Par­lia­ment ap­proves Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion’s ADB loan

The Myanmar Times - - News - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­times.com

AN MP has hit back against ac­cu­sa­tions from a gov­ern­ment min­is­ter that he crit­i­cised an ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram with­out know­ing what he was talk­ing about. Ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter U Myo Thein Gyi said Pyithu Hlut­taw MP U Aung Hlaing Win had got his facts wrong when he spoke.

The MP ac­cused the min­is­ter of be­ing “child­ish”, say­ing he had made “per­sonal re­marks” in or­der to have the last word in the ar­gu­ment. Like the min­is­ter, U Aung Hlaing Win is a mem­ber of the Na­tional League for Democ­racy.

The row broke out af­ter a Septem­ber 16 dis­cus­sion in the Pyi­daungsu Hlut­taw, when the MP crit­i­cised a plan to spend K120 bil­lion (US$9.6 mil­lion) on four vo­ca­tional schools that would have only 3000 stu­dents.

“If we failed to un­der­stand the min­is­ter’s pre­sen­ta­tion it’s be­cause he pre­sented only a few lines of ex­pla­na­tion,” U Aung Hlaing Win (NLD; Min­gal­adon) told The Myan­mar Times later. “We had asked him for a full ex­pla­na­tion be­cause we have to ex­plain it in turn to our con­stituents. But he failed to present a de­tailed pic­ture.”

The min­is­ter hit back af­ter a sub­se­quent pro­posal to bor­row US$98.5 mil­lion from the Asian Devel­op­ment Bank. The money would be di­vided be­tween pol­icy and per­for­mance devel­op­ment in mid­dle and high schools and the tech­ni­cal and vo­ca­tional sec­tor ($6 mil­lion); spend­ing $65.49 mil­lion on draw­ing up K-12 cur­ricu­lums, pub­lish­ing text­books, teacher train­ing and build­ing class­rooms; $23.76 mil­lion for up­grad­ing tech­ni­cal high schools; and $3.24 mil­lion for four tech­ni­cal schools un­der the Min­istry of In­dus­try.

The min­is­ter said about 4 mil­lion stu­dents will ben­e­fit, in­clud­ing about 41,000 from less-de­vel­oped re­gions.

“The min­istry pre­sented the projects and ex­plained them in de­tail in meet­ings with the ed­u­ca­tion pro­mo­tion com­mit­tees in both houses of par­lia­ment. We laid out the project show­ing all the re­quired doc­u­men­ta­tion,” said U Myo Thein Gyi.

Par­lia­ment voted to ac­cept the loan, which must be re­paid in 24 years, in­clud­ing an eight-year de­fer­ment pe­riod.

– Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

Photo: AFP

Stu­dents at­tend class at a monastery in Yan­gon.

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