Month: <span>November 2020</span>

Pete Souza, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Appeals

Myanmar: Fair Elections But Challenges Ahead.

Pete Souza, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Rene Wadlow.

The 8 November 2020 elections;  for the two houses of the Myanmar Parliament were carried out with little violence. The National League for Democracy (NLD);  headed by Aung San Suu Kyi won some 80 percent of the open seats. The military have one fourth of the seats;  reserved for their nominated members. This provision of the constitution;  gives the military an effective veto over any measures;  that they do not like.

There are still a few political figures;  linked to the military in the small party Union for Solidarity and Development (USDP);  but basically the military are satisfied with their veto power in Parliament;  and their opportunities for making money in government-related business. There is no political leader of first order in the USDP. Thus;  there is little change in the makeup of the Parliament;  since the previous election of 2015.

However;  a large number of people could not vote. The Union Election Committee suspended all voting in some minority areas. It is estimated that over two million potential voters;  were in these areas where voting was canceled. The largely Muslim Rohingya;  had already been stripped of their Burmese nationality. Many have fled to Bangladesh both in a 1990 exodus;  and again more recently. Yet there are still a good number living in Myanmar;  but unable to vote. There are also a good number of people (estimates are not clear);  who are held in internment camps as a result of military-ethnic militias tensions;  who could not vote. In addition;  there are a large number of persons;  who have moved to Thailand to escape the long years of military repression;  who could not vote. Thus;  we must keep the election results in their context.

The NLD Government.

The governing record of the NLD is very uneven;  both in terms of bringing an end to the ethnic conflicts;  but also in the economic sector. Much of the Myanmar economy is linked to that of China. While there has always been a fairly numerous population of Chinese and Indians in the commercial sector of Burma;  the last few years have seen a wave of new immigrants from China starting stores, hotels, and other businesses. However;  there is little organized political opposition to the NLD. The government has actively discouraged any other political groups;  and critics in the press or social media have been arrested;  or their actions limited.

The NLD government has made little progress in dealing with the central issue facing the country: in order to create a stable country;  there is a need to find a creative balance between the central government and the ethnic minorities. Creating a governmental structure that respects separate cultures;  and yet sees the need to work together is not easy. The majority ethnic Burman live mostly in the central river valleys – the Irrawaddy plain – while the ethnic minorities – of whom the Karen, Karrenni, Kachin, Mon, Wu and Shan have been most active in the insurgencies – inhabit a large arc along the borders with Thailand, China, Laos, India and Bangladesh. The insurgent forces have often been small;  often structured on kinship or village loyalties;  and rise and fall with bewildering frequency.

New and Just Governmental Structures.

Having worked at the U.N. in Geneva in the late 1980s;  after the 1988 pro-democracy demonstrations until the mid-1990s; with some of the main representatives of the ethnic minorities on a possible federal constitution;  I am fully aware of the difficulties of creating new and just governmental structures. My hope was that a younger generation would be willing to develop realistic federal arrangements;  which would provide for political equality, respect for languages and cultures and autonomy in decision making.

The problem is that this younger generation does not hold power. Those in power both in the government and the ethnic minority structures;  are unwilling to give up the present status quo;  with its many opportunities for corruption for an uncharted future. A certain amount of political courage and vision is needed. These are in very short supply. We will have to watch closely to see if there are new voices among those elected to the new parliament;  who could present new avenues for creative actions.

 Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

Burma’s Crumbling Junta

February first marked the anniversary of the military coup which overthrew the government of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021.  She was in practice the leader of the government but…

World Humanitarian Day: A Need for Common Actions.

Featured Image: Photo by Wylly Suhendra on Unsplash. The United Nations General Assembly has designated 19 August as “World Humanitarian Day” to pay tribute to aid workers in humanitarian service…

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Education Appeals

Virtual Education. The Path to the Democratization of Education.

Without a doubt;  we are living the most interesting moments of our lives. We are human beings with a global vision of the world;  and  we are concerned about events that take place in countries;  that are very different and far from ours.

Throughout history;  as a civilization we have been motivated by the search for knowledge. Being able to carry out innovations that facilitate our way of life. That instinct that things can get even better. Curiosity and a strong desire to learn; It has been the engine that has generated great technological advances since ancient times.

