27 February 2020
Thesis Examination - “Commodification of Education in Myanmar’ Chin State under the Shadow Education System”
Events Detail : -

RCSD Center, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University is pleased to invite you to participate in a Thesis Examination

“Commodification of Education in Myanmar’ Chin State under the Shadow Education System”

Presented by Ms. Sui Meng Par, M.A in Social Science, specializing in Development Studies

Examining committee
Asst. Prof. Dr. Suchart Setthamalinee
(Payap University)

Asst. Prof. Dr. Mukdawan Sakboon
(Chiang Mai University)

Asst. Prof. Dr. Prasit Leepreecha
(Chiang Mai University)

Thursday 27 February 2020
From 14.30 p.m.
At the subaltern meeting room, 1st floor, Operational building, Faculty of Social Sciences

Abstract: Myanmar’ Chin State saw the emergence of shadow education system; locally known as boarding class as alternative schooling from the early 1990s. The rise of this shadow education system has been constantly associated with failings in the government education system. Over twenty years of its emergence in Hakha, Chin State, Myanmar, there is a rapid growth in the number, reaching more than 15 to date. They emerged with advertised objectives of assisting students to pass the university entrance examination called matriculation examination. Parents and students alike expect boarding class guaranteeing successful academic results. Considered as the only solution, boarding classes win enormous popularity with more than 90% students joining them. The objectives in of this study are to investigate boarding class in its relationship with students’ academic results and whether it fulfills high parental expectations.

Concepts of “schooling and commodified education” are employed to analyze schooling prevalent in research area. School as an institution operated for educational purposes (Young, 2011, White, 2017) has different purpose with its type. The main aim is to produce capable educated individuals where the outcomes are usually characterized as the achievements (Winch and Gingell, 2008). To persuade students and parents, commodification of education (Miller, 2010, Brancaleone and O’Brien, 2011) is strengthened with boarding classes’ advertising techniques to increase people’ hope in matriculation achievement.

Qualitative method of ethnographic approach is employed to understand this phenomenon from “bottom-up” (i.e. from the data to findings). Open-ended data collection techniques such as in-depth interviews, focus group discussion and participant observation are conducted with 17 persons; ranging from principals, teachers, parents, students, and to educational experts. Two dynamics are found in the correlations between boarding class and academic result; positive and negative. Positive outlooks usually come from stakeholders and students passing matriculation examination. The positive outcome is varied into two observations; the first concerns boarding class offering assistance to weak students. The opposite is the case for the second; with it helping a few finest students whose academic performances are already up to the mark. In the meanwhile, it is the boarding classes that receive economic benefits from the few propitious students as well as from unpromising students alike. From the observation, I is seen that, with a mere 1 to 2% growth in the matriculation result, boarding class offers relatively low contribution in elevating matriculation pass rate to full extent nor meet high parental expectations.