Narinjara News


Akyab, May 16



Educational Certificates for Buddhist Monks are for Sale in Arakan


Educational certificates on Buddhist literature classes for monks can be bought with a substantial amount of money in Arakan State, a western province of Burma.


Certificates are issued to monks who passed the exams set up by the Government Religious Affairs Department. However, these certificates can be purchased by paying money to the head of the State branch of the Department.


According to a senior monk in Akyab, by paying money to U Myo Shwe, the head of the Department in Akyab, monks can purchase certificates. The prices are 15,000 kyats (about US$ 20) for Matriculation in Buddhist literature, and 20,000 kyats (about US$ 25) for a certificate equivalent to a Bachelor degree.


However, a monk who has paid for the Matriculation said that he paid the money but had yet to receive the certificate. He claims that there are about 70 monks who are in a similar situation; people have paid but not received the certificate yet.


He also said that with the purchased certificates, monks can attend Propagation Training at Gaba Aye Centre in Rangoon. After the training, the monks can aspire to go to foreign countries as missionaries. With the purchased certificates, monks could go to other countries, such as India, for further studies in Buddhist universities.


Due to economic hardship in Burma, especially in Arakan, corruption is very widespread. A local resident said that teachers have been taking money in return for passing students.  Now the arm of this evil, corruption, has reached to religious affairs. Government officials were even taking money from holy monks, he lamented. #



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