Racially, Religiously Discriminative Lesson to be Dropped from National Curriculum

By The Irrawaddy 12 March 2019

YANGON—The Ministry of Education has ordered the removal of a lesson from the civic education subject in the elementary curriculum of both government and private schools which has been the subject of complaints for its racism and religious discrimination.

In December, more than 100 civil society groups wrote an open letter to President U Win Myint to complain that a civics education lesson taught in elementary schools includes discriminatory phrases such as, “Mixed blood is a hateful wrongdoing, and the race will be extinct.” Such phrases have been taught in schools since the early 2010s.

“Those lessons seem to attempt to indoctrinate the innocent minds of children with discriminatory practices,” it said.

The letter was also copied to the State Counselor’s Office, the Ministry of Education and parliamentary speakers.

The directive issued by the Ministry of Education to stop teaching the lesson and remove it from the curriculum was recently circulated on social media.

Deputy Education Minister U Win Maw Tun confirmed the decision to The Irrawaddy on Tuesday. He said they decided to remove it as it goes against with the ministry’s no-discrimination policy.

“We really thank the Ministry of Education for the decision,” said Daw Kathleen Thein, who chairs Inngyin May Hindu Women’s Network, which also signed the letter.

The ministry’s decision came following a meeting with representatives from the civil societies last month.