2010: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
2011: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
2012: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
2013: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
December 01, 2013
Thai Cement Company Supports Learning Materials for 100 High School Students in Rangoon
The ceremony of Siam Cement Group(SCG) gave education financial to 100 students in Rangoon was held on November 28 in Rangoon.
Each student who received SCG Company’s The Sharing Dream prize was given education financial support 200000 kyat and learning materials, who attend 9st and 10st, in International Business Center.
One of a 10st female student said that, Myanmar Business Executive and SCG participated for this education prize and provided the prize depend on poor and education quality so that’s why I received the prize.
They supported 100 high school students. Moreover, they provided the prize to 7 credit students who entered University test.
SCG has been providing learning materials two years in Mon State and Rangoon and it also has planned to provide learning materials in Mawlermyaingon December 1st. (Source From Kamayutmedia)>>>Back to top
November 29, 2013
Penalizing Children without Physical Punishment
Penalizing children without physical punishment is making children more confidentthan those who arepunishedphysically.
Burma UNICEF Delegation Mr. Bertrand Bainvel said, “There are other ways to punish children without resorting to physical means; and so we are prohibiting all kinds of physical punishment and note thatdifferent methodsare to be used."
Children in Burma do not need violence. So the public needs to know how to appropriately penalize children without being abusive or using physical methods.
Burma still needs official guidance to develop itsknowledge in a number of areas, including methods of lecturing, penalizing and disciplining children with age-appropriate methods. ‘Violence’ includes physical abuse, exploitation, and exclusion.
“Children who have been abused in any way, may face problems in their future. Sometimes, they not only cause trouble for other people but also for themselves” said a UNICEF Burma Officer.
Root Causes of Punishment
Many housewivesin Burma punish their children physically. Some ignore their children, but some gently lecture their children until their children obey them. But most families prefer to use physical punishmentrather than reasoning with or lecturing their children.
“Parents do not normally punish by lecturing their children. For example, parents use physical punishment when they can’t afford to buy the things their children want. Then, children are not satisfied and even anxious to get beaten again if they repeatedly ask for what they want”, said, Saw Blessing Bo Ni, a program director of Terredeshommes (Tdh-L).
Most abuseby parents occurs because they are not patient, they are angry or they are struggling financially.
Punishment of children should be age-specific. Children learn from birth and so we should lecture them carefully. For example, children start to learn their mother’s character even as babies and toddlers. When their mothers smile, they will smile. If we look at this, we can say that each child learns depending on its age.
Terredeshommes (Tdh-L) program director Saw Blessing Bo Ni explainedusing his personal experience, “I have twins. Children quickly get frustrated when they don’t understand and want something. They don’t understand if the desired thing will make trouble for them or not. So I have to explain kindly to them until they understand. At that time, I couldpunish them physically but this would not help, as they would be sad and potentially traumatized. So I have to explain the reasons until they understand; as a parent I am like a coach, because my childrenlearn from me”.
3 to 10 Years Old
As children get a little older we can change our methods. When children are about 10years old, instead of punishing them physically, we can reason with them until they understand, give them the facts: for example explain what had happened in the past. Giving an interesting explanation is better than scolding them, because they are also learning to imitate us.
Over 10 Years Old
With children over the age of 10 you should talk to them a lot. They are often very shy so you should not use power to deal with them. You should talk to them in a friendly way and explain your reasoning to them.
“Children in Burma haverights. To enhance the development of the country, Burma must focus on peace process,” said Burma UNICEF Delegation Mr. Bertrand Bainvel.>>>Back to top
November 27, 2013
Teaching Karen Literacy Outside Class Still Difficult
KlerLweHtu Township Education Coordinator Naw Chit May said that, in Pago Division, KlerLweHtu Township, even though the Karen Literacy Committee is now established in government schools and they are able to teach Karen Literacy outsideclass, they are still encounteringdifficulties.
Naw Chit May, who is also the Karen Literacy Committee Chairwoman,added, “The problem is, there is only one textbook for the teacher. We don’t have textbooks to give to the students. Moreover, some teachers in some schools can’t read Karen so we have to invite teachers from other villages who can read/write Karen to volunteer to teach the Karen language”.
Pago Division Ethnic Karen Minister, Saw Jubilee San La, who has led the initiative, notes the progress that now 37 teachers teach Karen Literacy to 1083 students. The lessonsstart at the end of the school day, running from 3.30pm to 4pminPrimary Schools, Middle Schoolsand High Schools in KlerLweHtu Township. The program started in June 2013.
The Karen literacy that is taught in KlerLweHtu Township is Sgaw Karen. It is included in the primary level curriculum that the government officially approved in 1966.
Karen Literacy Committee Officer, KlerLweHtu Township, Ballot Sector (1), Parliament Delegation Saw Lin Aung said that, since President U TheinSein came to power, there has been no official declaration regardingthe policy of teaching Karen literacy in government schools,so there is still a challengein teaching Karen literacy.
“The Government has a policy for learning mother language and the curriculum is written. But it is not yet officially granted so teaching Karen is still problematic”, Saw Lin Aung said.
Parliamentary delegate, Saw Lin Aung added that he started to struggle to teach Karen literacy after he informed thePago Division Education leaders as well as Township Education leaders. Even though the other townships’ officers intended to teach Karen Literacy, townships education directors are uncertain and so it is difficult to implement the teaching plan.
In Pago Division, as well as Dike Oo, KyaukTagar, LerDoh and other townshipswhere there is good communication with the Karen Literacy Committee,it is possible to teach Karen Literacy where the Karen population is the regional majority. Other ethnic groups such as Mon, Pa'Oh, Chin and Shan have not been able to teach reading and writing their languages outside class time.>>>Back to top
November 21, 2013
Myanmar’s youth promote UNICEF’s “Peace not Violence” campaign
On 20 November, the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Myanmar’s children celebrated the launch of the “Peace not Violence: Joining Hands Across Myanmar” campaign, a joint venture between UNICEF, the Myanmar government, and local and international NGOs.
According to UNICEF, the campaign aims to “spread a national message of peace, empathy, and understanding” and prevent violence against children in all its forms, including physical, mental, and emotional abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
“In accordance with CRC Article 19, every child has the right to be protected from all forms of violence,” said Bertrand Bainvel, a UNICEF representative in Myanmar. “Today, it is the children of Myanmar that say no more violence, no more abuse.”
Beginning with a symbolic joining of hands, celebrations of the campaign will last for five days with events and festivities throughout Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi, Mawlamyaing, and Dawei. The campaign itself will conclude on 20 November 2014, the 25th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the CRC.
UNICEF and several of Myanmar’s civil societies are also working to host national workshops and events geared to educate children on what peace and violence mean to them.
“Peace-building and reconciliation activities must be prioritized if Myanmar’s children are to have the future they deserve: a successful and prosperous future to which they have a right,” said Mr.Bainvel.
“Everyone- including children, adolescents, mums, dads, teachers, elders, religious leaders, and national figures- have a role to play in ending violence against children,” he added.
Working with youth all across the globe, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. (Source; Mizzima News)>>>Back to top
November 20, 2013
First Meeting for Basic and Higher Education Teachers
It was reported in the 7 days news journal, that a meeting for basic and higher education teachers will be held for three days in December. A spokesman from the Rangoon University Teacher’s Union said that, Education Department officers, university professors, higher education teachers and basic education teachers will participate as well as representatives from the International Labor Organization(IOL), United Nation Education, Technique and Culture(UNESCO), and International Education Organization(EI).
An Officer said, “There will be a discussion with the teachers about the formulation of higher education policy. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the establishment of a Teacher Organization and the associated challenges”. This meeting for basic and higher education teachers will be held December 6-8 at the Asia Plaza Hotel and teachers from States and Divisions will be invited.
Some universities from Rangoon and Mandalay established a Teacher Organization in December 2012; however, basic education teachers have not yet been able to establish a Teacher Organization. >>>Back to top
November 18, 2013
Myanmar Vice-president Unsatisfied on Education Refrom
Myanmar's Vice president Dr, Sai Mauk Khan spoke during promoting education and implementation meeting that, even though there has been struggling for education reform has been one and half year, there is still not satisfaction reform on education.
Vice president said that even though president U Thein Sein ordered to find a way to reform and hold education workshop regularly with an advice from educators, there is still inadequate to get satisfaction.
Vice president spoke in Rangoon University Sliver Hall that, “There is struggling to reform education and after it has been one-half year, I observed how much education situation has been changed during my tripped to Divisions and States, I have not seen any satisfaction reform in the field”.
Dr. Sai Mauk Khan said that, even though there its called Student Centered, Teachers are not allowed to teach tuition, four types of learning English methods, retain environment, there still children have to read in mind, teachers still teach tuition, teachers still have to wait truck beside the road in the morning and evening and teachers summit complain letters to principle constantly.
He said that, while new government has been holding power over a year, media and numerous organizations complain to analyze more about the weakness of education. Therefore, the reform needs to be in the reality.
Vice president requested that, Burma education still need to be improved. For this reason, various educators in Rangoon area, organizations and people formed 'Education Development Committees', to work together to reach at international education level.(Source 7day Daily)>>>Back to top
November 12, 2013
District Leader Gained Positive Step of Teaching Karen
The regional government of Tanintharyi in Southern Burma has given the go-ahead to the Karen National Union (KNU) to allow Karen villages to teach their language and wear traditional dress at school. Following a meeting in Dawei Town on November 8 with KNU leaders, the Tanintharyi Government ministers granted permission for Karen schools to teach their language.
P’doh Saw Beeler, the KNU Mergui-Tavoy District chairman said,
“We talked with the Tanintharyi chief-minister and ministers agreed that it is okay as long as there are no negative impacts on the normal school curriculum. To implement it we need to talk to the local Karen schools and find the best way to teach Karen in our schools.”
