December 09, 2016

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History and human progress

Myint Win Thein

Every student has to learn history at school because the correct understanding of the past helps them, at the very least, not to repeat the same mistakes made by their predecesssors. In this sense, the same mistakes of predecessors could be committed by posterity again and again if history was not taught at school.
This is also the case with the teaching of incomplete historical facts with incorrect conclusions. Misguided history and erroneous conclusions lead students to a faulty understanding of present events. As their understanding of the world is incomplete, they cannot make correct decisions and could commit the same mistakes like their predecessors.
When a country is not united and prosperous, it is almost surely because it has not been able to emancipate itself from past mistakes. This may be one of the reasons why the new government reformed the Myanmar History Commission and urged its members to compile correct history with facts, noting that history texts written by successive governments were just praise for the ruling classes.
In a recent meeting, Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko told historians to review all history and bravely rewrite it with the facts. He also pointed out that the depiction of some famous events in ancient as well as in recent history, such as what occurred in Myanmar during last five decades, should be examined and rewritten with the facts.
If historians were able to rewrite history with facts, the country could avoid repeating the past mistakes and move
toward to a democratic
federal union in the future. History and human progress are interrelated.

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