Four-party talks result in agreements

Signatures of four-party talks’ participants.
Signatures of four-party talks’ participants.

Representatives of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the National Network for Education Reform (NNER) and the Action Committee for Movement of Education for Democracy held talks at the building of Yangon Region Hluttaw in Yangon from 9.30 am to 4.40 pm on 11 February and issued a joint statement.
According to the joint statement, four parties agreed in principle to include representatives of students and teachers in drafting policies, laws and rules related to education, to exclude the formation of national education commission from the national education law, to allow independent administration to schools and regions, to review the current examination system, to adopt teaching methods that encourage independent and critical thinking, to adopt mother-tongue based multi-lingual education system, and to adopt inclusive education system. Details of the points agreed will be discussed by working groups of the parties.
According to the joint statement, recognition of the legal existence of student and teachers unions will be included in the national education law and legal action will not be taken against students who took part in the protests while students who were expelled from schools because of protests will be allowed to continue their studies. Free compulsory education will be raised from the current primary school level to the middle school level.
The four parties also agreed to continue cooperation until all points of agreement have been successfully implemented including during the Hluttaw debates for amendment of the national education law and recognized the difficulty to stop the protests and concerns for difficulty to hold examinations and other undesirable incidents. Student representatives will explain the outcomes of the talks to the protesting students and will submit the altitude of the students to the four-party talks to be held on 14 February 2015.

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