Ethnic Mon School Teachers Threatened with Arrest and Replacement


Ethnic Mon School Teachers Threatened with Arrest and Replacement

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

School teachers from the Mon National School in Tavoy District, a school run by the New Mon State Party, were threatened with arrest by Nai Than Naing, the headman of Min Thar Village who wants to replace ethnic Mon teachers with Burmese school teachers. Despite Nai Than Naing’s actions, ethnic Mon teachers from Zin Zwe and Chort Taw Villages in Ye Phyu Township refused to step aside under the threat of replacement.

The Mon national school in Durae, in Ye Township, Mon State. (Photo:Kaowao)

“They have been transferring Burmese teachers since December 7 and they have cursed us with spiteful, inappropriate language because we did not accept their demands,” said a Mon teacher from Zin Zwe Village.

Nai Than Naing, the leader of the replacement effort, came from Min Thar Village with three of the village’s security militia and threatened the ethnic Mon teachers, reported one of the teachers to Kaowao.

“They transferred their Burmese teachers before even consulting us. Furthermore, our school year is almost completed, so we don’t accept their actions,” said a community leader from Zin Zwe Village.

The Mon National Primary Schools at Zin Zwe and Chort Taw Villages have 70 and 50 students respectively. There are no government schools in either village.

The fight for an ethnic school system in Mon State has a long history. The Mon National School system was established by the New Mon State Party over 30 years ago, and since the party’s 1995 ceasefire agreement with Burma’s ruling military government, Mon National Schools have opened across Mon State.

However, the Mon National Schools operated under great difficulty. Mon school teachers from Zin Zwe and Chort Taw Villages battled great oppression during the military junta’s rule of Burma. Colonel Myo Win, who was active in Southern Ye and Ye Phyu Township, often tortured local people and school teachers and was condemned by Mon people for his countless human rights abuses. The Mon National Schools in Day Sjin, Cha Pon and Kwan Kawt Villages were forced to close while the schools in Zin Zwe and Chort Taw remained open and taught the ethnic Mon language.


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