August 20, 2016

Teachers’ federation seeks elimination of promotion exams

THE Myanmar Teachers’ Federation (MTF) has announced that it will hold negotiations with the director general of the Department of Basic Education over the matter of school teachers having to sit exams in order to earn promotions, saying the negotiations will proceed, even “should there be a thousand protesters on the issue”.
Dr Thet Naing Oo, chair of the MTF, said the federation will hold discussions because of the objections it received from female kindergarten teachers with a college or university degrees who have had to re-sit examinations in order to receive job promotions.
“The current job promotion policies of the Ministry of Education and of the Department of Basic Education are contradictory. The expenses incurred are cumbersome for teachers who must travel from far reaches of the country to sit the exams, and they’re not guaranteed to pass. We will request permission to meet with the [Education] Ministry on this issue. Discussions will also be held with the director general of the Department of Basic Education. We will negotiation for an amicable solution for both sides,” she explained.
Teachers who attend training colleges for between three and five years and then work as kindergarten teachers can eventually earn promotions to become high school teachers.
Many in the teaching community argue that this system works best without the imposition of examination requirements for teachers.
“If we sit the exam and fail, we don’t receive a promotion. I don’t favour this policy. As a teacher, I’m also posted to far away parts of the country. I still have to incur all the expenses involved in taking the exam, even if I don’t pass it. Travel is not easy.
That’s why I’m protesting over this issue,” said one kindergarten teacher.
The names of teachers who object to taking promotion exams and the schools at which they work will be kept anonymous. A minimum of 1,000 objections are required in order for the MTF to proceed with its effort to amend the policy.
The MTF has announced that it has so far received about 500 objections.—Myitmakha News Agency


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