The Long Walk to School

Nai Hong Sar

Photojournalist Nai Hong Sar was born in Karen State in Eastern Myanmar. Because of the ongoing civil war against the Burmese regime, his family fled to Thailand when he was ten years old. As a Burmese refugee, he learned first hand about the difficulty of going to school. He returned to Myanmar in 2010.

For Framing the Transition he decided to focus on this subject, very close to his heart: education.

Today, Myanmar still spends the smallest percentage of its budget on education of any country in South East Asia – roughly 6% – at the same time that it spends about 25% of its budget on military spending.

“Education is one of the biggest problems we face in Myanmar,” he says. “One of the problems has been terrible mismanagement, the legacy of sixty years of misrule by the military.” As a result, access to education is difficult for many rural children, who have to walk miles and miles to get to school.

“That might sound tough,” he cautions, “but wait until the monsoon comes – which lasts four, sometimes five months in this country. When the roads are turned to mud, this walk often becomes impossible.”

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