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Tachilek students asked to pay to pass exams

Feb 27, 2008 (DVB), Teachers at a high school in Tachilek, Shan state, have been demanding money from students to ensure they pass their examinations, and threatening to fail them if they refuse to pay.

Parents of students studying at the government’s Basic Education High School No (1) in Tachilek, which is on the border with Thailand, said three teachers at the school had asked the students for money for each of their subjects in order to pass the upcoming end-of-year exams.

Daw Kyi Kyi Soe, Daw Moe Thandar Hla and Daw Myintzu Aye, who also run their own private tuition, also asked for money in advance for the next academic year, parents said.

"Primary students, from kindergarten to fourth standard have to pay 300 baht for each subject," said one student’s mother.

"They have to take six different subjects under the educational system, and they were asked to pay 3600 baht in total as advance money for the 2008/2009 academic year."

She said that middle and high school students were asked to pay 500 baht for each subject and 6000 baht in total.

"They said they can’t guarantee our children will pass their exams if we don’t go and pay them the money," she said.

"The school headmaster U Too Maung said we have to make the payment before the exams start at the end of February."

The two high schools in Tachilek, Basic Education High Schools No (1) and No (2), have about 2000 students each.

BEHS (1) is well known for being attended by children from rich families in the town.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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