During the 13th-day meeting of the ninth regular session of the Second Pyithu Hluttaw held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning, asterisk-marked questions were asked and answered, two reports were read and one motion discussed and tabled.
Appointing additional committee members
Firstly, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat announced that the Pyithu Hluttaw has approved the appointing of Dr. U Soe Moe Thu of Myaungmya constituency in the International Natural Relations Committee, U Kyaw Swe Win (a) U Arlu of Kawhmu constituency in the Natural Resources and Environment Conservation Committee, and U Nyunt Aung of Monywa constituency in the Investment and Industrial Development Committee as additional members in the respective committees.
Constituencies divided according to regional population
U Khin Maung Yi of Hinthada constituency raised a question as to whether the upcoming 2020 General Elections will also be held in three Amyotha Hluttaw constituencies in Hinthada District as they had been in the 2010 elections.
Union Election Commission member U Than Htay replied that the Amyotha Hluttaw constituencies are divided and demarcated in accord with Section 4 of the Amyotha Hluttaw Election Law, which states that a maximum of twelve constituencies are permitted in a single state or region, with the markers for division determined by the population in the area, as stated in Section 4-C of the same law. Established constituencies remain fixed for the duration of a Hluttaw term, and the Union Election Commission has to set the constituencies for the next Hluttaw term at least 60 days before the term ends, said U Than Htay. Therefore, constituencies in Hinthada District will be designated again in accord with the area’s population as the 2020 General Elections approaches.
No differentiation in technological university degrees
Dr. U Than Aung Soe of Minhla constituency raised a question asking for an explanation on the difference between job opportunities for engineering graduates from centre of excellence institutions and other technological university degrees.
Deputy Minister for Education U Win Maw Tun replied that time is still needed to conduct a survey on whether there is a difference in the levels of employability with graduates from Yangon, Mandalay or other technological universities. He said there were no differentiations between universities in accepting applicants for job vacancies in government departments by the Union Civil Service Board, as of January 2018. The focus was on the actual degree earned, he added.
Teaching knowledge training short courses
U Oo Tun Win of Kyauktaw constituency raised a question on whether the Ministry of Education will open short courses for private subject teachers, in accord with the Private School Law, throughout the states and regions.
Deputy Minister for Education U Win Maw Tun replied that they issue private school teaching licenses for teachers who meet set standards and qualifications or have at least 5 years of experience in their related field. The Ministry of Education released an announcement on 30 April 2012 that calls for director-general of education in an area to submit to the Ministry of Education the list of teaching knowledge training applicants, and the ministry continues to do so with collaboration between the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education, said the deputy minister.
Union Election Commission member U Than Htay and Deputy Minister for Education U Win Maw Tun also replied to questions raised by Dr. U Maung Thin of Meiktila constituency, U Myo Zaw Aung of Kawlin constituency and U Aung Thaung Shwe of Buthidaung constituency.
Committee, bill reports read
Next, U Khin Maung Than, secretary of the Pyithu Hluttaw Public Accounts Committee, read a report from the committee. Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat called for MPs interested in discussing the report to enlist their names.
The Speaker then notified the assembly that the Bill to amend the Myanmar Accountancy Council Law, sent back with remarks and approved by the Amyotha Hluttaw, has been received and Bill Committee member U Htay Ngway read the report on the bill. The Speaker then called for MPs interested in submitting a proposal to amend the bill to enlist their names.
The Speaker also notified the assembly of receiving with amendments from the Amyotha Hluttaw the Bill amending the Law of Protection of the Farmer Rights and Enhancement of their Benefits a Second Time and the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University Bill, and called for MPs interested in submitting proposals of amendments to enlist their names.
MPs discuss motion to perform education research, supply funds
MPs then discussed a motion tabled by Dr. U Hla Moe of Aungmyaythazan constituency urging the Union Government to supply adequate research funds to experts in developing Myanmar’s higher education sector, and accordingly the entire education sector.
U Kyaw Aung Lwin of Sedoktara constituency remarked that basic education subjects are not taught in the mother tongue but in English, which poses subject learning and theoretical studies difficulties in students. Consequently, this leads to the rise of rote memorization and tuition dependency, seriously limiting a student’s time for physical activities and acquiring extrinsic knowledge as well as pursuing artistic interests and socializing with the outside world, he said, adding that the future for this looks grim if continued. He said he supports the motion and advises following the examples of other developed countries to provide subject teaching in the mother language and to promote English language learning separately.
Tatmadaw representative Maj. Win Min Tun said there are two departments under the Ministry of Education that performs research, namely the Department of Educational Research, Planning and Training and the Department of Research and Innovation. He said comparisons to the two departments’ research expenditures in previous fiscal years have revealed a deficit and although monetary support of US$ 404.15 million have been received from international organizations, there is still a need for beneficial and noteworthy research projects. He said the Department of Educational Research, Planning and Training has proposed a budget of Ks 16.5 billion and the Department of Research and Innovation has proposed a budget of Ks 5.2 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. He advised for the budgets to be effectively used for research projects at 136 colleges and universities.
There are obstacles in the path of research projects such as people conducting only one research project as a means to acquire a degree or a promotion, a limited amount of earnest researchers, low participation from government, universities and donors, lack of proper research equipment and documents, inability or lack of conditions to apply the research data effectively, lack of expert guidelines, inability to penetrate onto the global stage, research papers not meeting standard quality, and the incapacity to maintain or sustain research projects. He said as the country could develop only by good researches, he seriously supports this motion.
The motion was further discussed by U Soe Myint (a) U Aung Zaw Myint of Amarapura constituency, U Myint Lwin of Twantay constituency, Dr. Salai Riyanbel of Falam constituency, U Yan Lin of Kyaiklet constituency, U Myint Tun of Taze constituency, Dr. Daw Khin Sithu of Loikaw constituency, Dr. U San Shwe Win of Yekyi constituency and Daw Wint Wah Tun of Shataw constituency. Deputy Minister for Education U Win Maw Tun then said the Ministry of Education supports the motion since it will allow for publication of research papers, holding research seminars, forums, exhibitions and competitions in universities, reading papers in international research seminars, allow universities to perform research to benefit SMEs in states and regions, and conduct learning in practical fields.
The Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker then asked for the Hluttaw’s decision, acquired it, and then announced that the Hluttaw has approved the motion. The 14th-day meeting of the ninth regular session of the Second Pyithu Hluttaw will be held on 31 August.
Aye Aye Thant (MNA)