State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in her capacity as Chairperson of the Central Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races, who was in Shan State, Taunggyi met with religious leaders, ethnic national leaders, ethnic affairs ministers and chairmen of self-administered zones and region leading bodies in Taunggyi Hotel yesterday morning.
At the meeting the State Counsellor requested discussion not only on Taunggyi but also to cover in general the situation of entire Shan State. Taunggyi should be a model for Shan State as many ethnic nationals lived together in friendship in Taunggyi. Shan State is a mini-Union in the Union because multi ethnic nationals, races and religions lived in the State. This is the dream of Union when peace is achieved. All are urged to state their requirements openly and will in return openly say what could not be done now and do what could be done. The requirement is to have a balance within ethnic nationals, regions and works of lives. There are many ethnic nationals living in Taunggyi and the help and assistance toward spreading this mindset of living peacefully, equitably and in cooperation is requested said the State Counsellor.
Next, religious leaders, ethnic national leaders, ministers for ethnic affairs, and chairmen of self-administered zones and region leading bodies discussed requirements and works to be conducted by the Government and the State Counsellor explained about immediate works that can be done and works that required more time.
The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Min Thu, Dr. Myo Thein Gyi and Dr. Than Myint, State Chief Minister Dr. Lin Htut, Deputy Minister U Hla Maw Oo, minister for Kachin ethnic affairs U Zoute Daung, minister for Kayan @ Padaung ethnic affairs U Khun Aye Maung, minister for Bamar ethnic affairs Dr. Aung Than Maung, minister for Lahu ethnic affairs U Yaw Thet, minister for Lisu ethnic affairs U Gu Sar, minister for Akha ethnic affairs U Arr Bay La, minister for Inn ethnic affairs Dr. Tun Hlaing, Chairman of Buddhists, Vice Chairman of Christians, patron of Hindus, chair of Muslims, Central Shan Literature and Culture chairman, Inn National Day organizing committee chairman, Taungyo literature and culture association chairman, Kokang literature and culture association chairman, Pa-O literature and culture association chairman, Danu ethnic affairs association chairman, Kayan literature and culture association chairman, Lahu literature and culture association patron, Akha literature and culture association, chairman, Lisu literature and culture association vice chairman, Kachin literature and culture association vice chairman, Wa literature and culture association patron, Gon Shan literature and culture association joint secretary and officials.
In the afternoon the State Counsellor and party went to Taunggyi Basic Education High School No. 2 kindergarten room where students performed playing of Shan drum and dances while primary students presented flower bouquets.
Next, the State Counsellor visited Kindergarten, Grade-1, Grade-2 and Grade-11 class rooms and observed the teaching of lessons and speaking of ethnic national languages and cordially discussed the students’ aims and hobbies.
Afterwards the State Counsellor met with teachers and parents of the students in the school’s meeting hall and discussed education sector development.
During the meeting the State Counsellor said that she would like to discuss rather than gave guidance and instructions. The main was to discuss education system in Taunggyi, Shan State and the entire country. Children are the future of our country and the country will develop only when the education system is robust. She spoke of telling the children that the country will not stay weak in development forever. She also spoke of the importance of raising the education system.
A variety of ethnic nationals were seen to be attending KG. All were learning their lessons peacefully and were friendly with one another. Teachers should at least let the youngsters know how to greet one another in different languages. Teaching how to greet and say thank you in ethnic national languages are introducing the union spirit and they’ll have mutual understanding.
The youngsters were not afraid, but were respective and well-mannered and also shy. It is a success as when they get over being shy after talking with them, they started to speak up and have a willingness to show what they can do and their self-confidence.
Even though there is much to be done in the education system, the above facts is indeed a success. A big difference is seen in the students in matriculation classes here compared with those in the same level at schools in Yangon. In Yangon, the majority says they want to be doctors. This may be because of being taught as such by their parents or for other standards and norms set. When asked why, the majority said to save lives. I see this as being taught by the surrounding environment. In this school, there are more who want to learn languages than becoming a doctor. We were happy about this and this is the mindset that Yangon should also have.
It was a concern to see only a third of the students being boys. There was no answer for why this is. Some say they leave school to work while some were doing nothing. Teachers and parents should look into this. Whether boys not attending school are helping their parents or were they wasting time in teashops and liquor house or from there on to drugs.
In our country the majority of males drop out at high school level. More females are attending universities. We should not ignore this or let it continue. Uneducated or partly educated boys can become a problem in future society. They wouldn’t be looked after and taken care of forever by their parents.
How shall we change the curriculum so that boys stay on in school? How can they attain more marks in examinations? Discuss with minister for education to find many ways. If the boys became mature around 18 to 20 years, the education system will give them less time to learn subjects in the universities. Furthermore, how to include subjects in which boys can excel should be thought out. Suggestions are to be provided on the school’s basic education system. It was thought that an increase in male teachers will increase boys attending school.
