Monday, June 15, 2009

Parents of students fleeced in Northern Burma

Written by KNG

Students in Burma's northern city of Myitkyina have been threatened that they will be thrown out of their schools if they do not pay for a specific fund, said students.

Within two weeks of schools reopening, students were set a deadline for eviction by the last two weeks of this month by their teachers if they did not pay 25,000 Kyat (US $25) or 30,000 Kyat (US $29) each, said high school students in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.

Students in No. 5 State High School in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, northern Burma.
High school students in No. 1 State High School in Myitkyina said, teachers did not mention why they are collecting funds but all students have been asked to pay the amount demanded by the schools.

The Burmese junta's school fund without a head has affected students of all government schools in Myitkyina from the primary to the high school level. The money is now being forcibly collected by teachers in No. 1 and No. 5 High Schools as well as in Shatapru High School in the town, according to students of these schools.

The method of payment by students' parents has been issued to the wards by the school teachers, students said.

Both students and their parents are taken aback by the demand for the extra money because schools forcibly collect exact amounts from all students under the head of "Fund" without citing why the money is being collected, added students and their parents in Myitkyina.

While registering in the last week of May, regular students paid less than 100 Kyat as parents' fees. Students who got transfers from different schools paid 15,000 Kyat (US $15) to 30,000 Kyat, said students and school teachers in Myitkyina.

According to students' parents and school teachers in Myitkyina, the schools have to collect essential funds from parents each academic year because they get no fund from the junta's Education Ministry.

Though the junta’s Education Ministry claims to impart free education in the country for several years now, all government schools from primary to the high school level in Kachin State have been instructed to collect funds from students' parents, said school sources.

Meanwhile, there is mounting corruption among teachers in the schools in Myitkyina because they cannot survive on their monthly salaries, said students.

New students, especially, have to pay some amount in bribe to teachers and school headmasters in schools in Myitkyina downtown in order to get admission, alleged students' parents.

Some new students were asked for fans or other stationary materials for classrooms by the schools when they registered for the first time, said students.

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