Arakan Lawmaker Urges Govt to Lower Criteria for Teachers in Remote Areas

By Min Aung Khine 22 November 2017

SITTWE—An Arakanese lawmaker on Tuesday submitted a proposal to the Rakhine State Parliament urging the Union government to lower the criteria for teaching primary school in remote areas, including Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships in Rakhine State.

“Transportation is poor in Buthidaung and Maungdaw. What’s worse, there are serious safety concerns. So teachers appointed by the government cannot go into these remote areas. As a result, children there are devoid of schooling,” said U Zaw Zaw Myint of Buthidaung (Constituency 1), who submitted the proposal.

The Education Ministry requires that primary school teachers have at least a university degree or have passed matriculation.

The lawmaker urged that the ministry adjust the requirements to allow those who have finished 9th or 10th grade to teach at primary schools in ethnic areas including northern Rakhine.

“The government can grant exemptions and appoint local ethnic people such as Mro, Khami and Daingnet who have completed the 9th and 10th grade. I think they can teach at least 8th graders. Only then will children in those areas become literate and learn rational thinking,” he told The Irrawaddy.

“As their education improves, this will help reduce conflicts in the area, and also facilitate peace and stability as well as development,” he added.

Lawmaker U Aung Win of Myebon Township seconded his proposal, which was then approved by the Rakhine State Parliament for debate.

Over 400 schools have closed in Buthidaung, Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships since insurgent attacks were launched on police outposts in northern Rakhine State on Aug. 25. There were 2,482 teachers and over 150,000 students at those schools, according to the Rakhine State Education Department.