Disappointment as exams fall on Chin National Day
07 February 2013: Examination dates recently announced for high school students have sparked disappointment among Chin communities as they coincide with the Chin National Day that falls on 20 February.
Students from Standard 1 to 2 will sit for their exams on 19-20 February, Standard 3 to 7 on 21-25, and Standard 8 to 9 on 26-28 while the dates for Standard 10 are set to 13-22 March this year.
A community leader from Hakha said the exams dates would make parents, teachers and children unable to participate in the much-awaited celebrations of the Chin auspicious day.
One of the Chin teachers told the Chinland Post: “Most of the teachers at our school are not happy as we would have exams on the Chin National Day. Why don’t they [government] pick up any other dates rather than the day which is very important for us?”
In Thantlang, community leaders and local government officials are reportedly discussing over the possibility of making the 20th of the month freely available to commemorate the Chin National Day.
An agreement between the Chin National Front (CNF) and Union Peace Working Committee of Burma’s government said of the 20th of February to be set as a public holiday in Chin State.
However, the government of Chin State has not shown any sign of willingness to deal with the issue regarding the dates of examinations but to go ahead with the notifications given by the Ministry of Education.
One of the CNF-Govt provisions reads: “It is agreed that the Government of Chin State shall take forward actions to re-recognize the 20th of February as Chin National Day as a public holiday in Chin State in recognition of the occasion as a day cherished by the Chin people.”
Chin MPs and authorities have also been urged to take necessary actions in an effort to ensure that the Chin National Day be freely and openly celebrated under the new government.
Celebrations of the Chin National Day have been banned or disrupted in Chin State and other parts of Burma by the military authorities for decades.
Instead, the Chin are forced to name their special event ‘Chin State Day’, which is now designated to take place on the 3rd of January in recognition of the day the Chin Special Division was turned into Chin State, as stated in the CNF-Govt agreement.
Chin communities outside of Burma have made preparations in their respective residing places to mark the 65th anniversary of their national day.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang