Khin Thayaphy Oo | DMG
February 20, Sittwe
More than 90% of seats at a vocational training school in the Arakan State capital have gone unfilled for the current enrollment period as conflict in the state continues to show its wide-reaching effects.

Only three people have joined the Sittwe Weaving and Vocational Training School due to the conflict in Arakan State, according to Daw Hnin Thet Phyu, assistant director of the school.

She told DMG that every year the school normally selects 20 participants each for a one-year course and a six-month course. But only three people applied for the six-month course for the 2019-20 academic year, and the school received no applications for the longer term training.

“It is mainly because of the conflict happening in Arakan State. People are unable to come because of that. We had Chin and Mro ethnic participants in the past. Now they say that they are afraid to come to school,” Daw Hnin Thet Phyu said.

She added that another reason people were less interested in enrolling was because of the difficult economic situation and lack of job opportunities in the region.

“There are much fewer job opportunities in Arakan State. So they cannot get jobs when they have finished the training,” she said.

Other school officials noted that eight subjects are taught at the school apart from weaving, and the school is trying to link with organizations and businesses so that students who complete the training can tap into a network of potential employers.

The government opened the Sittwe Weaving and Vocational Training School in British colonial time of 1946 and currently provides support of K30,000 (US$20) per month to each student.

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