Teachers in line for a pay rise
A PAY rise is on the horizon for basic education teachers, says a Ministry of Education official, but just when this is likely to take effect is not yet clear.
U Aung Than Oo, director general of the Department of Basic Education, made the announcement yesterday during a press conference on the Ministry of Education’s activities during the new government’s first 100 days in office.
“We have plans to raise their salaries, but we can’t say the exact date,” he said. He added that size of the raise will “depend on the [education] budget allocation”. Salaries for teachers are currently K155,000 per month for primary school teachers, K165,000 for middle school and K175,000 for high school.
The basic education department has more than 400,000 staff including 370,000 teachers.
The headmaster at a primary school in Pyinmana township told The Myanmar Times on condition of anonymity that a salary raise was unlikely to be substantial enough to provide any meaningful benefit to individual teachers, and could even drive inflation. “I think the raise would be an insignificant amount. But commodity prices [could] increase because of that news. Prices increased a few days ago when the news come out that the salary of teachers will be increased. So I’d like to request to try to lower [the cost of essential goods],” he said.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi indicated at a conference in May that teachers should be better compensated. The Ministry of Planning and Finance said that K7.5 billion (US$6.3 million) of commercial taxes collected from phone call fees is given to the Ministry of Education.
Despite a lack of clarity about the size of the raise expected and the timeframe in which it is to be implemented, Pyithu Hluttaw MP U Hla Moe (NLD; Aung Myay Tharzan) welcomed the announcement, saying he was glad the government recognised education as a priority. “It is a good case. Whatever policy is set, our education will be nothing if the salary, capacity and prestige of teachers are not raised,” he said.
– Translation by Thiri Min Htun