The Kachin National Association of Tradition and Culture (Myanmar) has issued demands to the President and State Counsellor to correct information about the Kachin people in the government schools’ Grade 7 geography textbooks.
The association sent a letter to Burma’s leadership on Monday based on a discussion with leaders of six Kachin sub-groups’ own associations on July 6.
La Nu, chair of the association, told KNG that there are three incorrect points in the textbook. The first is the claim that the Kachin sub-groups include Kachin, Tagon, Dalaung, Jinghpaw, Gawri, Hkaku, Duyin, Maru (Lawgi), Rawang, Lashi (Larchid), Akee and Lisu peoples. The correct statement would be that the Kachin sub-groups include Jinghpaw, Lachid (Lashi), Lawngwo (Maru), Zaiwa (Atsi), Lisu, and Rawang.
“Second, we want to replace ‘the majority of Kachin ethnic people practice Christ religion’ with ‘the majority of Kachin ethnic people are Christian,’” La Nu said. “Third, they wrote that the Kachin ethnic group has 12 sub-groups and their symbol is Hkakaborazi mountain. We will replace it with the correct information that the Kachin ethnic group has 6 sub-groups and their symbol is Hkakaborazi mountain.”
Associations from Kachin sub-groups have already issued demands to President Win Myint to update the textbooks but say that they’ve received no response.
“It must be changed,” Li Lay, a central executive committee member of the Lisu Tradition and Culture Committee, told KNG. “We have to push them until we get a response.”
He said that committees from the six sub-groups have already contacted the President’s Office, but the joint letter sent on Monday is the most recent push for the change.
Dawng Hawng, of the Lawngwo Tradition and Culture Committee, pointed out that incorrect information included in the new curriculum means history is still being taught incorrectly to the next generation.