The official meeting between the KNU Mergui-Tavoy District and Tanintharyi government is the first time since the KNU peace talks began in 2012.
P’doh Saw Beeler said it was a positive step as many villagers were scared that if they ‘unofficially’ taught Karen it would cause negative repercussions.
“Some Karen villages feared that if they taught Karen and the government authority found out that action would be taken against them. Now we can inform villagers that they can teach the Karen language in the schools without fear.”
P’doh Saw Beeler said the KNU also raised the issue of village schools being allowed to fly the Karen flag. “The regional government said could not give us an agreement on the flag as there is only one country flag and the school is a government school. The chief-minister said that there was no problem raising the Karen flag in residental homes, in the village and on occasional activities.(Source_Karen News) >>>Back to top
November 11, 2013
UNICEF Urge to use more Income from Natural Resources for Education and Health
UNICEF's representative to Burma Mr. Bertrand Bainvel urges Burmese government to increase budget for education and health care from natural resources' income.
Mr. Bertrand Bainvel expressed during press conference at Traders Hotel, Yangon on November 6th. This is the first time that UNICEF urges to increase budget for education and health care while Burmese parliament discus to increase 2013-2914 education budget. UNCIEF announced that, the countries that had low income but one day become most developing country if they investing on education to gain potential human recourses.
Mr. Bertrand Bainvel said,"If there is investment for education and health, it will bring numerous advantages. It will be able to create sustainable jobs. In the development countries, they invested to be able to have manpower. Even though Burma export natural resources such as Natural gas, Precious Stones, Woods and gain many billion dollar, it still at the most lowest country at using budget for education and health in South East Asia countries."
According to the IMF figure list, in the past year, even though Burmese government increased 70% for health and 30% for education, the spending is still lower than 2% from country meat exporting.
The country can buy immunization from 0.9% of exporting natural gas which is total needs of entire country's basic healthcare and the total exporting of natural gas could employ per teacher in all primary schools. Currently, 60% of the schools in Burma do not have enough teachers. Schools still need more than 40,000 teachers to have one teacher in each class.
According to the Burma budget figure for 2013-14, the country gets 13,805 billion Kyat budget income but 16,732 million budget were used. Government spending 2,246 billion for military, 499 billion for health and 908 billion for education. Both education and health care usage combined was much lesser than spending on military usage.
>>>Back to top
November 08, 2013
Republishing Karen University Students' Magazine
The Karen university magazine which has been stopped over 30 years will republishing in November by Karen Literacy and Culture Committee (Rangoon Universities).
The Secretary of Rangoon Karen New Year Committee Saw La Tun who assists the magazine to be able to redeliver said that, the magazine is almost done with copying and will be able to publish in the second week of November.
“In the past, Literacy and Culture was the main key of the Magazine to publish. The current situation is getting better, so the Magazine is including with Politics, Economics, Education as well as Literacy and Culture and the issues that relate to our people” said, Saw La Tun.
Committee of Finance Secretary, Rangoon University’s Biology Center vice Director Nant Thin Thin Khwel said that, the aim of the Magazine is to continue old students' work, to show students' activities and to work toward through unity.
The Magazine has more than 200 pages include with Literacy and Culture, Article that relate to education, Poem, Novel and Cartoon written by students and teachers.
The magazine will publishing in Eastern Poe Karen, Western Poe Karen, Sgaw Karen, Burmese and English language. The magazine will deliver to the readers in Irryawady Division, Tanintharyi Division, Pago Division, Mon State, and Karen State where universities that Karen are attending.
Naw Nyein Nyein Maw who graduated from Rangoon University with Physiology Degree said, “I am so happy to hear that the Magazine will be republishing. I'm happy to buy this magazine and learn more about my people who I haven’t reached them”.
The magazine was published during 1970 to 1982. Since then the magazine was unable to republish till 2012.(Source-KIC)>>>Back to top
November 06, 2013
EASTERN BURMA COMMUNITY SCHOOLING PROJECT
P.O. BOX 39, Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Song, 58110 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Job Description – Project Coordinator
The Eastern Burma Community Schooling aims to support the approximate 260,000 students studying in 3850 primary and secondary level community schools in Mon, Karen, Karenni, Shan, Kachin States and Sagaing Division of Burma and more specifically the 11,500 teachers who provide for these students education. The central problem being addressed by this project is the lack of teacher skills amongst community teachers and how this negatively affects teachers’ orientation towards their positions.
The project coordinator position entails overseeing the entire Eastern Burma Community Schooling project. Given the size of the project and that it is in its early stages of development, this position demands that the coordinator be flexible, creative and responsive.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Program design and development
Narrative & financial report writing(correspondence with donors)
Capacity development of management team and mobile teacher training team
Networking with a variety of community, local, national and international bodies
Advocating for local culturally relevant education
Develop and enhance participatory monitoring/evaluation processes
Development of interethnic network
Regular communication and information sharing with local partners
Convene Leaders Meeting three times per year
Oversee financial management
Oversee database and mapping development
Participate In Education Related Workshops/Conferences in Burma
Extensive travel throughout project area
Excellent Oral & Written Burmese language skills
Strong Oral &Written English language skills
B.A. in Education or related area
Competency in Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint
Strong communication and interpersonal skills
Teaching and/or Training Experience
Positive view Indigenous Peoples, cultures and rights
Hard working and willingness to learn
Competency in one or more of the Indigenous languages represented in the project
Project Management Experience
Participatory training experience
Background in Community development and organizing
Education in Management or Finances
Salary and Benefits:
This will be discussed individually with the applicant based on their qualifications.
Please send CV to email@example.com
EASTERN BURMA COMMUNITY SCHOOLING PROJECT
P.O. BOX 39, Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Song, 58110 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Job Description – Local Supervisors
The Eastern Burma Community Schooling aims to support the approximate 260,000 students studying in 3850 primary and secondary level community schools in Mon, Karen, Karenni, Shan, Kachin States and Sagaing Division of Burma and more specifically the 11,500 teachers who provide for these students education. The central problem being addressed by this project is the lack of teacher skills amongst community teachers and how this negatively affects teachers’ orientation towards their positions.
The local supervisor positions entail managing particular areas of the Eastern Burma Community Schooling project. Given the size of the project and that it is in its early stages of development, this position demands that the individual be flexible, creative and responsive. The local supervisors will be supervised by the Project Coordinator and work in cooperation with the Management Team.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Assist in Program design and development
Capacity development of management team and mobile teacher training team
Networking with a variety of community, local, national and international bodies
Advocating for local culturally relevant education
Develop and enhance participatory monitoring/evaluation processes
Development of interethnic network
Regular communication and information sharing with Mobile Teacher Trainers
Support the development of the database and mapping systems
Work closely with organization partners
Extensive travel throughout project area
Excellent Oral & Written Burmese language skills
Teaching and/or Training Experience
Background in Community development and organizing
College or Post-ten education
Competency in Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint
Strong communication and interpersonal skills
Positive view Indigenous Peoples, cultures and rights
Hard working and willingness to learn
Competency in one or more of the Indigenous languages represented in the project
English language competency
Project Management Experience
Participatory training experience
Education in Management or Finances
Salary and Benefits:
This will be discussed individually with the applicant based on their qualifications.
Please send CV to email@example.com
>>>Back to top
November 05, 2013
£50 Billion from UK for Burmese Health and Education
The United Kingdom will provide £50 Billion targeted at improving health and education, the two most basic human needs in Burma, said Mrs. Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development.
The UK International Development office officially announced the news in a statement after Daw Aung San Su Kyi, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Justine Greening met on October 2, 2013. In line with British's foreign development policy, Britain will provide Burma financial aid to meet the most urgent needs.
UK's Prime Minister, David Cameron announced on October 23rd that it would provide financial support to improve Rangoon Hospital. The Hospital is chaired by Aung San Su Kyi and has 1,500 patient beds. David Cameron was reported as saying, "All civilians in Burma will receive equal financial support under this economic development program."
During the five-day trip to Britain, Daw Aung Su Kyi stated that many Burmese youth are still jobless and ethnic minorities need to be incorporated into the country’s development plans.
President U Thein Sein visited Britain last July. After their meeting, David Cameron promised to give Burma £30 Billion in aid. The amount was increased to £50 Billion after Daw Aung Su Kyi visited the UK. On October 25, Daw Aung San Su Gyi gave a speech to encourage the soldiers at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.>>>Back to top
November 01, 2013
Local Curricula Needed
At a recent education development meeting Dr. Yin Yin Nwel spoke about the need for all Burmese basic and higher education curricula to reflect local ethnicity.
As required by President U Thein Sein, education reform meetings have been regularly held but so far there has been no appreciable impact on the ground. Dr. Yin Yin Nwel reported to government officers that in order to allay the anxiety of the ethnic groups, efforts should be made to include ethnic issues in the curricula.
"An example of a country with significant ethnic population is Indonesia, where the curriculum has been divided so that 70% is central government curriculum, 30% is reserved for the localized ethnic curriculum. For example, children in Kachin State should be well educated about Kachin matters. Therefore, the curriculum must contain relevant issues," said Dr. Yin Yin Nwel.
Currently the curricula taught in all basic and higher education settings in the Burmese Education system covers the same content. However, the ethnic groups are campaigning to have their languages, culture and other issues taught in their areas.
"Ethnic children have to study in a language that they do not understand. It is twice as difficult. Even though the education minister’s office has ordered that ethnic literacy may be taught, nothing has been done in reality," said one of the professors who attended the meeting.
Many educators, science and technology ministry officers, the union of Myanmar's minister Dr. Ko Ko Oo, education ministry officers, the temporary minister to the union of Myanmar Dr. Myo Myint and other minister officers and professors attended the meeting. The two-day meeting took place from 25th to 26th October, 2013.>>>Back to top
October 30, 2013
Teacher Subsidy Distribution Start for 2013-14 Academic Year
The Karen State Education Assistance Group (KSEAG), which was founded by the Karen Teacher Working Group, Karen Education Department and Partners, has started distributing teacher subsidies for the new academic year. The distribution started in the last week of October and it will finish in the second week of November.
KSEAG Director Th'ra Ko Lo Htoo said, "We learned some important lessons last year from some of the problems we encountered both with our leaders and distributors, and so our distribution methods this year will be different. A number of organizations including the Karen Women Organization (KWO), Karen Office for Relief and Development (KORD) and Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) have offered to help with distribution and our plan will incorporate their assistance".
There are 6 headquarter sites, which are then the hubs from which groups implement distribution at a township/track level. Mu Traw and Taw Oo jointed Mu Traw area before they divided themselves into their own district and township groups. The other districts formed their own district headquarters before they divided into townships. The distribution provides yearly stipends around October and November every year and each teacher gets 4,500 Baht stipend for the year.
The Karen Education Assistance Group most recent school data for the academic year 2013-2014 indicates there are 1294 schools, 6154 teachers and 141632 students in the areas that they reach and monitor. >>>Back to top
October 28, 2013
Education Budget has Increased Threefold but Academic Improvement is Slow(Feature News)
Professionals working in the development of education in Burma analyze that, despite a threefold budget increase for education since 2011, implementation of reform is slow and the system is struggling to reach the level of other Asian education systems.
At the National Democracy's Education meeting, a participating member of the parliamentary delegation, U Phyo Min Tein said, "The guidance of the Education minister has significant weaknesses. The education office is unable to effectively manage the current situation. Expenditure is not resulting in adequate progress".
Very little of the budget for Burmese education is available for developing the quality of education for students and teachers. Some people have commented that the money is being used to build new school buildings for public show.
In the UNICEF report, presented by Education Vice Chairman Dr. Myo Myint at the World Education Meeting 'Global work toward on Education', it was noted that the Myanmar education budget has increased threefold since 2011 but more finances were needed for Burmese education to reach the level of most South East Asian Education systems.
Lack of Teaching Material
"There are some schools being rebuilt. However, schools do not have the resources they need to teach practical subjects. Often teaching is purely academic and students do not have the opportunity to implement the information. For example, computer classes may not have computers, and the students may never have the opportunity to even touch a computer. Too often the classroom door is closed and the students play on their phones," said Daw Khin San Yu.
In order to see improvements in the quality of education it is important for schools not simply to rely on reading skills but to also teach practical skills. Schools need adequate resources in order to be able to achieve this objective. The government must increase the education budget so that teaching methods can become more student-centered.
Rangoon University Professor Dr.U Tin Tun announced in the Burma Education Reform meeting held in Rangoon University Sliver Hall that, to be able to develop the education system, there must be enough university teachers, and that students learn better when able to develop their practical skills as well as attending lectures.
Many policies – no implementation
"Many policies have been written and submitted; however, no one is implementing them. Only when the ministers who take responsibility for education show themselves willing to implement reforms will the policies come to life. Until then, the policies will simply be on paper," commented Shan Nation Democratic Party's Lower House Parliamentary delegate U Yel Htut. Although various parliaments and ministers have written policies for the reform of Burma education, there is a lack of active implementation. For example, there is a policy that teachers are not allowed to offer extra tuition, but tuition is still offered in every single township. Although there have been numerous proposals to improve teachers’ qualifications nothing has been implemented.
"It is necessary to explore and research which country’s education system is the best to be adopted by the Myanmar education system. We need to encourage those people who are willing to invest in education in our Universities and colleges. Students who can't afford to study abroad should be able to study in this country" said U Yel Tun.
Connecting with international universities will improve teacher and student quality. Law advisor professor U Tin Than Oo said, "We don't have to send every teacher to a foreign country to improve their skills; it would be less expensive to invite foreign teachers to come and give training in necessary subjects ".
Children Outside School
UNICEF has announced that, even though international agencies have worked hard with Myanmar education and have made significant achievements there are still around nine hundred thousand children in the country out of school. U Yel Tun said, "It is imperative to improve civilian economic and living standards for children who can't afford to study. Parents struggle to send their children to school, but for economic reasons many are forced to leave school and find work. If we really want children to be educated, the economic situation has to be stable". Some analysts have suggested that, education must be free for lower income children so that those children can at least get a basic education.
Mr.Michael Hassett, AusAID said at a World Education meeting that, countries do not achieve success economically if they don't invest in education. Burma education is critical for peace building and developing freedom for the country.
U Tin Thein, Union Minister at the President’s Office said in the Burma Education Reform Meeting that, President U Thein Sein has ordered the education ministry to increase manpower to reform the education system. To be able to run an effective democratic country, teachers and workers in all sectors' have to be educated. In order to implement reforms, we will have to start at the beginning and get ideas from successful local level education initiatives and then continue to work to bring education to the level of other international education systems. (Source- Kumudra. Authors- Thisar Hlaing, May Zun Thaw Thaw)
>>>Back to top
October 24, 2013
Writing Workshop: writing a short novel in ethnic languages
A workshop, entitled 'Hidden Words Hidden World', was held in Pan Ann Township, Karen State from Oct 21st to 25th. The workshop was designed to help local, indigenous authors develop their skills in writing short novels in their own language. It was the first time such a workshop had been held in Karen State.
The British Council ran the workshop, assisted by local writers. Their intention was to empower local writers to increase their fluency in writing their own language, and ultimately to produce novels that can be translated into English for a foreign audience.
A British Council literacy advisor, Lucas Stewart commented, "There is a wonderful literacy heritage in Pan Ann. As a foreigner, I am delighted to have this opportunity to assist in developing ethnic literacy".
Twenty writers participated in the workshop, including some new generation youth writers and more experienced authors that who have written novels, articles and poems in both Karen and Burmese.
Nanda Kyaw, a well-known local writer who attended the workshop said that, sadly the world has already lost some language and literary heritages and he doesn't want Karen writing and language to be lost. He suggested that young and old people need to cooperate to ensure that nothing is lost.
“This workshop has taught me many things, and I hope that the skills I have gained will enhance my ability to write Karen stories, and increase the chance of the world reading Karen literature in the future,” added Nanda Kyaw.
Saw Chit Than, Secretary of Karen Literacy and Culture and also well know for composing and singing Karen songs said, "As an outcome from the workshop, I hope we can soon publish short novels representing our ethnicity. Moreover, I hope that one day, not only Karen but other ethnics groups will have an opportunity to experience similar workshops in their own area, as it has been very beneficial".
The British Council will choose three short novels written in the Karen language from the writers who attended the workshop. The three short novels chosen will be translated into English and published internationally with other ethnic short novels. (Source-KIC)>>>Back to top
October 22, 2013
Kaw T'ree KED Formulates Twelve Demands to Improve Education
Kaw T'ree Karen Education Department based in Taw Naw Mu Htaw (East Dawna Range) area identified twelve critical changes needed to develop education and push forward the further education process.
Karen Education Department (KED) township level held a meeting to discuss their concerns regarding education on September 10-11, Kaw T'ree Township, Wal Lay area in Karen State. They concluded with twelve urgent recommendations.
These recommendations include: the central KED and government education officers should meet as soon as possible; schools should be able to place the Karen flag on schools under joint control of the KED and the government; schools should be able to teach the Karen language within the school curriculum; organizations that support schools must report progress through the district and township KED; and that students' certificates for further education should be recognized.
Du Pla Ya district's education department, Klo Htoo Baw Karen Organization KKO, Karen Congress officers met with more than 70 people who attended the meeting and discussed the current education situation, upgrades to the curriculum and how to improve teaching quality.
Saw Poe Kwee from the Karen Civil Society Organization (KCBO) said, "This meeting is focused on the KED schools located in Taw Naw Mu Htaw area. The meeting’s recommendations will be submitted to central KED".
Meanwhile, KED chairman Pa Doh Saw Lah Say said, "A further recommendation is that a meeting should take place with the Burmese government’s education office as soon as possible. The current education's situation is connected to the peace process, and so implementation will have to go slowly, step by step".
There are 92 schools, including primary, secondary and upper secondary, in Taw Naw Mu Htaw area, as recorded in Kaw T'ree KED schools’ statistics.>>>Back to top
October 18, 2013
Karen Literacy: The Challenge to Find One Script
The Chairman of the Karen Literacy and Culture Committee, Saw Aye Mya gave a speech at the closing ceremony of the second Sgaw Karen literacy training on 10th October at Kyarin Pawdawmu monastery. He suggested that as the Karen move towards unification, settling on one written form of the language is the first priority. However, he stressed that this is not an easy process.
Saw Aye Mya said, "Karen people want only one written form but the Karen have many different oral languages and religious backgrounds. Each Karen sub-group has their own written form of their language in their areas so it is not easy to establish a single form to be used by all. There is need for further research on different Karen people's opinions and there is a need to discuss with the Karen people their literacy and culture. Therefore, it will take some time to establish a single written form".
In order for there to be one form of Karen literacy, Sgaw Karen literacy and culture trainer Saw Sah K' Paw said, "It will be best if there is only one way to write the Karen language. Currently, this choice not been finalized, so meanwhile everyone should be able to read and write their own variation of the Karen language. That's why I work as a literacy trainer ".
More than 300 people attended the closing ceremony, with delegations from the State Parliament, the Karen Literacy and Culture Group, Monks, trainees and local communities represented.
