Young people are particularly interested in education. “Under the military dictatorship, education was very poor and was mainly focused on stamping out facts,” says Say. He has just completed his master’s degree as an English teacher and is now teaching.
“In recent years, education has improved a lot and has become more focused on students rather than teachers. Quality education is very important to the future of our country and therefore these developments should not be reversed.”
“The government also offers free education in state schools and students can get scholarships,” says Mang. “This also makes it easier for us to study abroad,” says Mo. Young people fear that the army will turn back the clock by ten years and put an end to these developments.
The coup brings back painful memories to 1988 in many Myanmar residents, when the population revolted against the regime of dictator Nie Win, who had ruled the country since 1962. It was students who led the protests at that time.
The army quelled the revolt. Thousands of people died and a period of strict military rule ensued.
“The bloody uprising of 1988 immediately came to mind,” says La Main. “It is a wound that continues to bleed in the hearts of the people of Myanmar,” he added. Although the youth had not witnessed the protests at the time themselves, they heard the stories and saw the pictures. In fact, they are now sharing these photos on social media.
“We don’t want history to repeat itself,” says Mang.