Par­ents wary of new var­sity en­trance regime

The Myanmar Times - - News - EI SHWE PHYU eish­we­phyu@mm­times.com

PAR­ENTS and stu­dents are wor­ried that a huge num­ber of stu­dents will vie to study at the 11 uni­ver­si­ties where a new en­trance sys­tem will be in­tro­duced.

Over 250,000 stu­dents passed the ma­tric­u­la­tion ex­am­i­na­tion this year, but the Depart­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion will in­tro­duce the new en­trance sys­tem at only 11 top uni­ver­si­ties in Yan­gon and Man­dalay re­gions.

“Most par­ents and stu­dents will ap­ply to the uni­ver­si­ties with the new en­trance sys­tem, which will make it dif­fi­cult for stu­dents and par­ents,” said Ma Nwe Nwe Aung, a guardian in Shwe Phyi Thar town­ship.

Un­der the new sys­tem, univer­sity boards will se­lect stu­dents for ad­mis­sion to study at their in­sti­tu­tions. The uni­ver­si­ties’ en­roll­ment and en­trance rules will soon be an­nounced, and will de­pend on the cat­e­gories of the uni­ver­si­ties, the depart­ment said.

“The new sys­tem is good news for us. I want my daugh­ter to at­tend Yan­gon Univer­sity,” said Daw Win Mar of Min­galar­don town­ship.

The 11 uni­ver­si­ties will be­gin ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions us­ing the new en­trance sys­tem on Fri­day, in­clud­ing six uni­ver­si­ties in Yan­gon and five in Man­dalay, that of­fer tech­nol­ogy, com­puter, lan­guage, and art and sci­ence cour­ses.

Ap­pli­ca­tions must be sub­mit­ted by the stu­dents or their par­ents. Fil­ing ap­pli­ca­tions through email is not al­lowed, ac­cord­ing to U Kyi Sh­win, rec­tor of the Yan­gon Univer­sity of For­eign Lan­guages.

“I don’t think we will get many ap­pli­ca­tions,” he said. “We ex­pect only about 5000, as (ac­cept­ing) too many is not pos­si­ble,” he said.

He said his staff would be busier due to the change in the ap­pli­ca­tion process but that they can man­age the change as “it is not too dif­fi­cult.”

Par­ents ex­pressed hope that un­der the new sys­tem the uni­ver­si­ties would not con­fine their se­lec­tion to the scores the stu­dents got on the ma­tric­u­la­tion exam.

“I wel­come a sys­tem that does not de­pend on exam scores for univer­sity en­roll­ment, so stu­dents can choose what they de­sire. Some choose a ma­jor sub­ject they are not in­ter­ested in be­cause their par­ents force them based on their scores,” said U Aung Moe, a par­ent in Bo­tah­taung town­ship.

In pre­vi­ous years, the depart­ment con­trolled the en­roll­ment of uni­ver­si­ties based on ma­tric­u­la­tion exam grades, and the en­roll­ments of uni­ver­si­ties de­pended on those scores.

U Aung Aung Min, deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral of the depart­ment, said, “Stu­dents who are de­nied ad­mis­sion un­der the new sys­tem can join other uni­ver­si­ties like pre­vi­ously.”

“The new sys­tem will call their ap­pli­ca­tions ear­lier,” he said.

Ap­pli­ca­tions un­der or­di­nary en­roll­ment will start on June 25.

There are over 170 uni­ver­si­ties, col­leges and de­gree col­leges, of which 133 are un­der the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

In 2014, the min­istry said it would give au­ton­omy to the uni­ver­si­ties, and the new en­trance sys­tem is part of this process.

The depart­ment wants all uni­ver­si­ties to change to the new sys­tem but most of the in­sti­tu­tions are not ready yet, said U Aung Aung Min.

“I hope other uni­ver­si­ties will adopt the new en­trance sys­tem in the next aca­demic year af­ter they learn from the ex­pe­ri­ence of the 11 ini­tial uni­ver­si­ties,” he added.

The cur­rent Na­tional League for Democ­racy (NLD)-led govern­ment has been im­ple­ment­ing var­i­ous pro­grammes in a bid to im­prove the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, which de­te­ri­o­rated due to decades of mil­i­tary rule.

In the early years af­ter gain­ing in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain on Jan­uary 4, 1948, Myan­mar had a very ex­ten­sive net­work of mis­sion­ary schools that em­ployed highly qual­i­fied for­eign teach­ers that teaches stu­dents all key sub­jects, mak­ing them among the most highly ed­u­cated in the re­gion.

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