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Home > Main Library > Education > Education in Burma/Myanmar > Education in Burma/Myanmar by sector/provider > Monastic Education

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Monastic Education

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Monastic Education Development Group
Description/subject: "Vision: Monastic Education nurturing healthy, creative and responsible citizens. Mission: The MEDG mission is to develop quality Basic Education through: Taking an active and leading role in the development of National level quality systems and the promotion of basic minimum standards for all Monastic Schools in Myanmar; Networking with Government, local and International NGOs and donors to coordinate and mobilize support for the development of Monastic Schools; Supporting the development of professional standards and training in order to promote teacher’s capacity to provide creative and child centered education; Leading development of sustainable and systematic reform of Monastic Schools Prioritizing the role of schools in promoting responsible citizenship. Values: Transparency - We value transparency to stakeholders in Monastic education Child’s Rights - We value Child Rights on health and Education for all Mutual Respect amongst partners - We value mutual respect to coordinate and work with partner organizations Accountability – We are accountable to donor organizations and individuals Participation - We participate actively in the change process for a National Education system Mutual respect among Principals, teachers, parents and children - We value mutual respect in relationships with Principals, teachers, parents and children."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Monastic Education Development Group
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2014

Individual Documents

Title: Monastic Schools in Myanmar-a baseline study
Date of publication: February 2014
Description/subject: "Monastic schools are established and managed by monks and administered through the Ministry of Religious Affairs. They are located in every state and region, and provide education for over 150,000 children. Monastic schools follow the government curriculum, but until recently have received very little government support, and have traditionally relied on community donations. Monastic schools rarely charge fees, and are therefore accessible to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Facilities are generally very basic, and there is a lack of minimum standards."...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burnet Institute Myanmar & Monastic Education Development Group
Format/size: pdf (7,047.96KB)
Date of entry/update: 28 October 2014

Title: Buddhist Morality at Myanmar's Monastic Schools
Date of publication: 15 February 2013
Description/subject: ..."The monastery schools serve families whose kids wouldn't be educated otherwise–they're too poor to afford the nominal costs of state schools, or they live too far away from the nearest state school."...
Author/creator: Bruce Wallace
Language: English
Source/publisher: Public Radio International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 October 2014

Title: Monastic schools play important role [in education]
Date of publication: 09 March 2008
Description/subject: "U KAUNG, the late Commissioner of Education and an expert in Myanmar education, once said the monastic education system created morality and enshrined Myanmar culture in students.... Traditionally, monastic students were from a variety of backgrounds; monasteries were the only places rich and poor, royals and commoners attended together. They learned the “three Rs” of reading, writing and arithmetic as well as ethics and the Buddhist way of life. Monks have been both the spiritual teachers of the people and responsible for the basic literacy of laypersons – although they are not technically supposed to take on this second role. The monastic education tradition emerged from Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar in the 11th century and has been an integral part of Myanmar culture since. Monasteries played such a significant role in Myanmar education that British people who visited Myanmar in the 19th century observed Myanmar’s literacy rate was higher than Britain’s at that time..."
Author/creator: Nyunt Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Myanmar Times" (Special Feature on education)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://mmtimes.com/feature/edu08/e005.htm
Date of entry/update: 04 May 2008

Title: Children as Beneficiaries and Participants in Development Programs: A Case Study in Burma (Myanmar)
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: Abstract: "This study seeks to understand the dynamics and processes of community development programs for children in Burma (Myanmar). It examines the ethical dimensions of children’s participation, critiques the extent of participation of young people in community development activity, explores the barriers and avenues for increased participation and presents recommendations based on lived experience which can be used to formulate policies that will enable/encourage greater participation. The development industry reaches to almost all areas of the globe and is not confined by national boundaries, ethnicity, age, gender or other social stratification. One of the most topical issues in contemporary development regards the rights of the child. It is an area of increasing interest to United Nations agencies and to human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the International Labour Organisation. In addition, a number of international programs have been created to focus upon improving the global situation of children, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Mandela and Machel's "Global Movement for Children." Such interest in the situation of children, however, rarely includes discussion of the ethical issues involved in the construction of children as appropriate subjects of development. Even rarer is examination or discussion of the culturally and historically contingent nature of assumptions about children and childhood that are built into many programs that focus upon children. The implications of applying programs and techniques that incorporate "Western" or "generic" understandings of children and childhood upon children from non­ Western nations should be part of such discussions. Development programs increasingly employ national workers, not only as stakeholders and participants, but also as initiators of programs and as directors of resource allocation. However, with this growing trend of the participation of ‘beneficiaries’ of development programs in identifying needs and planning and implementing solutions, the voices of children have, until recently, been quiet."
Author/creator: Karl Goodwin-Dorning
Language: English
Source/publisher: Faculty of Arts Department of Social Inquiry & Community Studies Victoria University
Format/size: pdf (3.7MB-reduced version; 8.6MB-1st part of original; 5.2MB-2nd part of original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs23/Karl_Dorning-Thesis-Pt_A.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 July 2017

