Beginning this 2014-2015 academic year, teachers instructing ethnic languages during school hours, as well as outside class hours, are provided a monthly salary of 30,000 kyat.
“The salaries will be provided only after submitting a detailed list [of teachers] to the No.1 Department of Basic Education, [including information regarding] which schools, from which townships [ethnic language teachers are teaching in], in what month the teachers started teaching, and the number of teachers from [each] school,” Dr. Aung Naing Oo explained.
Dr. Aung Naing Oo continued that there are 36 state schools in Chaungzone Township, with two Mon language teachers provided at each school; 72 Mon language teachers started teaching in Chaungzone Township in September.
“Apart from [receiving] monthly payments of 30,000 kyat from the government, we [Mon teachers] are not provided with anything else, but we [do] receive the salaries regularly,” said Mon teacher Mi Oo, who teaches at the Kaw-htaw Middle School in Pa-nga Village, Thanbyuzayat Township.
Teacher Mi Oo continued that the Kaw-htaw school is divided into three grades, Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. Mon language instruction is provided to each of those classes daily from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.
However, there are only a few government schools in Ye Township that are currently teaching Mon language.
“The principal of this school was [asked to provide] Mon [language instruction] at the school, but the principal did not accept, and [instead] submitted to the government that there are no students at this school willing to learn [the] Mon language. So, there is no opportunity to teach Mon at the school [yet],” said a teacher from Ye Town’s No. 4 Middle School.
Meanwhile, there are one hundred fifty-six Mon National Schools, administered by the Mon National Education Department (MNED) of the New Mon State Party (NMSP). With a focus on Mon language instruction within the grade-by-grade system, the students are provided with matriculation exams from the Department of Myanmar Board of Examinations, in order to enter colleges and universities.
Similar to Mon State, teachers instructing ethnic languages at government schools in other states, such as Karen and Chin states, are also provided salaries by the government.