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Mon Community Leaders to Take Hold of 100 Schools
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Mon Community Leaders to Take Hold of 100 Schools

By Azan

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The leaders of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Mon community leaders from the Mon Literature and Culture Committee (MLCC) met on March 18th in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State.  The discussion centered on 100 Mon national schools that are to be handed over to Mon civil community leaders, according to Mon sources.

“They told us at the meeting that we were to work with the schools once they had been handed over. The newly acquired schools would be coming from four townships and would total around 100 schools from Thanbyuzayat, Mudon, Hpa-an and Kawkareik Townships,” said Rev.Vadanta Thila Wuntha, who participated in the meeting. He is the abbot from Hongsar Htaw Monastery in Rangoon.

Mon students in a Mon national school in Hpa-an Township, Karen State. (Photo:Kaowao)

He added that more schools would potentially be handed over in the future if the Mon civil community leaders would be able to successfully manage the newly acquired 100 schools. With the news of the additional schools being brought into our management, we have formed a committee to organize monetary contributions, from the different Mon villages, that will hopefully provide salary to the school teachers.

The budget for school teachers may be the main difficulty for the Mon community leaders who are members of MLCC. Their hope is to allocate an appropriate budget with support from NGOs, according to the joint chairman of MLCC, Min Soe Linn.

The NMSP told us that they will also provide some money for salaries, he added.

The NMSP view this time as an opportunity for the Mon community leaders to work independently for the schools, as the country of Burma is currently experiencing political change and is potentially less susceptible to threats.

The NMSP was formed in 1972 in order to create Mon national schools that were equipped to teach Mon children the Mon language. According to statistics from the Mon National Education Department, there are currently 156 schools teaching the local language in Mon State, while 116 schools offer a mixed curriculum of Burmese and Mon-language lessons.

Mon national schools run similar curriculum to the Burmese government which spans the entire school year. Those who have completed the 10th grade are able to take the exam at government schools, providing a great opportunity for students to attend government universities.

Teaching Mon language in summer school, which runs for one month, in Rangoon, Mon State and Karen State has been allowed more freedom this year since there were no threats by the Burmese authorities.

The Chief Minister of Karen State, Zaw Min, even allowed Mon summer schools to teach at the government schools. However the Chief Minister of Mon State, Ohn Myint, did not give permission for the Mon language to be taught at the government schools, stating that if he allowed Mon, the other ethnic groups would make similar request.

Feedback From
Name of sender: Nai Banya Hongsar
Email of sender: channai@hotmail.com
COMMENTS: Mon National Schools are established by Mon leaders and teachers in late 1970s. Therefore, Mon National Education Council must be established under the new Mon State Government. Unless the Mon State Education Acts are amended, the survival of Mon National Schools as a community based operation is less optamistic. Mon Leaders and teacher should draft a new Mon National Education Policy and submit to local Mon State Government for review. After the Mon National Education Policy paper is submited, Mon MPs and other Mon scholars should draft Mon National Education Acts in line with Union and State Education Acts. Unless the Mon Education Acts bills are passed by both Union of State Parliament, Mon teachers have little power, resoruces and scope for improvement because Mon National Schools are not legally binded under the new constitution. Likewise, Mon monks and teachers should also prepare a basic teaching text books that in line with modern education policy nationally and internationally. Each Mon child has free access to Primary school and low fee middle school. It is education that sustain peace, unity and prosperity for all people in Monland. Great works in under way, but Mon National Education Council or Authority Board must form in 2012 for furtehr policy initiative and leadership for education reform for all people in lower Burma and Mon State.

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