The High Costs of Traditional Education.

The conventional educational system;  many times does not fit with the desire for innovation. Rather;  students are programmed to settle for a standard education; that only allows them to get a job;  and thus generate wealth for others.

Not satisfied with this;  traditional education brings with it a series of costs such as: (Facilities, teachers, administrative staff, among others). Costs to be covered by the student or their parents. And all this without the guarantee that the knowledge acquired will guarantee them a job, after graduation.

The Demands of the Labor Market.

However;  the current educational system does not fit with the demands of the labor market;  resulting in future professionals obtaining an academic degree,  that only serves to hang on the wall.

In other words;  conventional education fails to achieve the same dizzying pace as technological advances.

It is for this reason that self-taught people are those who decide to learn what they need by themselves;  without being framed in a traditional educational system. They embark on a path in search of knowledge and constant self-evaluation. They are the ones who make sure to master the content;  without taking exams that may have shortcuts to passing them.

Quality Education at Low Cost.

Self-taught education can be of quality;  at a very low cost, almost free. Thanks to the Internet;  we have the best University in the World;  from our devices. Teaching available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Platforms such as YouTube are usually the most used to find information about almost anything. Youtube channels in any language with people;  who are experts in their respective professions or trades, willing to provide their knowledge without reservation.

With some exceptions that for additional content, you will have to cover a cost, but it is a minimum price, if we compare it with the enrollment of any university in the world.There are also many virtual education platforms, where you must pay some cost per enrollment, but they assure you of personalized attention and an educational certificate, valid in the country of origin.

Advantages according to these virtual education platforms, there are many, for example the costs are usually very cheap, compared to the traditional educational system. In addition to that you do not have to travel to other places, because you acquire knowledge from the comfort of your home.

“Virtual Education is the Path to the Democratization of Education”.

Because this is the most viable option to guarantee the right to education for the most vulnerable populations. Give them the opportunity to acquire knowledge and become productive human beings that help meet the needs of their community.

In Association of World Citizens, we are optimistic and firmly believe in education as a fundamental right of human beings. With the value of education, violence, vices, personal insecurity are significantly reduced, as well as initiatives to take care of the environment, generating peace and harmony in the communities.

Virtual Education Platforms.

We hope very soon to create our virtual education platform, and thus contribute a little of our knowledge to improve the quality of life of human beings.Here is a list of some YouTube channels and web platforms, so that you can take the option of educating yourself and thus embarking on the rewarding path of the search for knowledge.

1. Coursera

Coursera is a popular online education platform that offers courses from top education providers around the world. Over the years, the company has grown rapidly and provides the world’s best standards of education through MOOC.

2. Skillshare

Skillshare is an online education platform that is beneficial for both students and teachers. The website offers thousands of courses related to design, business, marketing, technology, photography, film, fashion, music, gaming, cooking, writing, DIY. crafts, and more.

3. Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning)

Lynda.com, now part of LinkedIn Leaning is an MOOC website that covers a wide variety of creative, technology, and business courses. For over a decade, Lynda.com has been offering informative and clear video-based training for individual, corporate, and academics. The site is quite famous for teaching skills such as photography and coding.

4. Udemy

Udemy is a popular online learning platform that gives people a chance to develop their careers and explore a wide variety of hobbies. From web development to public speaking, they offer a broad range of courses. Reputed companies like Booking.com, Lyft, Addidas, and General Mills use the business plan of Udemy.

5. CodeNMore – YouTube

 The CodeNMore channel features game programming (ranging from Java and LibGDX to Godot), electronics tutorials, web programming, and much more! Subscribe to see the latest CodeNMore videos!

6. Tutorials Point (India) Ltd.

Tutorials Point originated from the idea that there exists a class of readers who respond better to online content and prefer to learn new skills at their own pace from the comforts of their drawing rooms.

7. Tony Bell

Tony Bell is channel features lots and lots of introductory accounting videos for your viewing pleasure. Hope they help!

Of course, there are many more online education platforms, as well as educational youtube channels. But in this case we only mention a few.

From this point on, it only depends on the effort and time you dedicate to educate yourself according to the discipline that suits your needs.

 We wish you success in your search for knowledge.

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