Friday, February 20, 2009

Schools in Tachilek collect student money for UNICEF aid

By Hseng Khio Fah
Shan Herald Agency for News

Schools in Tachilek Township, eastern Shan State, collected money from students to get schooling materials conferred by the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), according to local sources.

Materials were reportedly handed to the Educational Department of Tachilek early this year by the UNICEF.

The UNICEF had donated stationery supplies to 9 townships in Burma, including Mudon Township, Mon State, and Tachilek, where most children don’t speak Burmese language.

The materials were distributed to the students on 14 February, said a source.

Every student from each school would be given 10 exercise books, 5 pencils, 2 erasers and a ruler.
But the teachers asked 5 Baht ($0.14) from each student before handing the materials to them.

There are 56 schools from primary to high schools in Tachilek. The number of the students is estimated about 15,000.

Students from some schools were asked to pay more from 10 to 20 Baht each, said a source.

“We don’t want to fuss about 5 or 10 baht given to the teachers because we don’t want our children to be embarrassed in their class. They’ve been doing to us like this for a long time now anyway,” said a mother of a student from Makahokham.

Each student from No.1 High School has also been required to pay 10 Baht for drinking water per month, said a mother who has a child going at that school.

The school has more than 2,000 students and each class has more than 30 students.

The said school is known to be for wealthier families, but last year, some teachers from that school were reported of demanding money from students to enter examinations.

Final examinations from primary school to middle school will begin in the last week of February.

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