Chinese Education in Myanmar

After the second world war, a generation of Chinese descendants fled to live in foreign countries, and soon after they started setting up Chinese schools in an effort to preserve and perpetuate the Chinese culture. However, with the ensuing wave of anti-Chinese movements, most clans in the Kokang region in Myanmar forced changes to enforce local practices in the Chinese occupied parts of the region. Names of local villages and official language in schools were changed to that of local ethnic group. To survive, the Chinese descendants had no choice but to comply. Nowadays, second and third generations of these Chinese migrants have gradually integrated and taken roots in Myanmar. While their children attend local schools in Myanmar, they have not forgotten their Chinese heritage. They send their children to Chinese schools every day at the crack of dawn to learn the Chinese culture and language. Thereafter, these children attend local schools, spending a total of 10 plus hours every day in learning, and this has definitely earned our admiration.

To learn Chinese, students not only have to start at the crack of dawn but also have to learn in a less-than-ideal environment. Most schools are made only of wood and bamboo, and with little to no sound or weather insulation. Noises between classes interfere with each other impacting teacher and students’ concentration; and worse, in adverse weather, learning condition further deteriorates to a point of being dangerous.