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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 972

Burma: Will President recover country’s education prestige

By - Zin Linn

Burma President U Thein Sein accepted Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management by Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University (BSRU) at the Credentials Hall of the Presidential Palace Wednesday, The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said today.

BSRU President Associate Prof Ponlasit Noochoochal and party paid a call on the President before the ceremony. The BSRU President expressed their wish to improve the people-to-people relations and interuniversity cooperation.

According to Prof Ponlasit, Myanmar/Burma and Thailand are unavoidably encountering the new challenge as part of the region. President of Myanmar (Burma) is one of the most influent leaders in ASEAN countries due to conducting the country’s political, economical and social reforms. Burma/Myanmar is properly appointed the worldwide significant positions, namely the host of the World Economic Forum on East Asia, the SEA Games in 2013, including the Chairman of ASEAN in 2014.

The Council of Bansomde-jchaopraya Rajabhat University has unanimously agreed to award the Honourable Doctorate Degree on Technology Management for Country Development to U Thein Sein, the President of Myanmar as a great honour and appreciated his excellent leadership with crucial goal to reform and develop the country, as well as the foremost relationship of the two countries, Prof Ponlasit said.

Dr Prayong Jutha, Chairman of BSRU Council, conferred the honorary degree on President U Thein Sein.

The President said in his words of thanks to the Chairman of the University of Council, Prof. Dr. Prayong Jutha for presenting him the Degree of Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in technology Management.

He said that he regarded the honorary degree as recognition for the efforts concerning the democratic transformation and the development of the State. He also said the country has struggled to change the divergences into special kinds of services for the nation. He said that it’s necessary to face up to the people-centered reforms in favor of people’s benefits. The capacity building is necessary in every sector of the country, he said. Moreover, Thein Sein said the educational objectives of the State should meet the needs of national development guidelines.

Funding of education is foundation of investment for the nation’s future, he said. However it must go well with the new economic system of the State, he added. Thein Sein remarkably said that the country is required to switch from mishandling of natural resources to a new technology-based economic system.

He also suggested that worldwide aid and experiences ought to be utilized for the purpose of educational development. He mentioned the country as a developing country which needed to escalate the education funds with the reason of poverty reduction, development of rural areas and development of the state economy.

Simultaneously, student-centered schooling has been introduced to reform basic education sector. By enacting the necessary law, his government has been striving for all children to complete primary education, he said.

Thein Sein mentioned the collaboration with BSRU that MoU between BSRU and Yangon National University of Arts and Culture under the Ministry of Culture was signed on December 6, 2010. BSRU has sent delegations of Thai students to the Yangon National University of Arts and Culture three times and the Yangon National University of Arts and Culture has sent Myanmar student delegations to BSRU twice in 2010.

Moreover, he said, discussions have been made to establish Centres of Excellence with cooperation between Yangon University and Johns Hopkins University in the United States, Mandalay University and Colonge University of Germany and Dagon University and Calcutta University in India. By doing so, youths will have the opportunity to exchange their experience and become well-educated youths, he said.

In fact, Thein Sein gives his message to the world governments through this event asking financial assistance for the country’s education sector. Although his government regularly earns several billion dollars from natural resources exports, it never shared to country’s education. Thein Sein government spends all incomes from natural resources on defense expenditure mainly used for ethnic wars.

The Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental levels. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available to all and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. But, Thein Sein seems to be ignorant of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Burma remains one of the world's least developed countries, and was ranked 149 out of 187 countries in the 2011 UN's Human Development Index. The HDI represents a push for a broader definition of well-being and provides a composite measure of three basic dimensions of human development: health, education and income.

Burma is regularly along with the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index -- in 2012, Burma was ranked fifth from the bottom after Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia.

Author - Zin Linn is an exile freelance writer and journalist from Burma (Myanmar) based in Bangkok, Thailand.

- Asian Tribune -

Burma: Will President recover country’s education prestige
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