Title: Save Our Schools
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: "Burmese monastery school students hold out collection boxes to keep their classes going. As Burmese children troop back to school this month they’ll be swapping tales of what they did in the summer holidays. While most spent their few free weeks at leisure, thousands of others will be recalling hours at the roadside collecting money to ensure that their schools can continue when term resumes. These conscientious kids attend Burma’s 1,300 monastery schools, where free primary education is offered up to grade five and, in just a few establishments, grade eight. The alternative for their parents is to enroll them in state schools, where the fees and the cost of uniforms and school books are a big burden o­n average family budgets..."
Author/creator: Htet Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 September 2014

Title: Idealism and Pragmatism: A Dilemma in the Current Monastic Education Systems of Burma and Thailand
Date of publication: 23 May 2004
Description/subject: Conclusion: "In both Burma and Thailand the debate is far from over. While both the idealists and the pragmatists agree that the principal aim of the monastic education systems should be to train monks in the Dhamma and Vinaya, the two sides cannot agree whether or not steps should be taken to help fulfil some educational needs of the society by bringing in some secular subjects in monastic schools. Today, in Burma, the curricula for the various monastic examinations focus exclusively, also narrowly, from the very beginning on the study of Pali and the TipiTaka. No English, mathematics, geography, philosophy nor history are included because they are considered secular subjects.[24] As a result, even educated monks find it difficult to relate the dhamma to lay people's lives. In Thailand, too, the main curricula, such as the nak tham and the Pali parian, have remained exclusively religious. Although, since 1970 there has been a new curriculum, called sai saman suksa (lit. general way of education)[25], which combines the religious and the secular, it does seem this curriculum has been forced on the leadership and has not been a well thought through policy. This curriculum has too many subjects at each level means student-monks do not have sufficient time to learn properly either Pali and Buddhism or secular subjects.[26] In addition, this curriculum has been designed neither to replace nor to complement the traditional religious curricula, such as the nak tham and the parian curricula. It has thus the potential to distract, which I think it has done, the young monks from the nak tham and parian curricula. Indeed, its separate existence from the two highly regarded religious curricula, the nak tham and the parian, suggests that the idealists and the pragmatist have yet to work out the objectives of monastic education."... Presented at the conference on "Burmese Buddhism and the Spirit Cult Revisited - Revisiting Buddhism and the spirit cult in Burma [and Thailand]... at Stanford University, USA by Venerable Khammai Dhammasami, Oxford University, UK, 22-23 May 2004
Author/creator: Venerable Khammai Dhammasami
Language: English
Source/publisher: Stanford University, USA
Format/size: pdf (70.9 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.dhammadownload.com/images/Venerable-Dr-Khammai-Dhammasami-Biography.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 September 2010

Title: School, State and Sangha in Burma
Date of publication: 01 January 2003
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "This article explores by means of an historical descriptive analysis of schooling in Burma the merits of historical descriptive analysis in comparative education. It demonstrates how control over schooling is likely to relate to state legitimacy. Prior to the nineteenth century, the supervision of teaching in Burma was undertaken not by the state but rather by the monasteries of the Theravada Buddhist order, the Sangha. The monastic schools were widespread and they served as an important legitimising device for both the Sangha and the Buddhist state, which were engaged in a competitive partnership. During the nineteenth century, the British colonial administration demolished the pre-existing socio-political structures that assured the Sangha its authority, and permitted alternative forms of public instruction. The teaching role of the Sangha was diminished, however not destroyed, and it continuously resisted the British intrusion. Following independence, rather than re-invest authority over schooling in the Sangha, the new state instead expanded its mandate over public instruction as a means to inculcate the ‘national idea’. In the present day, schooling is subject to the dictates of an autocratic military regime, and the Sangha has been forced into a subordinate role in support of nationalist objectives, in contrast to its earlier powerful part in structural opposition to the state."
Author/creator: Nick Cheesman
Language: English
Source/publisher: Comparative Education Volume 39 No. 1 2003
Format/size: pdf (117K)
Alternate URLs: https://anu-au.academia.edu/NickCheesman
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2014

Title: Kalama Sutta: The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry + "A Look at the Kalama Sutta"
Description/subject: The text of the Sutta with a study by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Author/creator: Soma Thera (trans.), Bhikkhu Bodhi
Language: English
Source/publisher: buddhanet.net
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 October 2014