Teacher forced to retire after attending 8-8-88 ceremony

Teacher forced to retire after attending 8-8-88 ceremony

A Naypyidaw schoolteacher has alleged that the Ministry of Education forced her to retire after she attended the 25th anniversary ceremony for the 8-8-88 student uprising.

Speaking to DVB, Soe Soe Khaing said she was forced into retirement for three reasons: having contact with a political organisation; taking leave without permission; and travelling a long distance without informing the headmaster.

“I don’t want any other employee to have to go through this,” said Soe Soe Khaing, a high school teacher from Zabuthiri township with 18 years’ experience.

Soe Soe Khaing joined with thousands of other people from across Burma on 8 August by observing a commemoration ceremony in Rangoon for the victims of a bloody military crackdown in 1988 when hundreds, some say thousands, of protestors were killed.

However, Wai Lin Oo, a representative of the Ministry of Education, denied the decision to give the teacher retirement was related to the 8-8-88 “Silver Jubilee” in Rangoon.

“We were concerned because she took leave without permission,” he said. “How can she just disappear when she is supposed to be on duty?”

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But Mya Aye, an 88 Generation Students group leader, sided with the teacher and said that the ministry’s decision was “ugly”.

“Forcing a schoolteacher into retirement due to the fact that she attended the Silver Jubilee ceremony was a very ugly thing to do and certainly inappropriate,” he said. “The 8-8-88 ceremony was not held by any one political party but was a momentous occasion in Burmese history that drew together people from all over the country.”

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