News / Asia

Burmese Students Find Hope in University Revival

Burma Seeks Education System Revivali
X
February 13, 2013
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.

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid