21 Nov Limits to how far universities could be decentralized: govt advisers

Written by Nang Myint Published in Education Read 3156 times
Hundreds of students have been protesting against the National Education Law, concerned over rigid government control over universities and their curricula. Students walk along the Adipadi road of Yangon University in Yangon, Myanmar, December 5, 2013. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA Hundreds of students have been protesting against the National Education Law, concerned over rigid government control over universities and their curricula. Students walk along the Adipadi road of Yangon University in Yangon, Myanmar, December 5, 2013. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

The Myanmar government’s educational advisory group recognizes the call by protesting students to decentralize control over universities but claims there are limits to how independent they could be.

Dr Yin Yin Nwe, leader of the President U Thein Sein’s Education Advisory Group, said the centralization of control over universities is being reduced gradually but it is impossible to decentralize it all.

Dr Yin Yin New was speaking at a meeting to clarify the stance of the advisory group over the controversial National Education Law at the Diamond Jubilee Hall at the University of Yangon on November 20.

Hundreds of students took to the streets last week to protest against the National Education Law, claiming institutions of higher education would be tightly controlled by the government, would lack flexibility over the curriculum, and lacked student stakeholder input.

The advisory group claims the National Education Commission and the Higher Education Coordination Committee were not formed in order to centralize control over universities but to take responsibility over the budget to be spent on the education sector.

Dr Yin Yin Nwe said, “As the budget is allotted by the government, we have to abide by the rules of the State. It needs to set up a body at the centre to take responsibility and accountability for allotment of the budget.”

She claimed that the advisory body would not interfere in education affairs.

“They [the students] should understand it. But, they cannot be on a par with American citizens from US universities,” she said.

The advisory group focuses on the enactment of basic education, higher education, technological education, vocational education, teaching rules and the drawing up of the charters for the respective universities.

Last modified on Friday, 21 November 2014 11:32