Saw Than Tway, from Mon State, Kyikehto Township said, "I live in Mon State and I have learned to read the Karen script at this training. This is the first time I have attended this kind of training. It will be best for literacy, if one script is chosen for the Karen language.
46 villages from Bee Lin Township, Kyikehto Township, Paung Township in Mon state and Lu Pleh Township and Paan Township in Karen State and 49 Karen youth attended this Sgaw Karen and Culture training.
Saw Sah K' Paw add, "The aim of the Sgaw Karen Literacy and Culture training is to maintain language and culture. We offer training on a regular schedule; the one month of training is followed by one month’s holiday, and then the cycle repeats starting with the one month training again.
>>>Back to top
October 15, 2013
Basic Education Draft will Summit to Parliament
Drafting policy for 2014-15 academic year, it has been in the process to summit to parliament.
"Current basic education system is 11 years basic education system and it aim to be able to balance with SEAN nation and to be able to reform to 12 standards education system, there have been in the process of summiting the draft to parliament" said Dr. San Lwin, vice minister of Myanmar education department.
He said, "To be able to reform this policy, the process of researching education is authorized by the government and it started since 2012 and it will finish in 2014. Free primary education also will be implement, as well as nursery education that has been very low in Asian community will be implement and all 5 years old children in entire country will receive full nursery education".
"The education system that will be implemented in 2014-2015 school year, every standard will be teaching over by the new curriculum that has been written. In 2019-2020 school year, one class will increase for high education level and there will be 12 standards education system like ASEAN nations, so there will be 13 years education system in all total. Students who graduated 12 standards will have more experience and will be able to attend higher university and the standard quality will be the same as international level." he added.>>>Back to top
October 14, 2013
Private Teachers call for more Teacher Training
Some private schools teachers are asking the Basic Education Department to provide more teacher training for them in line with that which is provided for other teachers.
In some private schools, although there are both retired teachers and teachers with doctorates, there are still some teachers who have not graduated with a Bachelor of Art (BA). It is these teachers who would benefit from the month-long Basic Education Department training.
ACA private school's advisor U San Win said, "When the private schools apply for their official license, they have to apply for teachers ID at the same time. The Basic Education Department provided a one-month pre-service training for those teachers who did not have a certificate. Two of our teachers attended, but the training is insufficient for all our teachers. I want the Basic Education Department Office to run the training more frequently and also increase the number of trainees who can attend".
A source from No.1 Basic Education Department said that they organize summer vacation teacher training every year and those who have no legal teacher certificate can attend the No. 1 and No.3 Education department's training course. The source also said, that there is an annual one-week training in August for private school teachers to train teachers about overall education policy and explain the rules. So far there is no additional training for teachers who hold a legal teacher's certificate.>>>Back to top
October 11, 2013
Professors and Teachers will hold Workshop
A source from the British Council (Burma) has noted that professors and teachers will hold a workshop in November to discuss ways of improving the quality of primary education in Myanmar.
The workshop will focus on: the importance of quality primary teaching, basic education teaching strategies and strategies in teaching English.
Dr. Khinge Phyu Htut, a manager at the British Council (Burma) said, " We invite teachers from different departments to come and share their perspectives on practical classroom teaching methods. Hopefully, we will conclude with some positive outcomes."
The British Council (Burma) has invited teachers from Monastery schools, teachers from Government's basic education, Civil Society groups and the government's education strategy planning group.
The workshop is being organized by the British Council, Pinya Tahsaung, Pyoe Pin and the monastery teachers committee. The workshop will take place on 9th to 10th November at Yankin Education College.
>>>Back to top
October 09, 2013
Proposal for Shan Language to be taught in Primary Schools
A source from the Shan Language and Culture Center, has reported a proposal that the Shan language will be taught in all primary schools in Shan State starting in the academic year 2014-15. Saing Khin Maung Sein, the vice chairman at the Centre said, "We have collated a list of the names of all skilled Shan teachers, and have submitted the proposal to the State governor."
According to their information, there are 983 potential Shan teachers and over 1,000 primary schools in Shan state. Shan language class will be taught for 3 of the academic years. A Shan textbook has been written by a committee member.
In 2013-14 academic year, the Burma Education minister has allowed ethnic languages to be taught outside class time but the committee will submit the proposal to teach Shan language during school time.
Teaching ethnic languages in school was permitted after Burma achieved independence from British rule in 1948 but was prohibited when the military took over power in 1962. >>>Back to top
October 07, 2013
Private School must has it's Own Building To get 5 years License
To get 5 years license for private school in Burma, it must have full as school construction. The school must have playing grounds, school materials, library, multimedia lap room, enough teachers and enough student's ratio, the education minister office declared, a source from The Yangon Time Daily.
According to the order, officer from No1 Basic Education Department said, " Private school must be it's own construction. Most schools in rural area are own buildings. Due to land problem, there is only few private schools in Rangoon and most the schools in Rangoon are rented schools, registered as school but use it as tuition. In the next year under the No 1 Basic Education Department, 4 schools will probably get 5 years extending license, education minister office will examine and choose to grant all these schools."
Regarding the order, an officer from Pinyar Darna private school said, "Most of the schools in Rangoon areas are rented school. The price of land and building are very expensive so it is not easy to buy or build own school. If the government permit only those who own their building, there will not be easy to build the school within a year or two years."
After government give permission to allow private in 2012, most schools in Rangoon area and areas from lower part of Burma get only one year test and two years temporary license. >>>Back to top
October 04, 2013
Curriculum for Non-formal Secondary Education
According to the Education Minister Office, it had been in the process to write curriculum for non-formal secondary education.
"Because of various reasons in Burma, the children who cannot afford to study at formal secondary level, there have been planed to establish non-formal primary education and as well as middle non-formal education" Education Minister Office's Non-formal Education Assistance U Mg Tway Said.
He said, "Currently, to be able to upgrade to secondary level, it is still in the process of writing curriculum. Townships are also still in the process of extending non-formal primary education so it is not sure when no-formal secondary education will be able to start running. Further more, there are still much more works to do".
While writing secondary education curriculum, the subjects that will advantage livelihoods, general knowledge, art as well as motivating practical theory also will be added in the curriculum.
Currently, the education minister office and NGO gain some positive outcome on non-formal secondary education. Students who have to quit school from secondary school to be able to begin their study at non-formal secondary education but still it will take another year to be able to achieve.
All Burmese Nationalities Education Negotiator U Tin Nyo said, "We negotiated with the government to establish non-formal secondary education. We progress the way step by step. We could see that some of the students who graduated from non-formal primary education are interested in this education system so for us it is a kind of gaining the beneficial. We also faced difficulty of finding donors, it's mean we couldn't effort to reach our goal as original plan".
Education minister office and UNICEF started establish non-formal education process in 2008-2009 academic year and there have been 10,000 students increase up to now.>>>Back to top
October 02, 2013
Peace Education for Refugee Children
UNECSO has announced that the Burmese government has granted permission for their Peace Education program to be run in three Arkhan Townships for children in refugee camps. This has been made possible through donations from the Belgian government.
As a result of the conflict in Arkhan State, specifically Bu Thee Taung, Maung Daw and Ya Thit Taung Townships, 40 schools have been damaged by religious violence. Now 350 teachers from affected schools will be trained and the project will benefit 10,000 students.
The education fund will enable 40 parent/teacher clubs to reopen (they were closed due to the clashes) as well as three village education learning centers.
A member of the Burma Education Department, who asked not to be named, said, "Burmen people are not allow to enter the camps, therefore we will train educated people who live in the camps so that children in the camps can continue their studies.”
Over 100 schools with approximately 10,000 students were directly affected by the conflict in Arkhan State. The Peace Education project will also aim to reduce tension and prejudice between local communities and those from outside.
In the UNECSO statement, the first priority for the Peace Education Process is to develop teachers' skill, train students and parents in conflict resolution, establish public decision making and to get ful citizen recognition from the government.
The Peace Education project is based on equal rights to education and human rights; therefore, the project will help community leaders, teachers, students, parents and local organizations to overcome discrimination to reach their long term goals.
Currently, temporary schools have been constructed in the refugee camps in Arakhan State but there are insufficient teachers and learning materials.>>>Back to top
September 30, 2013
Over 200 Organizations Play Roles in Education
According to the latest Myanmar education report, more than 200 organizations play their part in the education sector; the majority of these are involved in early child development.
After Cyclone Nargis damaged more than 60% of the education buildings in Yangon and Irrawaddy divisions in 2008, many organizations have focused on developing education in these areas.
The report stated that the various organizations are involved in early child development, outside classroom education, primary and high school education and nutrition education.
This latest report shows that international organizations, the United Nation, individual organizations, departments, religious organizations, parents/teachers/students clubs and political parties are all working together to improve education. >>>Back to top
September 27, 2013
Glue Sniffing Spread Among Students
At a recent discussion of drug abuse risks in education lead by 'Khel Tin Chin force' in Kyauk Myaung Township, a Myanmar interior police officer said the problem of young people sniffing glue is becoming more widespread.
Rangoon anti-drug special branch police officer San Oo said, "Glue sniffing is spreading among students. The number of street boys becoming intoxicated by glue sniffing has been rising and students have learned from them."
More young people are sniffing glue, both inside and outside school, aware that there is no established law prohibiting it. Even though sniffing glue is not yet a large problem with school students, it is rapidly spreading among street boys.
"Young people are sniffing glue because they can buy it easily; glues such as wood glue and tyre glue only costs about 400, 200 kyat, so it is cheap and easy to buy and sniff."
In order to control the glue sniffing problem, the health and education departments have been planning to establish a law that can help prevent further use. >>>Back to top
September 25, 2013
In response to the concerns of some that Burma’s education is of too low a standard, a workshop is to be held on October 20, at Yangon's Tawwin Hninzi Hall. The ‘Changing Education in Burma’ project and a number of experts in the field will gather to discuss options for improvement.
