New York Times – “In Myanmar, Classrooms Provide Litmus Test of Change”

By Lara Farrar | 5 May 2013

Check out the full article here

YANGON, Myanmar — The higher education system in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, was gutted during 50 years of military rule, which ended in 2011.

When student protests in 1988 spread across the country, the result was thousands of deaths and arrests at the hands of the military regime. The junta banished undergraduates from urban campuses to prevent more demonstrations.

Scholars lost touch with the outside world and were fired if they conducted research unacceptable to the state. The government nationalized universities, rendering administrations beholden to state ministries. Many campuses were allowed to decay, becoming overgrown with weeds ….

“Our staff is overloaded,” said Kyaw Min Htun, a retired prorector at the Yangon Institute of Economics. “Our campus has no division of labor.”

The education system in Myanmar has been isolated for so long that it may take time for students and educators to catch up to international standards.