A Mon State MP has called for boosting government support and funding for Mon national schools.
During the September 11 Hluttaw session, MP U Aung Naing Oo said ethnic language classes are not satisfactorily supported at the moment as the schools, which are independently operated outside of the government system, lack the needed infrastructure and teaching materials for lessons in Mon, Kayin and PaO literature.
“I think [the Mon State government] should provide the necessary budget for such as the building and teaching materials from the budget allocated for supporting ethnic people,” said U Aung Naing Oo.
Mon national schools are run by the New Mon State Party’s Mon National Education Committee(MNEC). A handful of “mixed” schools, are co-managed with the government.
Officials from the MNEC said that at the moment, they are scraping by with funds from donors.
The MNEC has requested school funds, school textbooks, stationery, and textbooks for the 2017-2018 academic year, but has only received textbooks, exercise books and school uniforms so far, according to Min Aung Zay, head of the MNEC.
According to the MNEC, there are 133 Mon national schools with over 170,000 students and nearly 800 teachers in the 2017-2018 academic year.
In response to the concerns raised in the State Hluttaw, Mon State Chief Minister U Aye Zan said that his government stands ready to provide assistance to Mon national schools – but advised them to official submit a request for the support they need.
“The Mon national schools should request assistance from the Union Ministry of Education in accord with the law. If the schools request assistance from the state government, we are willing and ready to provide our assistance,” he said.