Dr. Thein Lwin, an education committee member at National League of Democracy (NLD) said that the traditional education system in Burma was based on reading, learning and recall, with insufficient attention paid to developing critical thinking. ‘The ‘Changing Education in Burma’ project has invited experts from around the world including from Scotland, the USA, an East European professor, a UN professor, a Science and Culture Professor and a Professor from UNICEF.
Dr Thein Lwin added, "The workshop will be an excellent way to gather expertise and advice which we will integrate into out 'education draft'. In addition, a professor from UNICEF who has experience working in the education field will share his experiences at the workshop."
The Burmese Education Department has also announced that it will be reviewing university exam testing.
NLD's ‘Changing Education in Burma’ project sent its first draft to Parliament and the Enhancing Education Committee in June.
>>>Back to top
September 23, 2013
Karenni Score Highest Percentage of Nursery Student
A source from Burma Education Department reported that across all the Divisions and States in Burma, Karenni State has achieved the highest registration of nursery students, 60.7%.
Myo Thein Gyi, a director in the Education department said, “The lowest percentage of nursery students is in Arakan State, which is also both the poorest state and in conflict. They have only registered 5.4% of eligible students into their nurseries. The percentage of nursery students in Northern Shan State is 35%, Kachin State 34.6% and Rangoon Division 34%."
According to the report, the lowest improvement is in Chin State with a registration of 32.7%. The national statistic is only 22.9%.
There is a significant difference in registration numbers of students in nurseries between towns and rural villages; ranging from 49% in the towns to no more than 16% in rural villages. In addition, 46% of students come from rich families and only 7.6% from poor families. >>>Back to top
September 20, 2013
Pa-an Karen Student CEnter Applied to Join Monastery High School
The Karen Student Center (KSC) based in Pa-an town has applied to merge with the monastery high school from K'ser Poe(Taung Ka Lay). The application was agreed by the KSC committee and Abbot Ashin U Oketama, the principle of K'ser Poe monastery high school.
Saw Tun Oo, a KSC in charge said, "We want our Karen students to achieve higher success in their education, moreover, we want to see this center develop as a school."
He said that the dormitory fees for 9th and 10th standard had differed in the past, but this year students will be charged 110,000 Kyat per student for both standards and school fees will be payable in 3 installments over the year.
KSC was transferred to the Monastery high school but the school curriculum has been adopted from the Burmese education department. The formal dormitory committee is taking responsibility for managing the school but will report on school activities to Abbot U Oketama.
"I enjoy attending this school very much. Another benefit in attending this school is that I am learning more about how to help my community in the future. I'm sure that one day I will come back to serve the school, " said Nan Khine Tha Zin Htway, a 10th standard student.
The KSC was founded in 1971 to encourage rural students to continue their further education.>>>Back to top
September 19, 2013
KUSG Annual Meeting and their New Committee
The Karen University Students’ Group (KUSG) held their annual meeting on 7th September and elected their management team for the next 2 years. The elected officers are: Saw Nay Htoo (Chairperson), Saw Ta Lue Lu (Vice Chairperson), Naw Paw Mu (Secretary), Saw K'hser Muka (Vice Secretary), Naw September Paw (Treasurer), Nan Myant Aung (Fund Raising), Saw Law Eh (Media), Saw Tun Tun Oo (Student Organization), Saw La Say (Foreign Affairs and Student Exchange).
The committee also set out their plans for the next two years. These plans include supporting education assistance for Internally Displaced People (IDP), organizing an annual Karen student exchange, organizing a Karen exposure trip and Thai universities’ student exposure trip, and awarding honor certificates to Karen students who attain distinctions.
Chairperson Saw Nay Htoo, said, "We at KUSG have cooperated directly with Karen students for more than 10 years. Due to the current political changes occurring in Burma, we want to expand our colleges with other ethnic university students. Over the coming two year term, we also want to improve Student affairs, Education affairs, social and political affairs with university students of other ethnicities."
He added, "It is our belief that education is a cornerstone that builds a better future for our life, community, and nation; thus, supporting these students is a worthwhile task, because we are convinced that these young people, who are the next generation, will play a vital role for our Karen people."
KUSG was founded in 2002 for Karen students who were able to attend Thai universities. The purpose of KUSG is to encourage students to serve in the education sector after graduation.>>>Back to top
September 18, 2013
6-12 Months Imprisonment if Betel Equipment or Cigarettes are Sold within 300 Feet of a School
An officer spoke recently about the sale of betel nuts and cigarettes, "If betel nut and cigarettes are sold to students who are under18, first, we will sue them, then for a second offense, we will imprison them. We do this to ensure that students cannot easily buy betel nuts and cigarettes".
According to one parent, many shops selling cigarettes and betel nut equipment are open next to high schools in suburban areas and students from Middle School and High School can easily buy and consume these products. "It is not appropriate to see young children in uniform smoking cigarettes. Shopkeepers should not only care for money", complained a parent from Taung Ohklapa Township.
"Even though there is no established rule, if cigarettes and betel equipment are sold next to schools the perpetrator should be sued and then imprisoned for 6-12 months", a division level lawyer suggested.
"This is a good principle even though there is no formal law. The Education Department stated that betel equipment, cigarette and alcohol shops should not be allowed to open next to schools. By opening these kinds of shops close to schools, young people and children will be tempted to consume and this will have negative consequences", said Parliament Senator U Nay Khin Zaw.
Some Burmese observers stated that, in developed countries, they strictly forbid selling any kinds of tobacco to children; however, for some developing countries, it is very challenging to punish perpetrators due to lack of appropriate structures.
A lower house representative who raised this concern during a parliamentary session suggested that even though anti- drug organizations provide training, more young people are now addicted to cigarettes than glue-sniffing.
Related to this concern, Parliamentary chairman Thurah U Shwe Man submitted a letter to the President to ask for strict enforcement relating to glue and drug abuse.
According to the Burmese Education Department, there are 1067 high schools, 1923 middle school, 1358 primary school that have put up the symbol, "All Schools Safe from Drug Addiction.">>>Back to top
September 17, 2013
Thai Company Extend Burmese Students with Education Support
The Siam Cement Group (SCG) is offering financial support to 200 high school students in Rangoon Division and Mon State. These student grants will be about 200000 Kyat per person.
U Nay Lin Oo, SCG's Myanmar branch office business executive said, "100 students from 10 townships in Rangoon division and 100 students from Mon State will be eligible to receive these grants twice during their education."
"About 100 students in Rangoon Division and Mon State benefitted from Education Financial support last year. This year, the number of students facing financial hardship has increased and so we are supporting more students with their education expenses", added U Nay Lin.
Any student who a problem meeting their education expenses can apply by submitting an application letter to their Township Education Department. The deadline is September 20th. The application letter must include a brief description of the student’s current work – e.g. helping their parents while he/she is at home, their photograph, their class teacher's recommendation, and contact details including phone number and address.>>>Back to top
September 16, 2013
EBCSP Staff Returned from Field Trip
The Eastern Burma Community Schooling Project (EBCSP) is helping ethnic education and promoting mother tongue learning in Burma. Recently they sent a staff team to Eastern Burma and this is what they reported on their return to the Thai-Burma border where the project office is based.
The team followed Ethnic Mobile Teacher Trainers (EMTT) and collected school information and monitored teachers in classes at 33 schools. They visited the Kachin, Shan, Ta'ang and Kayan areas.
Crystal Paw, an EMTT in charge said," This was the first time we have had people accompany EMTTs on their school visits. It wasn't easy for us to visit and monitor local teachers, many of whom are new to us. In addition, the teachers had not previously experienced being monitored, especially by outsiders."
During their visit, the team encountered both significant progress and the variety of challenges that accompany a broadly diverse teaching body, both ethnically and through their various backgrounds and experience. However, they had very positive meetings both with local leaders and teachers.
"We want the local to feel a sense of ownership for the education offered in their areas. If the locals feel this ownership about existing education, then they can succeed as they plan what they want to see for the next generation. If this is not what they believe, there is no way to force them to do it."
EBCSP was founded in 2010 to encourage ethnic education in Burma to maintain their mother tongue and integrate their existing education into the Burmese education system. From 2010-11 to 2012-13 academic year, EBCSP has sent out 111 teachers including 26 teachers who are currently EMTTs in their areas.>>>Back to top
September 12, 2013
Budget Cut For Four Mutraw District Schools
Htoe Wee Der Primary School, Oo Wel Klo High School, Lay Thweh Koh Middle School, and Baw Khaw Der Primary School supported by Moses organization led by Thara Peter based in Thailand had their budget cut suddenly leading to many difficulties. No reasons for the cut were provided. The Moses Organization has supported a number of schools in Mutraw district.
Par Hak administrator, Saw Kay, and the local education coordinator reported this issue to the district headquarter on August 21.
"According to this issue, Mu Traw District, Kaw Thoo Lie Education Department held emergency meeting on August 29 and decided to wait until mid of September to find out more information. If at that point , the Moses Organization there was no word from Moses, the Karen State Education Assistance Group (KSEAG) will support these schools", Saw Kolo Htoo, a coordinator of KSEAG said.
He added, "These schools are still under the support of Moses Organization. Our organization policy is not allowed to predict the completion of outside support. If the school officer reports that the Moses Organization has completely stopped their support then our KSEAG intends to support them."
The community schools, prior to Moses Organization support, were supported by KSEAG and by parents.
