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Myanmar - Teaching Profession

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceMyanmar - History Background, Educational System—overview, Administration, Finance, Educational Research, Teaching Profession, Summary


The critics of Myanmar's militarism point to the severe shortage of adequately trained teachers, especially to teach English and sciences, as many seek overseas careers because of relatively low salaries and lack of freedom. Myanmar's leaders seem to favor the Japanese system of education, which places heavy stress on discipline, more so than the Western European and American systems. Many university students have been leaving Myanmar to seek admission to other universities in the region or to Europe and the United States, as numerous campuses have been closed or affected by student demonstrations and government repression.

Two developments in recent years include an increase in the enrollment of computer literacy and an increase in the enrollment in the government-sponsored University of Distance Education. Several hundred schools and colleges have been teaching computer education, especially during evenings and through short programs. Almost 50 percent of all university students were affiliated with the University of Distance Education, which attracts elderly students and would-be teachers.

Tuition Classes: In Myanmar and in many developing countries that call themselves "Socialistic," the government heavily favors the rich through a parallel system of private tutoring called kyu-shin. Many students call in teachers to coach them at their homes in the format of small groups of friends and relatives. These private classes are costly and have been contributing to the general deterioration of government schools. Such a system also creates inequality of opportunity for students who need private classes but cannot afford them.

The most popular tuition classes cater to the needs of students in the final year of high school as a "guarantee" for college entrance after the stiff and highly competitive tests. The tutors often guide their students through specially prepared expensive guidebooks and more or less personalized guidance. English and science are among the most sought-out subjects in order to get better jobs or entry to overseas universities.

Ethnic Diversity: Myanmar's population includes many ethnic minorities, some of which (such as Mon) have been deprived of equality in the use of their own language. For example, at one point, the shutting down of 120 Mon schools attended by 6,000 students was discussed. Another discriminatory practice involves the Citizenship Law of 1982. Thousands of Chinese and Indian students face the problem of college admission in general and entrance to the programs of technology and medicine in particular.

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