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Teacher shortage forces parents to pay for substitutes

Myaing Middle School in Magwe Division. (Photo: DVB)

A government school in Daungohgyi, a village in Magwe Division’s Myaing Township, is experiencing a shortage of teachers, forcing parents to raise money to hire substitute teachers.

Locals said two of three secondary school teachers at the Daungohgyi government school are absent — one on maternal leave and another transferred out of the area — while a primary class teacher has also been transferred.

Than Win, a school committee member, said the parents at the moment have to pay 1,000 kyat (US$0.82) for each student to cover the cost of hiring new teachers.

“At the moment, we have hired two new teachers for the kindergarten and one for the secondary school, to substitute a teacher who is now on maternal leave,” said Than Win.

“We have yet to hire substitutes for the primary and secondary teachers who were transferred out.”

He said hiring two more teachers would cost the parents more than 3,000 kyat ($2.45) per student.

“For parents with just one child, 3,000 kyat should be still manageable, although it might be a challenge for them. But for parents with two or three kids studying at the school, it may cost them up to 10,000 kyat, which is going to be a major struggle for many,” he said.

According to the Myaing Township government’s Education Office, there are 254 government schools in the township and altogether they need around 82 high school, 18 middle and 57 primary teachers, as well as seven primary school principals.