Maungdaw, Arakan:  The headmistress of the State Primary School in Myoma Kayandan (Seikda para) village, Maungdaw Township, collected admission fees forcibly from students in June 2008, said a father of three children of the school.

The school has more than 1500 students and the headmistress collected between 2500 and 3000 Kyats per student whereas the authorities had issued a notice not to collect any admission fee from primary students as UNICEF has promised to bear the fees for the students, said a school teacher who has a child going to the school.

 

Mya Mya Thein, the headmistress is the wife of U Nga Mey, Magistrate of Maungdaw Law court, said the teacher.

 

The parents told the headmistress that the admission fee was too high and that the UNICEF had already announced that it would bear the fees but she told them that the fees will be used in the future, said a parent of a student.

 

On the other hand, the headmistress gave about one million Kyats to U Hla Win, the chairman of the District Peace and Development Council (DPDC) and 300,000 Kyats to Mohamed Rashid, the chairman of the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) who is a close aide of the DPDC chairman for maintaining silence, said a source.

 

According to sources, in rural areas of Maungdaw Township, UNICEF has shouldered the responsibility for admission fees of primary school students as of June this year. The school authorities had collected Kyat 300 per student. A student had to pay Kyat 500 as admission fees in 2007.

 

A source said the Township Peace and Development Council chairman asked some primary school authorities about the collection of fees. Some teachers said they only collected Kyat 300 per form, but he ordered them not to collect any money from students and forwarded the order to the township education officer and asked him to check the matter.