maybe their families.
In my opinion, I think that the military will control the country again come the election. If the process is peaceful then I will go back but if it continues to be violent then it will not allow for us to go back.