9 December 2020
Dear Esteemed Nationals of Myanmar,
Today, the 10th Waning Day of Tazaungmon, ME 1382 (9 December 2020), is the Centenary Anniversary of National Victory Day of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. On this auspicious occasion of National Victory Day celebrations, I would like to send my message of greetings to all the nationals dwelling in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, praying that all of you will be safe from the COVID-19 pandemic and be blessed with good health and prosperity.
Today is the Centennial Anniversary of National Victory Day, which reveals the nationalistic spirit that the entire nation can take pride in. The year 2020 is full of essence for Myanmar in that it is the year of the centennial anniversaries of the Myanmar Film Industry, the University of Yangon, the National Victory Day that falls today, and the Myoma Myanmar National School.
The National Victory Day is a significant, historic day for the independence movements and the education journey of Myanmar, which deeply reveals the nationalistic spirit of the entire nation. After Myanmar had become a colony, the colonial government introduced the colonial education system in Myanmar. The colonial education system, whose sole aim was to produce the subordinate staff required for the colonial mechanism to serve the colonial government, was the education system for producing servants. The Rangoon University Act, which was promulgated on 1 December 1920 by the colonial government, had a great number of restrictions – restrictions on the right of Myanmar students to university education; restrictions on the right of students from remote areas to university education; the privileged students only had access to university education while impoverished students lost opportunities to university education; and if a student was considered unqualified by the university authority, he/ she lost the right to continue university education. Therefore, a group of patriotic Myanmar university students started the Rangoon University Boycott on the 10th Waning Day of Tazaungmon, ME 1282 (5 December 1920) in order to abolish the colonial education system. Owing to the students’ strike, the nationalistic spirit was enormously aroused for Myanmar education, Myanmar independence, and Myanmar politics, and political insights were awakened in Myanmar people. The day on which the first students’ strike began and the nationalistic spirit was raised was designated as National Victory Day, which is celebrated every year and today is its 100th anniversary.
Owing to this students’ strike, the Myoma national high school emerged in Rangoon (Yangon) on the 7th Waxing Day of Nadaw, ME 1282 (17 December 1920), which led to the emergence of national schools all over Myanmar and the emergence of the national education system. These national schools produced patriotic national leaders, which became a driving force to regain Myanmar’s independence. The national leader General Aung San graduated from the Yenangyaung National High School, Prime Minister U Nu from the Wakema National High School, Secretary-General of the United Nations U Thant from the Pantanaw and Myoma National High Schools are the proof of the success of the national schools.
Since such visionary youths have been produced by national schools, it is the first priority of the government to provide all school-going-age children with access to basic education. It is a national duty to bring up visionary and intellectual youths in the future democratic federal union.
For the socio-economic development of the citizens, it is crucial for the government to create more opportunities for vocational education that can be applied in everyday life, to create more job opportunities, and to nurture highly skilled human resources and so the government will lay emphasis on these tasks.
Since education is the major investment for the development of the nation, investment in education will be increased in every corner of the country, and more education investment will be particularly made in the areas where national races live. Moreover, all aspects of education such as human resources, infrastructure, technologies, etc. will be upgraded nationwide in order to upgrade the standard of education.
We strongly believe that more investment in the education sector means carrying out sustainable development of good human resources and society, which are essential in building a nation. Natural resources will get less and less and finally run out because of extraction and consumption. It is human resources that grow forever and the power of human resources is a driving force of the nation-building mechanism. Therefore, the government is striving for the all-round development of the education sector in order to uplift the knowledge, skills, ideology, insights, and personality of all the citizens.
In addition, the government is continuously endeavouring for the peace and stability processes, which are the most important in nation-building. The Union Peace Conference – the 21st Century Panglong has been successfully convened four times with the aim of national reconciliation and peace. Important agreements have been made for the emergence of a democratic federal union, and the future plans to be implemented in post-2020 have been laid down.
Therefore, the state and the entire nation are putting all-out efforts for securing national peace and for the emergence of a genuine democratic federal union in accord with the motto of the Centennial Anniversary of the National Victory Day “Let’s build union peace with unity and cooperation of all national races starting from the 100th Anniversary of National Victory Day Celebrations”. Grasping the fruit of victories, all the national brethren will have to successfully overcome obstacles and challenges on the road to democracy with the power of unity.
Hence, on this auspicious occasion of the Centenary of National Victory Day Celebrations, I would like to urge the state government and the entire nation to unitedly endeavour to follow the five national objectives of the Centennial National Victory Day:
(1) To ensure that all school-going-age children have the right to basic education;
(2) To create life-long learning opportunities for vocational school subjects and disciplines that practically contribute to socio-economic sectors;
(3) To invest more in education in the areas where the national races live for all-round development of the union;
(4) To provide technology and infrastructure for educational development, and
(5) To build a democratic federal union with the concerted efforts of all nationals.