Extra school fees in Nyne Hlone leaves parents worried about how to pay for their children’s education

June 9, 2017

HURFOM: Schools fees for students at Nyne Hlone High School in Nyne Hlone village, Mudon Township, Mon State, are set to increase next month. The Nyne Hlone School Committee and teachers announced that they would begin to collect extra education fees from high school students, leaving some parents worried their children will no longer be able to afford to attend school.

In Nyne Hlone, high school students are required to attend nightly study sessions in addition to their normal, daily class schedule. As per the school committee, Grade 10 (Standard Nine) and Grade 11 (Standard Ten) students will now have to start paying for night study classes at an annual cost of 200,000 kyat (US $148) and 300,000 (US $222) respectively. Parents who are experiencing financial hardship feel they have no alternative but to pull their children from school all together.

The issue of extra educations fees in Mudon Township is not new. Last year, a report was submitted to the Chief Officer of the Mudon Township Education Office outlining the collection of extra education fees from students. Although the report was well organized and contained detailed information, it was not received officially as it was anonymous.

No one [in the government] will take accountability for the report to the Mudon Township Education Chief. And there has been no investigation or action [related to the information in the report]. The [Nyne Hlone] School Committee will start to collect extra education fees from 300,000 to 200,000 kyat in July. The salaries of the school teachers are already paid by the Ministry of Education so there is no need to collect extra fees. This is a problem as the students’ parents do not dare speak out against collecting extra fees,” said Nai Seik Loon, a father from Nyne Hlone village.

The collection of extra fees, including donations, is publicly and officially prohibited by Burma’s Ministry of Education. However, most schools in Burma practice some forms of extra fee collection, with varying reasons and amounts.

Even the schools in our town have been collecting extra fees for a long time. But this isn’t once a year; [the students have to pay] every three months. In total, the amount they have to pay is more than that of the fees in Nyne Hlone. Some of the students’ parents think that collecting extra fees for night study is fair, so they don’t submit a report [to the relevant authority],” said Nai Wai from Lamine sub-Township, Mon State.

Nyne Hlone School Committee’s plan to begin collecting extra school fees was publicized after a group from Nyne Hlone village wrote a post on their Facebook page. The uproar over the post has been a huge blow for the School Committee and school teachers; however, there is no visible change related to their policy to start collecting extra fees.

On May 5th 2017, a Nyne Hlone village group submitted a report to the Chief of the Mudon Township Education Office.

In our village, when an exam is upcoming, a Grade 11 student must pay 100,000 kyat (US $74) to their teachers for the cost of night study. The students’ parents have accepted that teachers should collect extra fees for the extra class exam study guide, so they voice no complaints. The student’s parents keep silent,” said Nai B’nyair from Pa Nga village.

The Ministry of Education has stated previously that any form of collecting extra fees, including donations or selling school/classroom seals, has been prohibited and urged parents to cooperate with the Ministry by reporting any type of this behavior.

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