September 25, 2008

Myanmar Works to Narrow Gap Between Rural, Urban Schools

Myanmar works to narrow gap between rural, urban schools

YANGON, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar high-ranking education official has stressed the need for rural schools in the country to strive for keeping pace with urban ones to reduce the development gap of education between the two areas, the official newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Wednesday.

"If the teachers are capable of teaching students in rural regions keeping pace with those at schools in cities, there would be no development gap between rural regions and urban areas in the very near future," Minister of Science and Technology U Thaung said on Tuesday when meeting with over 1,300 basic education trainee teachers in the northern city of Pyin Oo Lwin.

Speaking on behalf of the First Secretary of the State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-General Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, U Thaung said "To keep abreast of the international community, efforts are to be made to effectively use development infrastructures created by the government and firmly grasp such opportunities as learning opportunities for the entire mass of students including rural children and opportunities for each and every citizen that could bring prosperity based on education".

He disclosed that 86.41 percent of basic education schools are in rural areas with 68.25 percent of students being rural people.

He urged the teachers to strive for successful realization of the national education promotion program to give rise to highly qualified intellectuals and technocrats.

According to official statistics, Myanmar's school enrollment rate has attained 98.13 percent in the academic year 2008-09, which began in June, up from 98.01 percent in 2007-08.

To increase the school enrollment rate, the government has opened 6,263 post-primary schools, while exerting efforts for children to finish primary education and to complete their middle school education.

The number of basic education schools has also increased to 40, 574 in 2008, up from 40,553 in 2007, statistics show.

Meanwhile, the education authorities urged more active participation in literacy campaign to improve the education and socio-economic life of the people.

According to official report, in its annual endeavors for the increase of adult literacy rate, Myanmar attained 94.83 percent of the rate in 2008, up from 94.1 percent in 2005 and 83 percent in 1996.

In its drive to increase the adult literacy rate annually, the government has extended informal primary education program and mobile school program for economically difficult people to attend classes and over-school-age children.

In the mean time, literacy for illiterate adults and continuing education programs are also being implemented nationwide.

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