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August 09, 2020

How poisonous can a school lesson be?

Myint Win Thein


School lessons are generally supposed to teach children life skills and how to make progress in life by utilising lessons in logic, ethics and the basic skills of numeracy and literacy. They are taught to better the  future of society as a whole based on the lessons they have learned. As a result, these lessons should set the best examples for them.
For the past decades, all Myanmar matriculation students have had to learn an article entitled “The World of Fish Paste” which depicts the live of fish paste workers, the process of making fish paste and the nutritional values of fish paste for their Myanmar language examination. According to the article, there is no problem with fish paste, which always is the main and only dish for poor Myanmar people as it is abundantly available to them.
It is a knowledgeable article about one of Myanmar’s traditional food, which is made of salt and fish or prawn. The people of Myanmar were contented with fish paste, which is cheap and readily available, for six decades.
Nevertheless, it is made with a lot of salt. As it is fermented, it has bacteria in it. Now it is known to all that salty food causes hypertension and bacteria cause various diseases in people. As a result people no longer eat fish paste as much as they used to.
Furthermore, it costs the country a lot of spending on health and a slow pace to change. As people are contented with what is readily available for them, they do not ask for change. Now they know that it is not as healthy as the article suggests, they demand a balanced diet which will make them healthier in the future. We ought to demand the same standards of our education system. If the information provided to students is out of date or lacks proper logical and scientific basis our children cannot hope to be the future of the nation.


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