The Mon State Government have been supplied with UNICEF-funded Mon textbooks aimed at state-run schools across Mon State and other areas in Mon communities, during a ceremony in Mon State Capital, Moulmein.
The ceremony, funded by UNICEF Fundraising for Children, was held yesterday [June 22], at Basic Education High School No. 6, Moulmein (also known as Mawlamyine) Capital.
The UNICEF group provided the Mon state government with 73,000 Mon language textbooks, 80,000 exercise books, 5,000 fairy tales books, as well as grammar and teacher guide books.
“The Mon text books that are funded and offered by UNICEF will now be handed to the state education department. We will work toward respective schools receiving the textbooks and the teachers can use them effectively,” said U Min Min Oo, Mon State Chief Minister.
Chief Minister added that the current government has given priority to education and will work toward providing educational opportunities to children living in remote and conflict areas, who are coming from poor families as well as children with disabilities.
In attendance at the ceremony, were Mon State Chief Minister U Min Min Oo and government officials, Dr. Min Nwe Soe, chairman of Mon Textbook Curriculum Committee, representatives of UNICEF (Mawlamyine) and representatives from Mon State Education Department and civil society organizations.
“We worked on this curriculum based on past experiences and did the best to develop the teaching curriculum. We received help from a committee that wanted to assist us and had curriculum development experience. We implemented this project with support from donors and with the country’s copyright,” said Dr. Min Nwe Soe.
Dr. Min Nwe Soe continued that the curriculum development committee faced many difficulties while working on the curriculum, but believed the committee did the best it could for schools in Mon communities across Mon and Karen states and Tenasserim Division. The current committee is ready to assist future committees in need of help for developing textbooks.
The Mon State Hluttaw enacted in April, 2014, that starting from the 2014-15 academic year, Mon language could be taught during class time. However, the current government has only provided this class as an after school class.
The teaching of Mon language was granted use at state schools in 1946 even before the country gained independence from Britain. In 1958, the Mon Affair Association led the publication of Mon textbooks for use at schools. However, after the military took power in 1962, the Mon language programs in state schools were ceased.
After Mon State was founded in 1974, under the Burma Socialist Programme Party, a new curriculum for [Mon] textbooks for kindergarten and Grade 1 was published. However, no one led the teaching of Mon textbooks at government schools.