Rangoon (Mizzima) – In an effort to clean up corrupt primary schools in Burma, the government has published a list of the 'corrupt' schools.
On May 17 the Rangoon Region government said that enrolling at the primary level was free, but named some schools that were collecting enrollment fees.
The regional government published a list of the most corrupt 19 schools in the Rangoon Region and a phone and fax number for complaints.
One parent complained that he was asked to pay more than 4,000 kyat (US$ 5.13) in enrollment fees at a primary school.
‘I live in Insein’, he said. ‘I have two school-age children. My eldest son dropped out when he was in Grade 4 to support his younger siblings in schooling’, he said.
‘My youngest son is enrolled for school for the first time this year in kindergarten. Another son is in Grade 4. I was glad when I saw the news that primary school was free. I thought I would not be indebted this academic year. But I had to return home on the day I visited the school for enrollment because I could not pay 4,200 kyat (US$ 5.35) for kindergarten and 4,400 kyat (US$ 5.64) for Grade 4.
‘I noted down all the fees asked by the school. The Region Government is saying we can lodge a complaint about corruption so I planned to lodge a complaint but my wife said no.
‘She said that lodging a complaint would not make any difference because everybody was paying bribe money. My children would face a grudge and be discriminated against by their teachers if we refused to pay this bribe to them. I am not happy with the situation, but I have to give in to my wife’s argument'.
He identified the school as State Primary School No. 16 in Insein Ywama West Ward.
Some parents are willing to pay bribe money even if not asked to get better treatment from the teachers for their children, he said.
‘But people like us who live hand-to-mouth cannot pay this money’, he said.
Cost of bribes or grease money was 4,200 kyat (US$ 5.53) for kindergarten; 4,300 kyat (US$ 5.51) for Grade 1; 4,100 kyat (US$ 5.26) for Grade 2; and 4,400 kyat (US$ 5.64) for Grade 3 and Grade 4.
The detailed breakdown of the cost was 300 kyat (US$ 38 cents) for Form A; 200 kyat (US$ 26 cents) for Form B; 50 kyat (US$ 7 cent) for an eraser; 400 kyat (US$ 51 cents) for six pencils; 2,100 kyat (US$ 2.70) for a dozen exercise books; 100 kyat (US$ 13 cents) for a leave request form and 150 kyat (US$ 19 cents) for extra-curricula activities in the schools.
Other expenses were 200 kyat (US$ 26 cents) for school badge; 200 kyat (US$ 26 cents) for eraser; 150 kyat (US$ 19 cents) for acknowledgment; 150 kyat (US$ 19 cents) for assessment card; 500 kyat (US$ 64 cents) for school identity card; extra 2,500 kyat (US$ 3.20) for those who bought one dozen of pencils and one dozen of exercise books at market price.
|Sr.||Grade||School Fees||PTA fees+ Library fees||Books expenses|
|11||Grade 10||1,000||1,000||2,100 for Bio subject|
|2,140 for Eco subject|