Narinjara news


Sittwe, 14
th March 02:  The private monastic education has once again become popular in Arakan State, in the western part of Burma.

In Shwe-jedi Buddhist Monastery, near Wingaba ground in Sittwe,  the capital of Arakan (Rakhine State), there are about five hundred students enrolled who are being taught by priests.  The students will then be allowed to sit for the primary school examinations in government primary schools, according to a monk from Sittwe.

In Kyauktaw township alone there are seven such monasteries catering education to the youngsters.  The monasteries are: Pring-chhaung village monastery (40 students), Rangta village Monastery (55 students), Thang-ganat village Monastery (80 students), Kaa-di-village monastery (100 students), Ming-wa village Monastery (120 students), Ujung-taung village Monastery (100 students), and Lamu-tabang village Monastery (150 students).

All over Arakan State the primary level students are more and more interested to join the monasteries for their education as a result of most of the government-appointed and non-government teachers' inability to conduct regular classes  in the face of the skyrocketing prices of daily necessities and meagre wages given by the military regime.

Besides, the economic slump in the state coupled with increase in the number of very poor people has rendered most of the Rakhine people unable to bear the cost of education of their children.  At present about forty percent children of school-going age cannot avail primary education due to poverty, while the state had an 87% literacy rate before 1988, according to a state education officer who declined to identify himself.  #