Teacher terminated for political activism

MONYWA – A Senior Assistant Teacher (SAT) from No 2 Basic Education High School (BEHS) in Monywa, Sagaing Region, has been told to leave her home, which is school property, because her husband participated in an event commemorating General Aung San’s 100th birthday, according to Thein Than Maung Maung, the teacher’s husband.

“On the evening of January 9, the principal from BEHS wanted to meet my wife. The principal told my wife that the Monywa District Education Officer phoned him to say we could no longer stay in the school housing. I think this is because I organized an educational talk to mark General Aung San’s 100th birthday. The principal told my wife that he believes I am a political activist. My wife asked if she could stay at the school until the end of this academic year. The principal told her we have to leave the school as soon as possible. However, he did not give a deadline,” said Thein Than Maung Maung.

“We have lived in the staff quarters for more than a year. My wife teaches math to Grade 11. I am a manager of Mother’s Garden Education Network, which was founded by the National league for Democracy. Before holding the educational talk, I was contacted by the Monywa District Education Office, which asked my reasoning in holding the talk. They ordered us by phone to leave the school,” he said.

“I didn’t instruct to leave them as a District Education Officer. I instructed them under government instruction. According to district administrators, if the couple want to stay in the school, they must stop their involvement in politics. If they want to do politics, they can do so outside of the school. We didn’t order them to leave the school at once. We warned them not to get involved in political affairs again. I was instructed by district administrators over the phone, after which I phoned the principal. The Sagaing Region Education Office doesn’t know about this issue,” said Kyaw Hsint, the Monywa District Education Officer.

“The couple should not be involved in political movements while living in the school’s compound. If they want to participate in politics, they should do so outside. As for me, if wanted to get involved in a political movement, I would resign from my job and get into politics. We didn’t instruct them to leave the school at once,” said Kyaw Kyaw Wai, a District Administrator in Monywa District.