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June 25, 2019

Remove language barrier to help national race children

Most Myanmar students who study abroad face the common difficulty of having to learn their disciplines through the medium of English. In order to meet the requirements of their courses, most undertake additional English language classes.
Children beginning primary school with lessons taught in a second language, however, do not have the same opportunity. This is the situation faced by children of national races in border and rural areas, where most of them know only their mother tongue, but where all school subjects are taught in the Myanmar language. For a child, trying to learn a subject taught in an unfamiliar language poses unnecessary difficulties and is likely to result in failure.
It also wastes taxpayers’ money, as well as teachers’ and pupils’ time and effort. Under this system, members of national races in border areas are considerably less successful in education and have little option other than their traditional ways of life. Their areas lag behind others in development. It is also ridiculous for a child to need language courses before he or she starts school.
The simplest solution to the problem is to teach them in their mother tongues. Primary school children have a better long-term chance of academic success if they can learn subjects in the languages they already know.

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