Ex- Student: Two Days A Week School Is No Big Deal
A Shan student who arrived in Chiangmai last week told S.H.A.N she decided to continue her studies here in Thailand after learning she could attend only two days a week at colleges that opened last June.
Kham (not her full name), who passed her matriculation exams in 1997 from Laikha, southern Shan State, said: "As the number of students who enroll at the colleges are at least 3 times as many as they are allowed to normally accept, each student can attend classes only 2 days a week."
"It means that I have either to stay idle or find something to do 5 -days a week," she said.
According to Kham, the cost of living has jumped up 200 times more than it was 30 years ago. While students in those days could survive on K.100 per month, she could not imagine how she would be able to attend school if she had a monthly income less than K.20,000 that is considered a fortune for most families.
"You need at least K.3,000 to be allowed to stay at friendly homes in Taunggyi. Food is K.200 per meal and busfare K.20 one-way. That does not include your tuition fee and stationery."
"Anyway, the education system in Burma teaches you only how to pass exams and get fancy degrees, but not to learn anything worthwhile at the same time, so I made up my mind to come here," she said.
A number of schools have been set up by the NGOs since students fled in droves to the Thai-Burma border following crackdowns by the military in 1988.