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Mon language introduced in schools

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School textbooks in use in Mon state. (photo: Min Latt’s Facebook)
School textbooks in use in Mon state. (photo: Min Latt’s Facebook)
Min Lyon – A school in Mon state’s Thanbyuzayat Town has started teaching Mon language during regular hours by using a spare class time when most students are just fooling around.

U Tin Win, the principal for high school students attending B.E.H.S no. 1, told the Independent Mon News Agency “during that time, (younger) students usually have free time and play around. So, now instead they can learn extra subject”.

“Students are learning Mon with great interest. Their parents are also encouraging them,” said U Tin Win remarking that even students not of Mon ethnicity are delighted to learn.

Four teachers have been brought to teach the language classes to 200 grade three and four students since the middle of January. So far it’s just for lower grades, but U Tin Win hopes to offer more classes for older students in the following academic year. The school offers kindergarten to grade 10.

Efforts to encourage the younger generation to learn their native tongue would be more effective if a foundation could be formed for fundraising, the principal said.

“Now, the teachers do not get paid. But they come to teach with good-will as it is their town and their school,” said the principal.

After being outlawed for decades the new quasi-civilian is finally allowing ethnic languages to be taught in schools. But they must be taught during after regular school hours or in this case during the spare class. The government has agreed to foot the bill for the production and distribution of these language books across the country.

“This is an opportunity for the next generation of youth in our town to be able to speak and read Mon,” said parent Nai Aung Soe, remarking it would also be good to introduce classes for more senior grades during school hours.

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