State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, accompanied by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Ye Aung and Dr. Myint Htwe, Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung and Deputy Minister U Min Thu, opened a village hall and ‘Pwintlin Thuta’ reading room in Nyaungpin Village, Singu Township, yesterday morning.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi viewed the books and journals in the library (reading room), after cutting the ceremony ribbon to open the village hall and ‘Pwintlin Thuta’ reading room.
The village hall and reading room were constructed by the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation on a land donated by U Than Swe, U Htay Ko family to Rector Sayadaw Agga Maha Pandita Ashin Nanda Marla Bivamsa. The village hall and reading room is a concrete single-storey building that costs Ks 36 million to construct and the construction cost, 1,392 books and two computers were donated by the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation.
State Counsellor and party then went to Nyaungpin Village women household work vocational training school to observe the sewing machine course conducted for young women from nearby villages.
The training school was opened on 14 December 2015 and seven basic household work courses and six sewing machine advanced courses were conducted for 390 trainees, it is learnt.
Next, the State Counsellor met with local populace from Singu Township, Nyaungpin village tract in the training school hall.
At the meeting, the State Counsellor said, “I’m happy to visit this village and meet with the villagers. As the majority, 70 per cent of our country’s people live in rural villages, we must come to villages to know the true life situation of the people. I came here first to donate a monastery (school) to the
Sayadawgyi, and now to donate a library.”
I want to open libraries extensively all over the country. I say extensively, because I want to open the eyes and ears of our people so that they will gain knowledge. By opening libraries, youngsters will want to read books since a youngage and will be attracted to and love books.
But for youngsters to be attracted to and love books, elders need to encourage them. The inheritance we leave behind for our youngsters include both good and bad. This is unavoidable in ordinary human beings.
That is why I always said that the best inheritance to leave behind is good morality and knowledge. If we leave these behind, we don’t need to worry much. Money and houses can disappear. Material is something that can be lost or stolen, but knowledge could not be lost or stolen.
That is why I encourage knowledge. Being a graduate is not having knowledge. I want people in rural areas to know this. Some are very simple minded and admire graduates, and want their sons and daughters to become university graduates. This is the goodwill (cetana) of the parents. But knowledge is not something that you obtain only by going to a university.
Knowledge can be gained wherever you are if you know how to seek it. The reason we are opening libraries are to instill the habit and mindset of gaining knowledge through them. Knowledge is something that supports your livelihood. I don’t want to produce unemployed university graduates. Graduates should be able to obtain jobs that are suitable for them. But our country also needs many people who possess other knowledge (and skills,) although not university graduates.
Now our government is encouraging vocational education system. In fact, vocational training is practical. If properly arranged and taught, they will have many job opportunities. Thus, instead of being an unemployed university graduate, those who complete vocational trainings would be able to work on their own for a living, gaining much benefits.
First, youths will have confidence. After they complete a course, they wouldn’t worry about what to do as they are given an opportunity to choose.
Therefore, in future, we plan to reduce the requirement to attend such vocational training courses. Anyone who can read and write would be able to attend it. We are thinking of opening schools (training courses) that can be attended by a student who passes the eight standard. Only then, will our youth have opportunities in life.
We also need to think about middle-aged person who didn’t have the opportunity to get an education when they were young. Yesterday, when I went to Daw Khin Kyi Foundation computer course, some students there, who are not so young, told me to please think about people who didn’t have an opportunity for education.
As our education system was weak, there are many people who were unable to get a good education. We need to think of how to support these people so that they can live their lives well.
When we meet such people, we want to know their thoughts and views. When I ask the young women in the sewing course earlier, they all told me of their wish to go back and work in their own places. Only a small number said they will go to the city and work with what they learnt. I want to help our people gain the ability to help themselves.
The government needs to create opportunities for them to return to their villages and earn a living. Those who want to settle back in their villages also need to put in their efforts, too. They must strive hard and seek out opportunities. Opportunities won’t simply drop down from the sky. The government will help. So can you all help yourselves. We will give our people the strength to help themselves.
That is why, at this moment, I want you all to tell the government what it should do, so that it could support your ability to help yourself. The government will put much emphasis on health and education. Our people need to be full of strength, both physically and mentally. Only when you are knowledgeable, can your mental strength be strong. Health and education is connected. According to research conducted on health, children below two years old who are not physically fit will not have a fully-developed brain. If children below two years old are full of nutrition, their brain will grow strong. But if they are lacking in nutrition, they’ll be affected for life. I’m concerned about our children. From the standpoint of health, the youngsters in this village, as well as in my constituent of Kawhmu Township, lack growth. Many of whom I think are 4 or 5 years old are already 8 or 9 years old. They are very small in stature.
This is because they are not well nourished. In this case, providing nourishment for a year is not sufficient. In my view, our youngsters are quite developed up to two years old because they are being breast fed by their mothers. But, after this age, they need more nourishment. I want our people to be strong, both physically and mentally, as well as in knowledge. Villagers, please suggest what our government should do to help you. Ask us for what you want to know, said the State Counsellor.
Afterwards, villagers in the meeting spoke of how they will cooperate with the government for rural development and their electricity requirement and Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung explained about the support that will be provided.
Following the discussion, the State Counsellor donated exercise books, stationeries, school uniforms, sports equipment, snacks for students and solar plates and lamps for the village to school principal and head of village administration.
The State Counsellor and party then paid homage to a pagoda built in Thitsa Nanda Dhamma center in Yetkansintaung region and then offered ‘soon’ (lunch) and offertories to Rector Sayadaw Agga Maha Pandita Ashin Nanda Marla Bivamsa. The State Counsellor also donated cash offerings made by the Ministry of the Office of the President to the pagoda trustees.
Later in the afternoon, the State Counsellor, accompanied by Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung and Sagaing Region Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing, went to No. (3) Police Training School (Sagaing).
At the training school briefing hall, the State Counsellor met with Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Aung Thu, Myanmar Police Force Chief Police Lt-Gen Aung Win Oo and officials.
At the meeting, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Aung Thu explained about the construction of police training schools. In response to the explanation, the State Counsellor said that in the past people did not trust the police, but now the police force was being renamed. After this, the police force needs to strive towards becoming a force that the people trust. And in striving for people’s trust, mentality is the main thing that needs to be changed and improved. At this opportune time, the police force must become a trustworthy force for the people, remarked the State Counsellor. The State Counsellor then inspected the training courses conducted and attended a lecture together with the trainees. Afterwards, the State Counsellor inspected by car the buildings in the school compound constructed with the President’s emergency fund. — MNA