In Burma’s remote and impoverished Chin State — the poorest region of the country — a minimal 8,000 teachers educate more than 110,000 registered students in only 1,300 schools. In an effort to improve the state’s dismal education system, regional officials have announced that they will hire an additional 1,640 teachers.
The new recruits will teach primary school, and will receive daily wages of 5,000 kyat (US$5), a representative of the state’s education department told DVB. High schools, he said, are still in dire need of qualified staff.
“We still need more teachers,” he said. “According to our statistics, we still need around 200 teachers for high schools.”
The official announced that 13 new primary schools have recently opened in the state, but the new hires have not been assigned to them. He added that a hiring surge last year ended with some disappointment; about 110 of the 890 new hires simply never showed up for duty.
With an estimated population of about half a million people, the northeastern state is the poorest part of the country and still lacks much of the infrastructure needed for development. Roads are few and far between, many often made impassable by extreme mountainous terrain and weather.
The state has no secular universities, but there are a few private theological colleges. Official data from Burma’s Central Statistical Organisation counted only 25 high schools statewide in 2003. Only about eight percent of high school students in Chin State passed matriculation exams for the last academic year, the lowest percentage in the country.