Sunday, August 20, 2017

Students protest against unfair appointing system

Hundreds of students from education universities in Yangon and Sagaing Regions on Sunday took to the streets to protest against unfair system of appointing teachers and called on the education ministry to come up with an employment framework to ensure transparency.

Students from University of Education of Yangon and University of Education of Sagaing also called on the authorities to announce the exact dates when the new graduates would be hired; to add working experience to those graduates who have been waiting for their employment; and for new graduates to be employed in time for the coming academic year.

The students noted that there are a lot of vacancies in schools around the country, yet the government was slow in appointing new teachers to fill out these positions.

The Ministry of Education needs to appoint more than 500,000 teachers (513,902 teachers) in the schools under Department of Basic Education and more than 18,000 teachers (18,464) in more than 5,000 basic education schools which were upgraded in 2016-2017 academic year. The total number of teachers who should be appointed at schools is 532,366.

But, currently, there are only more than 400,000 teachers (460,000) at basic education schools, the students noted.

In this academic year, there are only a little over 7,000 teachers who graduated from 24 University of Educations and Education Colleges around the country including Yangon University of Education and Sagaing University of Education.

The simultaneous protests among students in Yangon and Sagaing show that the students are united in their demand, said Soe Thura Kyaw, a leader of the Student Union of Yangon University of Education,

“We mainly focus to get employment framework. We assume that the delay in appointing teachers happened due to the lack of employment framework. And we hope to get fully our three demands,” Soe Thura Kyaw told The Myanmar Times.

Some 400 students joined the protests in Yangon and Sagaing earlier in the day.

Naung Htet Aung, member of Green Ribbon Campaign in Yangon Education University said they are urging the education ministry to come up with an employment framework for the graduates so they would know exactly when they would be hired.

“There is no exact framework and so bribery and corruptions happens in appointing teachers. The public knows about that. Therefore, we are demanding the Ministry of Education to appoint the teachers with exact qualities to work in Basic Education Department. I want to say to the Education Minister, ‘discuss our demands’,” he said.

Naung Htet Aung said at present there is no transparency in the appointment system for teachers.

We want the public not to misunderstand us. We are not asking for jobs. We are asking for exact teachers appointing framework,” Ko Naung Htet Aung said.

Students and members of student union from University Education have staged green ribbon campaign (green ribbons are pinned on white-and-green school uniforms) since July 25 to highlight their demands.

U Soe Thura Kyaw said that on July 31, they have sent their letters stating their demands to the Department of Basic Education, National Education Policy Commission and Pyithu Hluttaw’s Education Enhancement Committee but they got no response so they launched the protest.

“We sent letter to departments concerned. We held a press conference as these departments didn’t reply. That’s why, we have to protest as our three demands have not been fulfilled” U Soe Thura Kyaw told The Myanmar Times.