Govt gives full support to Na Ta La students in Chin State
30 September 2013: The government of Burma said it provided full assistance for Na Ta La students in Chin State, a Burmese acronym for the Border Areas National Races Youth Development Training Schools.
According to the Burmese version of the New Light of Myanmar last Thursday, the government was responsible for all their needs including accommodation, clothes, food, education and health.
They receive a monthly grant of 25,000 Kyats per subject and there are five subjects taught at the Na Ta La schools, run by the Ministry for Border Affairs in collaboration with the Department of Educational Planning and Training.
The total grant per student for the July to February academic year is currently 1million Kyats.
The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) reported in 2012 that Christian students at such schools are prevented from openly practicing Christianity and coerced to convert to Buddhism with the threat of military conscription.
The report also indicated that the Ministries for Border Affairs and Religious Affairs cooperate closely in the implementation of the Na Ta La schools programme.
At Na Ta La school No. 2 in Mindat town alone, there are 166 students (115 boys and 51 girls) between Grade-5 and Grade-10, of whom 85 will be sitting for an entrance examination to the University for Development of National Races.
Meanwhile, at the mainstream public schools which are chronically underfunded, families have to pay for their children’s costs including school materials and annual fees.#