Chief Minister and Swiss Ambassador inaugurate a new school building as part of UNDP Project in Mon State

August 7, 2019

Photo: UNDP Myanmar

7 August 2019, Bilin: A newly constructed Basic Education High School (BEHS) building was inaugurated in Shwe Hlay village, Bilin township, Mon state today. The opening ceremony was attended by Mon State Chief Minister, H.E. Dr. Aye Zan, Mon State Planning and Finance Minister H.E. U Wunna Kyaw, Swiss Ambassador to Myanmar H.E. Mr. Tim Enderlin, UNDP Myanmar Deputy Resident Representative Ms. Dawn Del Rio, staff from UNDP and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), township officials and local community members.

The two-storey building offers safe learning spaces for 240 students, including Karen and Pa-Oh students from neighbouring villages. The entire school compound is composed of 6 buildings and will benefit in total 840 students and 39 teachers from 10 villages. The newly constructed building, which replaces an old wooden structure that was deemed unsafe for education purposes, has been warmly welcomed by all the communities.

The school building in Shwe Hlay village was identified as a local development priority in the township participatory planning process for 2018-19 under UNDP’s Township Democratic Local Governance (TDLG) Project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in collaboration with the Mon State Government.

In his remarks the Mon State Chief Minister H.E. Dr. Aye Zan thanked SDC and UNDP for helping to address the basic infrastructure needs of Mon State and for enhancing the practice of democracy among the people of Mon State through a participatory township planning and budgeting process.

The Swiss Ambassador in his speech said “Switzerland is committed to work together with all of you, for a peaceful, inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. This high-school is a great example of how we support democratic local governance in Myanmar. Communities, as well as Members of Parliament, CSOs, EAOs, female 10 household leaders and female 100 household leaders and respective government departments came together in Bilin to discuss and identify local development priorities. They decided to use the grant to allow their children to learn in a safe environment and therefore to build this high-school. A wise decision as I believe there is no better investment than the one into the future. The selection of the project thus is the result of a democratic and participatory process at township level.” The Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Myanmar, Ms. Dawn Del Rio highlighted the fact that the TDLG project has provided an opportunity to strengthen local democracy. She also noted that the good results from Bilin and other townships in Mon State demonstrate important changes in how decisions are taken, how transparency and accountability have been enhanced and also how local people’s trust in their government has improved.

For 2019-20, the TDLG project is supporting planning processes in all 10 townships in Mon State. More than 25 projects have been selected as a result of the township planning process and these projects include roads, bridges, a water supply installation, an incinerator and schools.

The selection of the projects was undertaken through democratic and participatory processes that included the participation of township officials from relevant departments, Village Tract and Ward Administrators, Members of Parliament, female 10 and 100 Household leaders, and representatives from Civil Society Organisations and Ethnic Armed Organisations.

For additional information, please email UNDP Myanmar communications team:

Ms. Yamon Phu Thit: