Students fundamental brick for democracy’s foundation stone
- The first student protest that ignited the spirit of independence, the formation of the GCBA which was called Myanmar’s first political party, the establishment of the prestigious Rangoon University which took the nation’s educational tradition to the topmost levels, all these occasions will be reaching their 100th anniversary in 2020.
Centenaries have always been celebrated as special occasions in Myanmar history. The 1920 student protest in Yangon erupted against what they perceived as an unfair education system that the British colonials wanted to implement. The protest was able to give inspiration all the way to our reclamation of independence.
In that sense, the student movement was the driver for opposition against the colonial administration and political traction. They were the spark that lit the fuse and their actions reverberated through the upper echelons of the British administration.
From then on, Myanmar’s political scene took off and people began giving it more consideration. This upsurge in public political interest became one of the driving forces that led Myanmar to regain independence.
The next step was the second student protest in 1936 that grew into an armed revolution. Students and student unions have always been a part of the most important roles in our struggle for independence in Myanmar’s history.
The student union of Rangoon University brought about such luminaries as Ko Nu, Ko Aung San, Ko Hla Pe, Ko Ba Hein, Ko Hla Shwe, Ko Thein Pe, Ko Kyaw Nyein, Ko Ba Swe and Ko Aung Kyaw, all of whom were instrumental in Myanmar’s bid for independence.
And they too gave birth to the leaders of Myanmar’s Tatmadaw such as Bo Aung San, Bo Kyar, Bo Yan Aung, Bo Zeya, Bo Ye Htut, Bo Yan Naing and Bo Min Kaung.
Furthermore, just before the military takeover in 1962, the top political leaders of the nation were all from student unions. And in line with history, young students have been making sacrifices up to the democracy movement.
Now too, we have to rely on the strength of our students as the foundation of democracy and national development. They need to be given support, encouragement and opportunities as they are the next generation that will be leading this great nation of ours.