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ICC Note: The Catholic Church is seeking to revitalize Myanmar’s long neglected education system. Myanmar was once considered by many to be the best educated nation in Southeast Asia due to the quality of education provided by Christian schools. Nevertheless, under the military’s rule, the country’s education system has deteriorated and led to the stagnation of their economy. Christians hope that the government will return nationalized church-run schools. 

08/30/2017 Myanmar (UCA News) – The Catholic Church is seeking to play a greater role in revitalizing Myanmar’s long neglected education system but it continues to be frustrated by a lack of government action in returning church-run schools that were nationalized decades ago.

Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon has called for the return of more than 80 former-Catholic schools that were nationalized by the former military junta in 1965.

Cardinal Bo said the schools “were taken at gunpoint” and he has campaigned with other Christian leaders over the issue.

During the 1950s, Myanmar was considered by many to be the best-educated nation in Southeast Asia due to the quality education provided by Christian schools.

Rosemary, project director at the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) in Loikaw, Kayah State, said she attended a church-run school during the 1950s and received a quality education.

“I pay gratitude to missionaries and appreciate their effort as we received a good education,” Rosemary, a former schoolteacher, told ucanews.com.

Today there are only two church-run secondary schools and four primary schools in the country, according to the Education Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar.

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