There are a total of 467 students and 30 teachers in all these four schools. According to the Karen Teacher Working Group Report, there are 323 Karen schools, 1194 teachers and 19,349 students in Mutraw district..>>>Back to top
September 05, 2013
Karen Leaders Usges Local Teachers to Teach Karen Language
Karen Leaders from Taungoo district urged local teachers to teach the Karen language in schools that are under Burmese education system in Kler Lar (Bawgali) track.
Ph'doh Saw Eh Wah, a district leader of Taungoo said, "We called a meeting and explained to them about the current ceasefire process and told the teachers that although our governors are responsible for working for a long lasting peace, teachers are also responsible for carrying out their duty. We told villages that the area is controlled by the KNU and 99% of population is Karen. Therefore, we must teach Karen language in the class every day to be able to maintain our mother tongue and our identity."
He said that all the schools in Kler Lar track are attended by Karen children, and requested that they wear traditional Karen shirts every Friday. The district authorities will cover the cost for parents who cannot afford to buy Karen shirts.
The 2013-14 school statistics collected by Karen State Education Assistance(KSEAG), show that there are 13 schools in the area, namely Kler Lar, Kaw Thay Der, Klay Soe Khee, Khu Plaw Der, Der Doh, Ler Kho, Mor Par Der, Kaw Soe Kho, Wa Tho Kho, May Daw Kho, Hsaw War Der, Ha Htoe Per and Th'lay Hta; all are in Karen villages. Most of these schools are using the KED curriculum but some use the Burmese curriculum. >>>Back to top
September 03, 2013
Karenni Script for all Primary Level Submitted to the State
The Karenni culture and literacy committee have agreed to use Kyike Poe Gyi script as the official Karenni language. This script was written by Th'ra Htae Bu Pae. The committee is working to ensure this becomes the official language to be taught in all primary schools in the Karenni region, said Mosses Aung Lin Nyo, a member of the Karenni culture and literacy committee.
He said, "The use of one common language will greatly benefit the next Karenni generation. Having agreed this script as our Karenni common language, the next step is to implement it widely in the Karenni Education system. We also want to show that we, the Karenni, have one written script as do other ethnic groups in Burma."
The Karenni culture and literacy committee launched early this year in order to promote literacy, maintain language and work for unity. Now the committee is submitting the proposal to the Burmese government to ask them to recognize the script as the official written Karenni language.
Th'ra Mosses Aung Lin Nyo said, "The Karenni people have started to use this script and they have found it to be really useful; therefore, the next step is to submit the proposal to parliament and state level.">>>Back to top
August 28, 2013
Local Faced Problem Caused by the Burmese Government Educaion Plan
The Burmese government's education leaders in Mawaddy township are causing problems for local people by placing heavy burdens on their education system in an area controlled by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Organization (DKBO), East Dawna, said Naw Paw Ray, chairperson of the Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee (BMWEC) recently.
"Community teachers are paid 30,000 Kyat per month while the Government pays their teachers 100,000 Kyat per month. For many decades the Government has ignored our community teachers; however, now they have started to place their teachers in schools, requiring the community to pay the Burmese government teachers' travelling and food costs. This arrangement is destroying the system of community self- reliance."
Th'ramu Paw Ray said that teaching the Karen language has also been removed from the curriculum, so that it has to be taught out of class time. In addition, community teachers have been fired, causing division in the community. There are 32 schools in the DKBO control area and the Burmese government has started to place their teachers in Chu Kalee, Au Klit Hta, K'nae Lay, Kaw Hser, Th'naw Hta, Wa Mee Hta, Lay Gaw and Sonehseemyine villages. Th'ramu Paw Ray said that it is hard to keep teachers in the remaining schools due to the increasing lack of job security.
As a result of these problems, the DKBO called a meeting last Monday for the Karen Education Department (KED) representative, the Burmese government education representative and respected local villagers. At the end of the meeting, the DKBO leaders and local villagers agreed to make specific demands to central government.
The community proposed the following education needs during the unfinished ceasefire process: to be able to link the local education system with central government; to note that community schools only need one government teacher; and requiring Karen language to be taught in the schools once more, as has been Karen State Education Department curriculum policy for many decades.
The Myawaddy township education representative promised to send the letter explaining these demands to central Government level. >>>Back to top
August 23, 2013
Burmese Government Start Providing Salary for Monastery Teachers
A source from Maukkha education news reported that Burmese Government start providing salary for Monastery based 189 teachers in 58 schools. One primary teacher got 36000 Kyat per month all total for 144000 Kyat started from April to July within 4 months. Lower secondary teacher got 41000 Kyat per month and got 164000 Kyat for 4 months.
There are 152 primary monastery based teachers and 37 lower secondary teachers teaching in 58 schools in Mon State. The Burmese government allowed state education department to spend 27956000 Kyat and will start to pay monthly salary at the end of the month start from August.>>>Back to top
August 16, 2013
Burmese Government New Teachers Make Trouble for Villagers
Saw Mu Htee, a Mobile Teacher Trainer, returned recently from T'nay Cha township, Pa-an district. He reported that the Burmese Government is sending new teachers to community schools together with new school signboards in Burmese and Burmese flags, and that these teachers are causing trouble for villagers.
"The Burmese government's education representative informed the village track education representative that they would be sending teachers to the community schools, without discussion or giving the community sufficient advance warning. At first, they told villagers that the communities only needed to prepare a place for the teachers to stay; however, when the teachers arrived, the communities were required to take all responsibility for the teachers, including covering food and travel expenses for the teachers.” He added, "The communities had previously not had to face these problems when employing local teachers because these teachers were from the local communities and would be familiar with the livelihood, but these new teachers are different."
The Burmese governments policy of sending new teachers is also increasing tensions between villages, some of which are ready to accept the new teachers whilst some are not.
"Right now, the villagers have considerable doubts about this new situation. They also face the challenge of accepting the new school signboards and flags provided by the Burmese government. They now have these items in their possession but are waiting for guidance from the KNU as to whether they are indeed required to use them. The villagers don't want to use the Burmese signboards and flags as they will replace their existing Karen ones but they also worry about the consequences if they don't accept them. Therefore, they want the KNU to take responsibility for the decision and to give the villagers and assurance of their backing.”
Saw Mu Htee said that Burmese government has announced it will send 800 teachers to Karen State in the 2013-14 academic year.
According to the most recent Karen State Education Assistance (KSEAG) report, there are 199 schools and 440 teachers in Pa-an district supported by KSEAG. These school are in both KNU control and mixed control areas. >>>Back to top
July 16, 2013
Migrant Schools Face Clusure Amid Funding Cuts
More than two dozen migrant schools in western Thailand face closure as international donors continue to slash funding for groups on the Thai-Burma border, a local NGO has warned.
Twenty-five schools, teaching as many as 5,000 students in Thailand’s Tak province, have been left without financial assistance for the year 2013-2014, raising concerns that they will be forced to shut down, according to a local migrant group.
Naw Paw Ray, chairperson from the Burmese Migrant Workers’ Education Committee said, “Funding for migrant organisations this year has decreased as most of the donors have moved inside Burma."
“About 25 of 74 migrant schools in Tak are yet to receive any assistance and they are unable to pay the teachers, their rent, electricity and water bills. Some of the schools have lost students as they could not provide transportation for them.”
Funding for border groups, including schools and health care facilities, has seen a significant decline since the start of last year. In late June, The Border Consortium (TBC) – which coordinates humanitarian assistance for Burmese refugees living on the border — announced that it would cut food rations to some 128,000 people across nine camps under its care.
Dozens of other groups, including the renowned Mae Tao clinic, which offers free medical care to Burmese migrants and refugees, have also been forced to cut back crucial services.
Burma, which is slowly emerging from nearly five decades of military rule, has become a new hotspot for aid groups and has attracted a massive influx of humanitarian funding. But NGOs working on the border say they have been short-changed in the process.
Naw Paw Ray said the Burmese government had previously pledged to donate textbooks for the underfunded migrant schools, but their offer had yet to materialise. She added that nearly 200 teachers still needed to be paid.
“If they can’t pay the teachers decently, then the teachers will go and find other jobs. This makes us concerned about the schools’ survival.”
According to the International Labour Organization, over 200,000 Burmese children under the age of 17 live in Thailand. Less than 20 percent are estimated to attend school, mostly through specialist programmes set up by local NGOs.
Although Thai law stipulates that all children, regardless of their immigration status, are allowed to attend school, migrant children are often excluded for practical reasons, such as financial or language barriers, and forced to start working instead.
There are 74 Burmese migrant schools providing free education to some 10,000 students in Tak province in Eastern Burma.>>>Back to top
June 08, 2013
TPC Opening Ceremony
TPC school held their third opening ceremony on 7th June at Mae Pa village, Mae Sot. More than 150 participants attended the event. This academic year 2013-14, the 81 enrolled students represented 11 different ethnic groups including Karen, Mon, Burmese, Arakhinese, Shan, Kachin, Ta'ang, Lahu, Kayan, Kayaw, and Kayah.
In the opening ceremony, Liesbeth Roolvink, a country director from World Education (WE) said, "After many years of working here on the border supporting education activities in close collaboration with many CBO(Community Based Organization) partners, we received several requests from different education leaders from Shan, Karen, Mon and Karenni states for a pre-service teacher training program to address the issues around the lack of good quality teachers to provide basic education in communities in eastern Burma as well as in the migrant communities here in Thailand." She added, "It was clear that there were very few opportunities for people who would like to become teachers and therefore World Education and KTWG entered into a partnership in 2011 to establish a new Teacher Preparation Course."