While meeting with the school’s parents and teachers association, suggestion should be made on education system. Suggest on the education system and raise whatever you want to know. As the minister for education is present, detailed explanation will be made about the education policy, said the State Counsellor. At the meeting, parents and headmistress of the school discussed requirements of the school, teaching manners, behaviors to children and attending tuitions. The State Counsellor in return explained about the status of State support and matters parents and teachers can do.
After the meeting, the State Counsellor, teachers, and parents took commemorative group photo.
Later the State Counsellor attended the opening ceremony of Shan State (South) chambers of commerce and industry office building.
At the opening ceremony Union Minister Dr. Than Myint, State Chief Minister Dr. Lin Htut, Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Patron U Aung Ko Win and Shan State (South) Chambers of Commerce and Industry chairman U Aung San Win cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the building.
The State Counsellor then pressed a button to unveil the signboard of the Shan State (South) Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and sprinkled scented water onto the commemorative plaque.
Second part of the opening ceremony was then continued in Shan State (South) Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry office building where the Sate Counsellor delivered a speech.
In her speech the State Counsellor spoke of her appreciation to attend the ceremony and added on observing the development opportunities of the Shan State (East) during her tour of Shan State (East) in the past day.
Much has changed ever since she was at this place around August 2015. The changes were also very encouraging. It is not necessary to say more to merchants and industrialist on the requirement for development to be in a correct way. It was understood that opening such a place for the chamber is our support toward our economic development. It is also believed that the development will surely occurs. Thinking and looking back our history will show the importance given toward merchants in our country. Queen Pwa Saw had said that merchants are the stomach of the people and people’s stomach shouldn’t be cut opened. This is true to date. Business persons are the country’s stomach. Business persons are supporting environment that supports the development and livelihood of the citizens and peoples of the country.
Our government welcomes and supports the participation of merchants and industrialists in the economic development sector. A country will develop successfully only with the cooperation of all strata of the society, from all places and regions. Success is very important for the country now because we are facing many challenges. However, as we trust the quality of our people, we are not worried about the challenges. It is not necessary to say how much this government had transformed and changed legal and procedure sectors to make it easy to do business. All of these were mentioned in the Myanmar investment forum held recently.
The laws enacted and the systems conducted were to make it easier to do business and to bring in more investment and through it to benefit our people. When doing those changes we must not forget our country’s situation. Our country is a union consisting of ethnic nationals of many regions. The development of the union should be balanced. We all must have a mindset of sharing both good and bad and overcome together any problems and make the union develop.
Human resource is our main resource. There are some who admire our country for having natural resources in abundance. Natural resources are eventually eroded and when it is not used properly while it is in existence, there wouldn’t be sufficient benefit. The truly important thing is our human resource.
That is why whenever we went on a tour we inspect the schools as much as possible. We felt much encouraged when doing this. Today we went to Basic Education High School 2. It is encouraging to see the students from KG to matriculation. One thing that strikes me most is the lack of fear in the children. As elders and strangers came to visit them, they may be a bit shy but they were not afraid. Furthermore students in matriculation class had various thoughts and aims that are interesting. We must make the best use of our valuable human resources. It is important for us to use our natural resources correctly and nurture our human resources correctly. We must nurture our human resources for our country’s future. Now that those who want to invest in our country increases, we must ensure that it is in line with our country’s requirements. I trust that the State government knew this. Much care is required as investors are interested in Shan State.
Value and nurture with care the power and value of our people and invest for the future of the country. Business persons are requested to come together and support in producing youngsters, young man and elders who’ll successfully serve the country not only in this generation but in the following generations as well.
We were much satisfied with UMFCCI Chairman U Aung Ko Win on helping in the establishment of this building. If we can use and share our powers and abilities for the development of the country, our country will be a rich country. We are not a poor country. Do not designate rich or poor by looking at GDP. If people in the country has a high will for sharing and have good feeling against one another we can say our country is a rich country. The happiness of the children in the school seen today is not less than the happiness of the children in developed countries.
If we can make our children develop both physically and mentally, economic development will come as generation and generation come by. May the stomach of the country and the people serve for the country’s development. May they serve not only Shan State (South) but the entire State and the entire Union effectively said the State Counsellor.
After the speech of the State Counsellor Shan State (South) chamber of commerce and industry chairman U Aung San Win delivered a message of greeting and explained about the establishment of the chamber and current status. Following this, the State Counsellor presented a document of honor to UMFCCI Chairman U Aung Ko Win for funding the construction of Shan State (South) chamber of commerce and industry building. In return UMFCCI Vice President U Thein Han, Shan State (South) chamber of commerce and industry chairman U Aung San Win and WEWG Chairperson Daw Nan Mo Mo Thida presented the State Counsellor with a bouquet.
Finally, the State Counsellor, Union Minister, Shan State Chief Minister, chairmen and secretaries of UMFCCI, State (South) chamber of commerce and industry, sister associations and ethnic national association took commemorative group photo.
After the event the State Counsellor cordially greeted the event attendees.
(Translated by Zaw Min)