The Ministry of Ethnic Affairs, Ministry of Education, and Nay Pyi Taw Council held a press conference on the third year in office serving the public at the meeting hall of the Ministry of Information in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Dr. Myo Thein Gyi (Union Minister for Education)
The Union Minister said his ministry has been working tirelessly to fulfil the 12 priority objectives for reforms they had promised to the public. He said they have worked for synchronizing middle and upper classes of basic education schools to improve the lives of people with low education and opened vocational training classes for them as well.
He said they have permitted universities to design and teach their own curricula and conduct self-administration and research programmes. In addition, they have strived for educational services that will ensure students do not become a burden to their society, and for a transparent handling of educational budgets from the Union Government, private sector and other domestic and foreign sectors.
The Union Minister said national expenditure on education has increased with K2.17 trillion spent in the 2018-2019 for implementing education reforms and transitioning from a primarily rote-learning system to one that encourages critical thinking.
He said they have made necessary amendments to the textbooks for Grades 1, 2, 3 and 6 and have given training to teachers on the Grades 3 and 6 textbooks for 1 June of the 2019-2020 academic year. He said they are aiming to complete redesigning the textbooks for Grades 4, 7 and 10 for the 2020-2021 academic year, Grades 5, 8 and 11 for 2021-2022, and complete textbooks for all 12 Grades and the teachers’ manual by 2022-2023.
The Union Minister said there are 404,444 teachers and 9,144,169 students in the 47,005 government schools across the nation and combined with private schools, the number of students in Myanmar totals out at 9,707,080. He said the number of students in Shan State and Ayeyawady Region increased with the expansion of schools in the 2018-2019 academic year.
The Union Minister said they are constructing new school hostels with the allotted budget and handing out textbooks on social and moral development and teachers’ manual free of charge. He said the matriculation exam pass rate has increased from previous years.
The Union Minister said there has been an increase in students living with disabilities, from migrant families, and in penitentiaries taking the matriculation exam in the 2018-2019 academic year. He said the Rector Committee has been formed and has held two seminars followed by the formation of nine working committees and eight special task groups.
The Union Minister said they are upgrading the 2-year education college courses to 4-year education college degrees. He said they have opened courses to meet the specific requirements of various regions such as opening a postgraduate course on tourism management at the National Management Degree College and Mandalay Degree College, a postgraduate course on fisheries and aquaculture in Yangon University, and a postgraduate course on marine science in Sittway University.
He added that 1,890 students have been sent on scholarships to 49 countries between 2016 to 2018.
U Min Aye (Director-General, Ministry of Ethnic Affairs)
The Director-General first highlighted the ministry’s role in organizing the Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum on 18-19 January 2018 in Nay Pyi Taw. He said a noticeable result of the forum was the establishment of the Myanmar Ethnic Entrepreneurs Association (MEEA) on 17 March of the same year.
He said the MEEA facilitated the Myanmar Ethnics Culture Fest in Yangon’s Kyaikkasan grounds from 25 to 30 January this year, which was successfully thronging with visitors amid free admission. The festival showcased a plethora of traditions, cuisine and other aspects of the multitude of ethnic races across Myanmar in addition to holding the Miss Ethnic Myanmar 2019 pageant, with ambassadors and foreign visitors attending, said the Union Minister.
He added that a forum titled ‘Change-Challenges to Opportunities’ was held on 24 January 2019 to honour the Myanmar Ethnics Culture Fest.
U Min Aye said his ministry helps with organizing celebrations for auspicious days of ethnic races in Nay Pyi Taw Council Area and coordinates with the relevant government for celebrations held across the states and regions. He said the Union Minister for Ethnic Affairs and the Deputy Minister either attended the various ethnic auspicious commemorations and presented cash donations or sent messages of greetings.
U Min Aye said his ministry collaborated with the Ministry of Education to appoint teaching assistants for ethnic literature in basic education schools during the 2017-2018 academic year and has currently appointed 5,161 teaching assistants across the states and regions and Nay Pyi Taw. He added they are planning with MoE to send 719 graduates of the appointed teaching assistants to the education college and appoint them as primary class guides.
The Director-General said they have published 3,412,230 story books containing the Burmese language and one of 66 ethnic languages for KG classes. He said they held a workshop on 6 March 2018 to translate the healthcare standards guidebook into ethnic languages. He said they are discussing with all concerned ethnic literature and culture groups.
U Min Aye said they have translated posters educating the public on vaccines for children, Japanese encephalitis and influenza into ethnic languages and the results have seen a better understanding on these topics by ethnic people.
He said they are continually working on documenting endangered ethnic cultures and customs for preservation and have completed a documentary on the Tanaw ethnic race.
U Min Aye said they are providing rice and fishing boats to the Salone people in Taninthayi Region using K61.6 million of the regional budget, with the ministry’s regional department acting as the focal point.
He said they have held a coordination meeting to evaluate the draft bylaw on protecting the rights of ethnic races on 20-21 September 2018. He said they have sent the bill to the Union Attorney-General’s office and will send it to the Union Government if the UAG gives approval.
U Tun Tun Win (Acting Secretary, Nay Pyi Taw Council)
U Tun Tun Win said the Nay Pyi Taw Council has used K174,885.511 million from the Union budget, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw development budget, Nay Pyi Taw Council budget and donors to implement tasks and projects for the development of the education, healthcare, transportation infrastructure, irrigation, electrification and other developmental sectors of Nay Pyi Taw during the three-year period of the incumbent government.
U Tun Tun Win said the Union Government gave permits to 23 farmers to use 58.55 acres of land for farming and other uses in the incumbent government’s first year of administration, to 5 farmers for 10.86 acres in the second year, and to 31 farmers for 72.55 acres in the third year.
He said there were 83 criminal cases under the ten major offences in Nay Pyi Taw and the most widespread was homicide and sexual assault. He said there were 2,092 criminal cases for the other ten offences, an increase of 116 cases from last year. However, there were 1,924 criminal cases under ten preventive offences, a decrease of 2,742 cases from last year. U Tun Tun Win said Nay Pyi Taw Council has regularly fulfilled their annual objectives for each sector and has seen development rise by 2.4 per cent. He said the average production and service value each individual was K1,540,706 during in 2017-2018 FY according to a temporary census. He said they are aiming to increase that value to K1,626,639 in the 2018-2019 FY.
The Acting Secretary said the One Stop Shops in all eight townships of the Nay Pyi Taw Council Area provided 32,721 services in the first year of the incumbent government’s administration, 31,160 services in the second year, and 31,758 in the third year. He added that there were 172 natural disasters and K144.04 million was spent on rescue and rehabilitation efforts.
U Tun Tun Win said they have confiscated a total of 701.2128 tons of illegal timber. He said they have planted 516.8 acres of teak and 1,500.50 acres of hardwood plantations. He said they have formed 144 regional reforestation groups and planted 4,854.92 acres of trees.
He also spoke of the intercity bus routes citing that Shwe Pyi Thit bus line operated 103 buses, Shwe Aung Lan operated 35 buses, Shwe Thabyae Yin operated 53 buses, and Nay Pyi Taw high-class bus line operated 19 buses. He added that the Taw Win bus line no longer operates under the city administration and the Shwe Myo Taw bus line has been terminated. He said there are 1,555 bus lines operating transportation between Nay Pyi Taw and other states and regions.
The Acting Secretary also said K89,680.190 million has been allotted for undertaking 595 tasks under six topics for the 2018-2019 FY. He said they will continue to work hard for regional development and for the benefit of the people.
Afterwards, the officials replied to questions from the media.
—Myo Win Kyaw
Zaw Htet Oo)