39 pre-service teachers graduated in 2011-12 and 72 teachers graduated in 2012-13.>>>Back to top
May 21, 2013
KTWG Staff Visited Ethnic SVTs
This summer, from 7th April to 20th May, staff from the Karen Teacher Working Group(KTWG) visited ethnic leaders and teachers during the annual Summer Vacation Teacher Training(SVT). During the SVT visiting, a media section coordinator and 2 staff visited Kachin, Shan, Kayan, Ta'ang and Pa-oh states. Saw Eh Doh Wah, KTWG's media coordinator said, "It was our first opportunity to learn more about the situation for different ethnic groups; at the same time we explained how KTWG can continue to support ethnic education in the future."
KTWG staff managed to visited 7 SVT sites such as one Kachin site, one Kayan site, one site from Ta'ang, one site from Pa-oh and 3 sites from Shan SVT. The ethnic SVT used the KTWG model and started SVT and Mobile Teacher Training (MTT) in 2012.
Last year, due to the political situation, 3 other KTWG staff could visit only one SVT site in the Kayan area.>>>Back to top
May 02, 2013
Education Consaultation Seminar
The Karen Education Department led an Education Consultation Seminar in Thay Bay Hta, Pa An District, Karen State from 29th April to 1st May, 2013. This consultation seminar's objective was, for the second time, to gather Karen Education worker groups to consult on education.
Naw Ler Htoo, the chairperson of KTWG(Karen Teacher Working Group) and one of the organizers of the consultation seminar said, " This seminar provides an opportunity for Karen people who work in education who live in Burma, Third country, and the Thai-Burma border, to cooperatively discuss and share our opinions and form a common educational aim."
During the seminar, 73 participants from 20 organizations attended the meeting, including education groups based on the Thai-Burma border, CBOs(Community Based Organization), social workers from inside Burma and Karen educators from abroad.
The delegations discussed how to increase the availability of Karen literature and consulted about the future of education in Karen State.
"Among the ethnicities, Karen Language was legally taught inside Burma from Primary to High School over the last 60 years. So we discussed developing our Karen curriculum to be used widely in schools." The Karen State Assistance Group reported that in 2012, there were 1137 Schools, 4779 teachers and 104,455 Students in Karen State.>>>Back to top
April 29, 2013
Kayan Teacher Volunteerism on the Rise
Kayan started their Community Volunteer Teacher Program(CVTP) in 2012-13 academic year with 37 teachers dramatically increase. For 2013-14 academic year, more than 70 teachers registered their name includes 20120-13 volunteer teachers.
Khu Bedu, a chairperson of Kayan New Generation Youth(KNGY) and a committee member of community volunteer teacher project said, "When we look at Community Volunteer Teacher Project from the past year and compare with this year, we know that CVTP positively increase over half percent." He add, "Due to funding limited, we accept only 70 CVTP teachers includes 2012-13 CVTP teachers. In the other hand, we also set up a system of check and balance weather those teachers have teaching skills, fulfill their duty and or can cope with community during academic period. Therefore, a few teachers will be replace by new."
Kayan Community Volunteer Teacher Project which supported by Eastern Burma Community Schooling Program (EBCSP) also have 2 mobile teacher training trainer(MTT) in 2012-13 academic year and will recruit 4 more MTT to walk village to village for teaching, collecting school information and sharing education knowledge to community and local leaders which following modeled from Karen Teacher Working Group(KTWG).>>>Back to top
April 16, 2013
Kayan SVT Faces Threat but Manages to Continue
Kayan Summer Vacation Teacher Training (SVT) organized by Kayan New Generation Youth (KNGY) faces threats from Burmese education department of State level before and during training but organizers still manage to continue the training. The main reason for allowing the training is due to the name which is "summer training". The authorities wanted the training to be named as "Summer Vacation Language and Culture Training instead of Summer Vacation Teacher Training.
Yuki, Kayan MTT said, "We submitted permission letter one month ahead before the training started and in the letter, it included the training site as school compound. Then, they accepted it. A few weeks later, general managing governor of Pekhon township started to create many problems for not to doing the training in the school compound which belongs to the community. He asked us to sent attendant sheets, trainers' names and subjects but continuously he forced us to leave the school compound. We told him that if we had to leave the school then we would organize the strike. After he heard our response, he didn't come back again to force us."
Two months long summer vacation training from 15th March to 15th May includes subjects such as Quality of Effective Teacher, Learning Styles, Learning Framework, Learning Process, Learning Assessment, Classroom Management, Lesson Planning, Teaching Methodology, Questioning Skills, Mother Tongue, Child Right/Child Development/Child Protection.>>>Back to top
April 11, 2013
The First Kachin Summer Vacation Teacher Training
Kachin summer vacation teacher training organized by Shannon Education Network Group (SENG), which cooperates together with Eastern Burma Community Schooling Project (EBCSP), started first ever teacher training in Pyin Oo Lwin. In this training, there are 21 teachers who came from different places such as Kachin State, Shan State, Sagine division and Mandalay division and 4 trainers including 2 trainers from TPC (Teacher Preparation Center).
M. Baut Nan who graduated recently from TPC said, "The first day of teaching and learning at the same time with other experienced teachers from different places made us (Both TPC students) nervous because most of the participants already had teaching experience. But when my friend and I start participating in the training as observers, we came to know that we can oversee what the trainers' message with the help of the skills we learnt at TPC because we are already familiar with most of the teaching topics and exercise. This helps us to gain confidence to teach experienced teachers as trainers."
Due to transportation and communication challenges, only 21 participants out of 25 can join the training.
David, an organizer and a trainer said, "Communication is still a big challenge. We sent a message to local leaders about how many participants could join the trainings but the estimated number of participants didn't reach to the training area when it started. We have learnt from our first experience that we could improve the communication better in the future."
Two weeks of Kachin summer vacation teacher training starts from 1st April and ends on 14th April. During the training, the trainers provide different topics such as Educational Leadership and Leadership Styles, Reading, Writing and Critical Thinking (RWCT), Learning Theories, and Evaluation and Assessment.>>>Back to top
April 03, 2013
GBS and IHE Graduation
GBS(Global Border Study) and IHE(Institute of Higher Education) which run in Nu Poe Refugee Camp held their graduation ceremony yesterday. More than 100 people including parents and camp resident attended the event.
Naw Eh Wah Paw, who finished 2 years of study at GBS and undertook her internship with KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) for 1 year, expressing her experience to the crowd said, "Skills which I learnt from school was great but it was a little different while I was going to work with community organization. I've learnt more skills with community based organization such as Participatory, Ownership, Decision Making and Empowerment which are all necessary to promote the social change."
Subjects that are taught at GBS and IHE are Peopling the Globe, Understanding Borders, Understanding Conflict, Conflict Transformation & Reconciliation, Development Education, Sustainable Development & Environment and the Service Learning Placement.
IHE school run in Mae La Oon, Mae Ra Moe, Mae La, Umphium and Nu Poe but there is only one GBS school in Nu Poe Camp and the school in Nu Poe was supported by Dundalk Institute, World Education and Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity. 12 students from GBS and 9 students from IHE graduated this year.>>>Back to top
March 28, 2013
Refugee Camp Mystery Fire Burnt, Killed Students, Teachers Includes Some Schools
Camp Needs Emergency Relief
Mae Surin Karenni refugee which burnt by mystery fire on the 22nd May at 14:20PM till 17:30PM killed 37 people Included 15 students, 3 teachers, 2 education staff and injured more than 200 people. 1 middle school, 2 primary schools, 2 nursery schools and more than 400 houses were destroyed by fire.
Saw Thaung Shwe, a camp resident said, "At first, we heard explosion and saw the smoke, then we rush to accident. We tried to stop fire burning but it was continually happened another house to another. Finally we had to give up."
Right now, the camp needs emergency relief.
Naw Par Lweh, a Karenni Women Organisation(KnWO) said, "We are packing a gift from outsiders such as clothes, Pots, Mats and Blankets. Once the packs are enough for every house hold, then we will distribute to them. Why we have to do this way is to make clear that everyone get the same amount of gift without any concerning."
Karenni Refugee camp #2 was established since 1992 in Kun Yuam district, Mae Hong Son Province and home to more than 3000 refugees.>>>Back to top
March 20, 2013
Migrant Students Take University Entrance Exam
56 students from migrant school take university exam in Myawaddy form 13th March and the exam period will complete on the 22nd of March. In the exam, 29 male students and 27 female students sit an exam.
Th'ramu Paw Ray, Burma Migrant Worker Education Committee (BMWEC) chairperson said, "We are hoping that all the students pass the exam but we have to wait till the result come out. Students need to get high marks if they want to study doctor and engineer. But if students pass only G-Net, they still have a chance to study in state university."
The university entrance exam is the first time for migrant students to participant and it is very first time that the Burmese Government open a chance for migrant students.>>>Back to top
March 18, 2013
OKRSO Opened ToT Teacher Training
Oversea Karen Refugee Social Organization (OKRSO) opened ToT(Training of Trainer) in Klong Toei, in Bangkok on 10th March. The opening ceremony was held at Heart Convent School and more than 50 people were attended.
Saw Hsiet Plong, a culture and literacy committee chairperson said, "Our objective is to let young Karen people who are coming to work in oversea to maintain their language and culture, and to prevent from cultural assimilation with others"
The length of the ToT teacher training will be two months on every Sunday. The courses include basic Karen language, Done dance, composing poem, learning harps, public speech and history. ToT will only be available in East Pwo Karen but for Sgaw Karen, it will be teaching in the coming year and it will depend on the possibilities of finding trainer(s). There are 8 trainers with 28 trainees who have registered in the opening day but more trainees would be coming to register.
OKRSO was founded in 1992 to preserve Culture and Language and it was the very first time to organize teacher training.>>>Back to top
March 15, 2013
TPC 2nd Graduation
TPC (Teacher Preparation Center) held their 2nd graduation on 26th February in Mae Pa, Mae Sot. In this ceremony 68 teachers graduated and are now ready to serve in their areas; 18 of them are Karen. Many leaders attended the event, including a minister from the Thai MoE (Ministry of Education), Tak Provence.
