News / Asia

Burmese Students Find Hope in University Revival

Burma Seeks Education System Revivali
X
February 13, 2013 10:32 PM
Years of mismanagement and a disastrous nationalization process have left Burma's once-enviable university system a shambles. A new attitude towards learning, however, is emerging among policymakers.

Years of mismanagement and a disastrous nationalization process have left Burma's once-enviable university system a shambles. A new attitude towards learning, however, is emerging among policymakers.

VOA News
— Burma's universities were once considered by many to be among the best in East Asia. But years of mismanagement and a disastrous nationalization process left the education system in such shambles that many students seek educational opportunities abroad.
 
Since entering parliament, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has made restoration of Burmese schools a priority, and a new attitude towards learning has emerged among policymakers.
 
These Burmese students are visiting a United States college fair in Rangoon, in the hopes to attend college there. Recent political reforms that have resulted in the lifting of sanctions against Burma have made this type of event possible for the very first time.
 
U.S. Ambassador Derek Mitchell says he hopes Burmese students can go to the United States to get a good education, but at the same time there is a need to improve local education systems.
 
"Most important is for it to be indigenous, and in fact we talk about universities but there's a lot that happens before you get to university," Mitchell says. "Primary school education, secondary school education, that has to happen here."
 
When Burma's universities were nationalized in 1964, the government controlled curricula; subjects such as history and political science were taboo. Since reform, however, there has been an attempt to introduce classes that discuss sensitive issues such as the history of ethnic conflict in Burma.
 
May Nyein Chan is taking this history class that is being taught through the embassy-run American Center.
 
"Before I don't think I can have that, it would be something illegal," she says. "I have never gone to a field trip like this before."
 
Universities were at the center of student uprisings that occurred periodically over the past five decades. The government closed them down to keep students away from where they could cause harm.
 
Thein Lwin, a graduate of Rangoon University, has now formed a committee that will make recommendations to parliament on new education policy. He says the government needs a fundamental change in its attitude towards schools and education. But, he adds, it will take time to undo the damage of past governments.
 
"Students should be allowed to form freely student union, the student representative should participate in the university governing body," he says. "University should be a place for criticizing the country."
 
In the meantime, students who hope to be able to continue their education, still want to leave the country.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ohn
February 14, 2013 2:50 AM
Education in deed is something whatever the Americans/ British say it is.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid