Parliament approves Ministry of Education’s ADB loan
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
Students attend class at a monastery in Yangon.