6000 schools pegged as dan­ger­ously dam­aged

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by San Layy

Ac­cord­ing to a Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial, nearly 6000 school build­ings around the coun­try are in such dire dis­re­pair that they are con­sid­ered dan­ger­ous.

NEARLY 6000 school build­ings are so badly in need of re­pairs that they are con­sid­ered “dan­ger­ous”, ac­cord­ing to a Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial.

U Win Maw Tun, deputy min­is­ter for ed­u­ca­tion, said yes­ter­day at the first day of the Amyotha Hlut­taw’s third ses­sion af­ter a month-long re­cess that fix­ing the dam­aged build­ings is an ur­gent con­cern.

“When the min­is­ter for ed­u­ca­tion con­ducted field tests, he found that there are about 6000 dan­ger­ous school build­ings, which are nec­es­sary to re­pair,” he said.

He added that field in­spec­tions were con­ducted at school build­ings through­out each state and re­gion.

“Led by the Union min­is­ter for ed­u­ca­tion, the direc­tors gen­eral, in­clud­ing me, in­spected the dan­ger­ous build­ings, dam­aged build­ings and build­ings in need of re­pair,” U Win Maw Tun said.

Dur­ing the hlut­taw ses­sion, two MPs put for­ward pro­pos­als for con­struct­ing new schools in un­der­served ar­eas of Rakhine and Shan states.

MP U Kyaw Ni Naing (USDP; Shan State 11) pro­posed putting up a new school build­ing at Aike Kyaw Kyaing Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Pri­mary School in Shan State’s Laukkai township.

Law­maker U Kyaw Than (Arakan Na­tional Party; Rakhine 11) said Hin Sa Ne Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion High School in Manaung township is badly in need of more class­room space, propos­ing a new two-storey build­ing be erected.

MPs also dis­cussed dis­man­tling Aye Yeik Nyein ward’s high school build­ing in Tanintharyi Re­gion’s Kawthoung township, as the struc­ture has fallen into dis­re­pair and needs to be re­built be­fore the next school year.

U Win Maw Tun ac­cepted the pro­pos­als and said work would be car­ried out to fix school build­ings in the com­ing 2017-18 fis­cal year, but he asked par­lia­ment to con­sider al­lot­ting more money for the job.

“All the pro­pos­als will be car­ried out un­der the bud­get of the com­ing 2017-18 fis­cal year. I want to re­quest the Amyotha Hlut­taw Speaker and all the hlut­taw rep­re­sen­ta­tives to re-ex­am­ine the ear­marked bud­get. We can im­ple­ment what the Amyotha Hlut­taw, the Pyithu Hlut­taw and the Pyi­daungsu Hlut­taw as­sign us to do,” he said.

Myan­mar has his­tor­i­cally spent less on ed­u­ca­tion as a share of GDP than its re­gional peers. Ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing fell to 0.7 per­cent of GDP in the 2011-12 fis­cal year. Al­though this rose from 1.6pc in 2012-13 to 2.1pc in 2013-14, the ASEAN av­er­age is 3.6pc.

Pres­i­dent U Htin Kyaw has pledged to in­crease pub­lic spend­ing on ed­u­ca­tion, health­care and so­cial se­cu­rity. A 5pc com­mer­cial tax on mo­bile phones col­lected by the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Depart­ment is ex­pected to gen­er­ate K7.5 bil­lion, with the ex­tra tax in­come slated for use in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

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