Myanmar: Dhamma schools lack funds

By Nay Aung, Myanmar Times, 3 February 2016

Yangon, Myanmar -- The Dhamma School Foundation says it aims to establish more than 9000 Buddhist Sunday schools over the next five years, nearly quadrupling the current number.

A rise in Buddhist nationalism has increased demand for Dhamma schools to instill the “right way” of living, according to the foundation. In the past few years, Sunday schools have been opened around the country.

In Myanmar’s dry zone, a shortage of funding is proving an obstacle for the Magwe Dhamma Schools Committee.

U Eaindar Thakka, secretary of the committee, said there are no such schools in six of 25 townships in Magwe Region due to a lack of funds. “There are very few Dhamma schools in the capital of the region. There are about seven that haven’t been opened yet. We aim to open each and every school,” he said.

The committee will try to attract funds from devotees who wish to make donations, while also seeking volunteers willing to donate time and labour.

Parent U Win Aung is grateful that children can study religion at the schools. “We are glad to see that children are now in touch with religion from a young age. These days, children are not close with monks or the teachings of the Buddha,” he said.