Yangon – Any act to improve a country without taking into consideration the right to free thought would fail, said Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).
The NLD’s chief was addressing a fund-raising music festival to mark the fourth anniversary of the Education Network at the People’s Square in Yangon on January 10.
“Hopes of destination have been distant as young people in the country experience low academic standards. We need to think about all the aspects of why education has been low in standard and why the people are in poverty,” Aung San Suu Kyi said.
“Poverty eradication is one of the government’s aims. But the government has many issues to address and is doing a great deal. What all of us have to realise is that poverty might be eradicated only by the efforts of the people and this is the most important point. We, the people, need to be wise. Only when the citizens have high qualifications can the country experience high standards of living. Lack of education causes poverty and it is useless to the country,” Suu Kyi said.
“It is an undeniable fact that our country is poor. The requirements of a poor country are different from those of a rich country. We need to start building our country so today’s young can have appropriate qualifications.
“We must have an independent society and the right to freedom of thought. We must have the right to do or say what we want without anyone stopping us. In this state, let me warn you that we must not speak ill of others, but express our beliefs freely,” Suu Kyi said.
“We must also have reasoning power. Sometimes we should express something useful to some people despite being useless to others, but we must use wisdom. It is best that we do not speak ill of others.
“We are trying to provide moral lessons to the children who are learning in the schools opened by the Education Network of the NLD in addition to formal education. It is a positive sign not only for the present time but also the future of the country,” Suu Kyi said.
About 20,000 students attend schools opened by the NLD’s Education Network.