Green Ribbon campaign asks ministry to keep its word

The Green Ribbon campaign steering committee reminded the Ministry of Education of the agreements discussed between campaign leaders and ministry officials last August, including the immediate appointment of teachers awaiting job.

Last Friday, the committee sent a letter to the Ministry of Education and the Department of Basic Education to honour these agreements.

As part of the agreement, the ministry pledged to uphold the schedule in appointing graduate teachers for the coming academic year.

However, it has failed to move forward with the appointments again this year.

“We agreed to implement the recruiting as soon as possible. Normally, teachers should have already been enrolled but they have not yet received their appointment letters. So we notified the ministry,” Ko Soe Thura Kyaw, a member of the committee, told The Myanmar Times on Sunday. The committee is waiting for the ministry’s response, he added.

The Green Ribbon campaign started last July following the ministry’s failure to appoint new teachers in time for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The campaign lobbied the ministry to move forward with the appointment process. Campaigners wore green ribbons on their traditional blouses at education universities and colleges.

During the campaign students urged the authorities to announce specific dates at which new teachers would be nominated, to consider the waiting time prior to their appointment as working experience, and for new teachers to be employed in time for the coming academic year.

Last year, about 400 students from education universities and colleges peacefully protested in Sagaing and Yangon during the Green Ribbon campaign as ministry officials did not reply to their call for negotiations. Later, officials met with committee members and promised to appoint the new teachers in the first week of August.

“We called officials on the telephone, and they said they are doing the best they can. They promised to appoint teachers in time this year but teachers are still waiting for the postings,” said Ko Thet Oo Paing, chair of the Sagaing University of Education Student Union.

In Myanmar there are two education universities and 25 education colleges for basic education schools. Over 15,000 students who have graduated from the universities and colleges to become teachers are waiting for their postings, according to the committee.

The appointing process could not be carried out solely by the ministry, said U Aung Aung Min, deputy director general of the Department of Higher Education.

Information needs to be shared with the Planning and Finance Ministry and Cabinet regarding teachers’ salaries.

“The Education Ministry is working to appoint new teachers and may be finished by the end of this month,” he added.

Besides the Green Ribbon campaign, the Blue Ribbon and Purple Ribbon campaigns took place among technological teachers and nursing students last year for the promotion and hiring of nurses.

Source : Myanmar Times

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