Economic Development of Myanmar

Economic Development of Myanmar

Economic Development of Myanmar

Economic Development of Myanmar

Synopsis

There are a number of studies by Myanmar economists as well as Burma scholars from abroad covering different post-war periods and/or various aspects of development in Myanmar. This book brings them together under one roof by recasting bits and pieces of their work according to the author's own understanding.

Excerpt

Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has been isolated from the world since 1962 when the military took over civil power for the second time. Soon after the military coup, an inward-looking selfreliant policy of isolation in the form of “The Burmese Way to Socialism” was declared as the official policy and guideline for the future development of the nation. Under the Burmese Way to Socialism, all the enterprises in foreign trade, domestic wholesale and even retail trade, banks, industries, forestry, fishery, mining, as well as hospitals and schools were nationalized.

Moreover, the medium of instruction in schools and universities was changed, almost overnight, from English to Burmese in 1964. University staff members were asked to write textbooks in Burmese. As a result, some compulsory textbooks in Burmese were published during the 1970s. Most of them were translated from old textbooks in English. This meant that most of them were out of date, especially in the field of social science. Besides, there were never enough books due both to lack of competent staff as well as incentives. Then in 1981, English was again introduced as the medium of instruction at the tertiary education level. By then the economy was facing a severe shortage of foreign exchange. Consequently, university libraries were unable to buy sufficient number of textbooks, references, and journals in the English language. At the same time, a large number of competent and foreign-trained university staff skilled in the English language had left the country as they could no longer make a decent living as a university teacher. Simultaneously, promising university teachers were not permitted to go abroad for their doctorate degrees. This meant that there was . . .

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