Ministry to Open Workplace Nursery Schools Nationwide

By Htet Naing Zaw 7 March 2017

NAYPYIDAW — Burma’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is taking steps to open workplace nursery schools across the country for the convenience of working parents.

Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye announced the initiative to the press on Tuesday. “If we don’t have a sufficient budget, we’ll accept contributions from foreign investors, foundations and donors as was said by the State Counselor yesterday. As they [the employers] are eager to do this, we’ll initiate this scheme,” said the minister.

Daw Win Win Tint, a prominent business leader and chairwoman of City Mart Holdings Ltd., suggested the idea of workplace nursery schools during talks between prominent businesswomen and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw on Monday.

Workplace nursery schools are necessary for working mothers to ensure more women have a say in decision-making processes, she said.

“The government must adopt a standard system of childcare in which the private sector can participate,” the navigator of successful retail chain told The Irrawaddy.

Dr. Win Myat Aye said that his ministry could provide childcare training and arrangements for private businessmen.

“We can provide help for them [businessmen] if they want to open [workplace nurseries]. We’ll cooperate,” said Dr. Win Myat Aye.

Dr. Aung Thurein, a staff officer with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, said that the ministry would help other ministries in Naypyidaw with opening workplace nursery schools for children under three.

“Our ministry has already started workplace nursery schools. Children are taken care of by certified nurses and teachers. We’ll provide technical assistance if other ministries want to open them,” said Dr. Aung Thurein.

The government also provides 500 kyats per day for pregnant women and children under two years old in Chin and Arakan states and in the Naga Self-Administered Region as part of social safety scheme.

“We give 500 kyats to them so that they can take nutritional supplements for the children. We also educate them about prenatal care, so more pregnant women come and see doctors,” said Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko