National Education Law advisory body urges students to resolve issues with law democratically

The advisory body on drafting the National Education Law has assured  students that the new law will create an education system that can promote the intellectual development of students as well as pave the way for a  knowledge-based economy.—Photo: Aye Min Soe
The advisory body on drafting the National Education Law has assured students that the new law will create an education system that can promote the intellectual development of students as well as pave the way for a knowledge-based economy.—Photo: Aye Min Soe

Yangon, 20 Nov— The advisory body tasked with drafting the National Education Law has urged students protesting against the law to engage in dialogue with the body as well as the parliamentary legislative body to resolve their objections to the national law.
During a recent protest against the new law, the students called for amendments to the National Education Law, which was enacted by the Hluttaw on 30 September, 2014, pointing out that the law restricts the formation of student unions and creates a commission to oversee the country’s education system.
The advisory body comprised of over 30
experts, mostly retired
professors from institutes and universities, has called on the students to discuss with the body their
objections to the law by section as well as by paragraph of the law frankly and openly.
A statement released by the body on Thursday has suggested holding an inclusive dialogue with all educational institutions concerned over the controversial law.
However, the responsibility for making the amendments into law rests with the Amyotha Hluttaw  and the Pyithu Hluttaw, the statement said.
Students have criticized  that the National Education Commission formed by the law wields great power over the education system and that its power to write syllabuses is not democratic.
The experts denied the existence of any controversy, saying the National Education Commission and the higher education coordination committee formed by the law are not meant to centralize the education
system. Furthermore, they said that the commission and the committee will carry out budget submissions for universities, institutes as well as colleges, will coordinate among the educational institutions and will carry out the setting of standards and quality assurance of the education system in accordance with rules and regulations.
The specific chapter of the new  law is aimed at  compiling syllabuses to promote the country’s education system, said Dr Myint Thein, a member  of the advisory board.
The  experts also welcomed ideas and suggestions of people from all walks of life for the bylaws of the National Education Law, which are nearly complete and would guarantee the formation of the students’ unions, academic freedom and autonomy of universities and institutes, which are included in the demands of the students.
The experts are working their upmost for drafting the law with “equity and  equality” guaranteeing education  for all, raising the quality of the education system and creating good learning and teaching environments, said Dr Myint Thein.
Significantly, the new has also 13 policies and seven objectives and has guaranteed the formation of international and external quality assurance bodies to monitor and evaluate the education system, according to the experts.

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