Education in Myanmar for people born in late 80’s and early 90’s
Sometimes, I thought how would be my life if I was born in late 90’s although it’s a silly random thought. That’s idea came up when my cousin sister, and me both of us are in nearly in same age talked about our childhood life. We are not complaining our current life; just want to imagine what it will change our current situation. Who are we??? We are human who have emotion that so called sadness, happiness, enjoyment, and greediness, which is derived from passion, dream and hope. It’s natural that we won’t ever be satisfied with our life. At least, we still have right to speak out loud of our thought and imagination.
Let’s start with the period around 2000. If my memory is still good in dealing with numbers, I was in my 6th grade at that time. How do we spent our childhood life at that time.?It’s simple. We went to school in early morning, came back to home in evening, did homework with study guide for a few hours per week and mostly we enjoyed our free time by playing traditional game on the ground or acting like a virtual chef by cooking with tree leaves. When it was raining, we were always excited to go out and play under the rain. If I told to this to my younger cousins who are born in 21st century, they will listen to what I said like “once upon a bedtime story.” The younger generations don’t have the life we had. Of course, we were lucky to have this life since at that time the technology has not been much developed yet especially for a country that had closed its door for a few decades. We didn’t have much choice except enjoying the existing nature, which are now a paid popular place to spend the holiday for young children. Nowadays, most of the children don’t have much free time compared to the time was young. They go not only to school but also to tuition for the whole day starting from primary school. Although they don’t want to go to tuition like college student, their ambitious parents insist that they study all the time like college student. So, they don’t have much time to enjoy their time physically, as a result, they rely much on electronic products such as computer games, tablet and online games. For me, we didn’t know about such kind of electronic games when we were young. They have much knowledge about electronic things and other modernized things compared to us who have faced some difficulties to catch up this modernized world. The drawback is, they don’t have time to spend with nature and are overwhelmed by all man-made artificial environment.
Some of you have no idea of the aftermath of bad education system. As far as I know, our education was one of the best in South East Asia countries in early 19th Century, which was called the golden period. However, starting from my primary school age, the education system was the worst one after many changes. We started school at the age of 5 and our education system was 5, 4, 2 while most of the countries was 6, 3, 3. As a result, whenever Myanmar young adult like my age want to pursue further education abroad after graduating from university or after high school, most of them are not eligible to join directly to the level they suppose to join. Even though you are good enough and smart enough to get good grade in your home university, you are still limited to join other university outside the country because of lack of academic years compared to their education system. That’s what we suffered in our time. I believe there are many people like me who suffered exactly as me.
Those who were born in 21st century are lucky because they have many choices. If they plan to pursue their education abroad, they can join international school within the countries and after finishing high school, they can easily study abroad. In our time, the children who are born in extremely rich families and those who engaged with high-level authorities can study abroad. Even though the basic education system of Myanmar haven’t changed yet, some of the university try to fill the education gap by adding academic year. However, it was just established after my graduation. That’s why I always tell to the younger ones that they are so lucky to have these good changes during their time, what I faced were only bad changes. So, they can easily access to better education if they are good enough to join. There are many young adults in Myanmar who have high potential to grow but they are stuck in one place, as they can’t change the past that they have passed by. It’s like destroying the human resources, the most important resource for a country to develop.
Let’s try to compare two people who join the further education abroad, the one who were born in early 90’s and the other who were born in late 90’s. Although they were born in the same decade, they have different life and different fate. Of course, everybody has different life and fate. But it should be more or less the same if they are on the same road. These two will be friends in abroad by attending the same class in same university. Although they have age different, they are in the same class. This is because the one who were born in early 90’s suffered a lot from bad education system and he/she might struggle a lot to catch up with the international standard education. Because of his/her continuous effort, he/she can finally join further higher education. For the one, who were born in late 90’s is lucky, he/she might suffer from some changes but they are good changes. And, finally, if the chance is right in front of him/her, he/she just needs to grab the right chance at right time. In the end, these two become friends by walking on the same road.
What will happen if they graduated from the same international recognized university? Who will get the better job and better life? If the company recruits for a vacancy, who will get this vacancy among these two? The answer is obvious that the company will recruit a younger one if they have same education background and same experiences. The elder one has to struggle in his/her whole life compared to the younger ones. They always need to work hard and make an extreme effort to catch up in this competitive life. For those who can’t survive in this situation, they will end up in the same place for their whole life. Yes, it’s survival for the fittest. But it is not fair for a group of people somehow who can’t fit in this environment not because of their fault but because of their unavoidable life experiences.
Most people say if he/she will be our countries leader, we will have better future. Actually, it’s too late. We already have been destroyed our future and life. I would like to quote my friend word, “no matter who is the leader of our countries, if we don’t change our attitude, it will always be the same. Our future is just in our hand.” I am also one of them to create the better life in this highly competitive situation and struggling all the time. I wish the future generation wouldn’t suffer anymore like me and they could create the best environment with their effort no matter who is the countries’ leader.
Written by Mingalapar forum team teacher