Mi No Thel Chan, who is Mon and just graduated as a teacher from the TPC said about her graduation, "Today day is the most exciting and happy day, but at the same time I feel so sad to leave all my colleges with whom I stayed with for 9 months. But at the same time I am looking very much forward share the skills that I have gained at the TPC with my community."
Nan Pyu Aye, who is Shan also graduated this day said, "I never thought that I would receive the kind of honour in my life that university students get when they graduate – but I did! I appreciate it very much but it also reminds me of the heavy duty awaiting ahead."
Representatives from a range of ethnic groups in Burma are attending the TPC. Those are the ethnic groups of Karen, Mon, Burman, Paao, Shan, Kayan, Lahu, Karenni, Kachin and Naga. Chin students will join the school in coming academic year.
The school is run by KTWG(Karen Teacher Working Group) and WE(World Education).
If new students want to join the school they will need a recommendation letter of an organization or a leader.
For coming students Nan Phyu Aye added, "I want to tell my colleges who willcome to attend this school that taking an education is not easy, it is hardship. The hardship also exist at home, but when we try hard we can go through hardship and reach our goals.">>>Back to top
March 13, 2013
Car Accident Damaged School Materials, A Child Died
A truck which carried Karen State Education Assistance Group (KSEAG) school materials got an accident on the 25th of February, it damaged some school materials and truck driver's child was dead in the accident. The accident happened around 06:00am on Tak-Maesot high way near the entrance to Maesot.
Th'ra Ko Lo Htoo, a coordinator of KSEAG said, "The car left Bangkok and supposed to arrive Maesot in the evening at 19:00pm if he came directly. But he stopped at his home in Nakornsawan and had party with his friends till late night. He left again early in the next morning probably with hangover then drove onto the road side by itself."
The driver ran away from the accident and left his wife and a dead son. A source from KSEAG confirmed that police caught the driver in his home town and started to investigate about the accident. The cost of the school materials damaged was more than 4million Baht and company agreed to cover 75% of the cost.>>>Back to top
February 21, 2013
KTTC Teachers and Students participate in Karen Nation Day Ceremonies
On February 11st, 2013, North KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) participated in Karen Nation Day Celebrations, which took place in Ei Htu Hta Camp for IDPs (Internally Displaced People).
Saw Th'Dah Mei who is currently a student at KTTC and is the representative from Maguey Tavoy District, shared his own feelings when he said, "As I have begun to explore my Karen Identity I have seen celebrations, but none as well organized as this one. Everyone participated enthusiastically and they marched with voices as strong as any time in the last 65 years. These Karen Nation Day ceremonies should happen in all the towns where Karen people live so they can know that they are all belong together. These ceremonies should not only happen in the KNU (Karen Nation Union) controlled areas," he added.
The ceremony began with all the participants marching around the camp and shouting loudly the four mottos written for Karen Nation Day 65 years ago ‘Give us Karen State at once’, ‘Give the Burman one Kyat and the Karen one Kyat’, ‘We do not want communal strife’ and ‘We do not want civil war’. They also shouted that all the Burmese troops and the camp which are based in KNU Control areas should be withdrawn.
Saw Th'Dah Mei Said, “The last call that all the Burmese troops and their camps which are based in KNU control areas should be withdrawn from the area should be negotiated the next time the KNU and Burmese government meet. The peace and development process in our area is not really meaningful while the government troops remain in KNU control areas. Fifty members from KTTC North including teachers and students, and 2350 members from the communities' leaders and the villagers participated in the Karen Nation Day ceremony. According to the KNU record, Karen Nation Day started on February 11st, 1948 when all the Karen from both the North and the South participated in demonstrations in Rangoon. >>>Back to top
August 09, 2012
Children Should Use Computer an Hour Per Day
Children between 10 and 15 years old are suffering from visual impair due to overuse of computers. Thai specialist ophthalmologist warned symptoms of these side effects were pain in big frontal bones above eyes, coma, dizziness, headaches, blurred visions, and also necks and spinal stiffness.
Dr. Thawonnawonton Guraiwon from Faranan Kalaung Hospital addressed that children are using computers for long hours, and also internets with devices such as smart phones and tablets.
Furthermore, neck pain, backaches and headaches are common suffering because of overly using computers. Due to looking at computers and smart phones screen for hours, one can suffer from long-sightedness, pain in iris, and blurred vision.
Moreover, for social relations and discussion time among family members becomes less, children become short-tempered and they have more distracted behaviors.
“Children should be allowed to use computer an hour per day”, said the specialist. And they shouldn’t use computer in the dark rooms. They should use computer from a meter distance from the computer screen, the specialist suggested.
>>>Back to top
August 08, 2012
International Scholarship for Students Around the World
Swiss Government Scholarship
Gates Cambridge Scholarships
Heinrich Boll Foundation Scholarships
Rotary Foundation Global Study Grants
>>>Back to top
July 31, 2012
Monthly Competition for KTTC Students
On July 29, 2012, KTTC (Karen Teacher Training Collage) organized the second monthly competition for the students; this month it was a song competition.
KTTC school teacher Th'ra Antonio said, "Mainly, we the teacher organize the competition for the students as we want them to use their skills, critical thinking and their own ability without just learning from the classroom and books. Competing in groups makes them less embarrassed, and helps them to become braver in front of other people."
"Moreover, with this competition it gives them a skill to carry into their future life, for the most important thing for them is to sustain our traditions and tell others the positive issues about our tradition and culture through that competition." He added.
There are many activities for the KTTC students to learn from on both the sites during their time in KTTC the school has organized monthly competition every school year. KTTC has the plan like every month will organize an interesting competition for the students on many different types of topics.>>>Back to top
July 25, 2012
The Youth Adult Leadership Program on the Thai-Burma Border
This year the Youth Adult Leadership Program (YALP) took place from July 3rd to 16th on the Thai Burma border. The main purpose of YALP is to bring Karen youth who now live overseas, Karen youth from the border areas and those who live inside Karen State together, so that they can get to know each other and learn how to cooperate together in the future wherever they live. The program reminds them that they are related and moreover builds understanding between all of them. Another aim is to make sure that they all know each other well to enhance their ability to work together cooperatively in the future.
A spokesperson from the Australia Karen Foundation (AKF) Arrangement Committee, Saw That Taw said," This is the second year that we have run the YALP on the Thai-Burma border and we are planning more for the years ahead. In comparison with last year I have see much improvement among the youth: for example, a greater curiosity as they have sought to understand their own community where they grew up and where they used to lived. They completed a questionnaire which was very interesting, as they made suggestions for things to be carried on for the future."
"During the workshop of the YALP, we visited a number of CBOs (Community Based Organization) along the Thai Burma border and we have learnt so much: community workers explained how their organizations were structured, how they work for development and how they manage their community. So these are very important things for us to understand and continue to work on in the future," said, Australia youth Saw Nay Htoo.
All together there were 33 participants from the Australia youth and Karen State Youth including the group's leaders at this second YALP.>>>Back to top
June 29, 2012
Time Management Training for Teachers
On June 27, 2012, the time management half day training for the KWO (Karen Women Organization) field teachers to be able to use the time management while they go and teaching and the Trainer is the Formal KED (Karen Education Department) Chair person Thara Shwee Yar Hei and the training took place is Thailand and Burma border.
Naw Paw Hay Ler representative by KWO field teacher who will going to teach in Mae Ra Mon KWO School said, "Before i used to gain training such as teacher training, teaching skills and methods but for the time management i have never done that before. it's the first time and i am sure that i will be able to mange for it during my teaching in the school"
The trainer Thara Shwee Yar Hei said, "Time is very important for all of us, a piece of work that we have to finished by one time if we can manage the time very well, that will be no stress and able to finished it on time. Do never procrastination."
According to the training, there are 4 teachers from KWO field teachers and one member from KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) of half day training of the time management.>>>Back to top
June 29, 2012
Mon State Achieves a Higher Percentage of Passes in the Burmese Government 10th Standard Examination
The chair person and education coordinator in Mon State, U Min Htoo Tin said, according to the 2011-12 Burmese government 10th standard examination results, Mon State achieved the highest percentage of passes.
Mi Thike Htaw a Mon student who is a representative of Mon State and has joined the TPC (Teacher Preparation Center) which is run by KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) and WE (World Education) on the Thai –Burma border said, "Four months before the 10th standard examination, "We go and live in dormitories, and are taught by retired teachers who organize the tuition program.They taught all the subjects over the four months and it cost 300,000 Kyat. Now I have passed I desire to continue my studies at TPC and then I will apply for Distance Education at University."
One of the University students said, "Each student who stayed in the dormitory for a year paid 16 to 25 hundred thousand Kyat, and in the entire dormitory in Burma there are more than a hundred students.
Since 2007-08, Mon State has five times the students who have passed with the highest percentage. This year, 13796 students entered the examination and 7202 passed; Mon State has 52.2% pass-rate, higher than any other State.>>>Back to top
June 22, 2012
Karenni Education Graguated to 6th 3rd 3rd Standard System
In the 2012-13 academic year, the Karenni Education Department will begin including 6th, 3rd, 3rd standards system as part of its education system. Those standards will begin on primary standard such as in primary level 1st to 6th standards, secondary level 7th to 9th standards and the high level 10th to 12th standards of the karenni education system.
Thara John Paul, a member of the Karenni Education Department and new Karenni Mobile Teacher Trainer part of the Eastern Burma Community Schooling project, explained that, "The purpose for the Karenni Education Department to extend our system to 11 standards is to provide Karenni youth with the chance to access education in their own communities in Karenni State and so not to have to come to refugee camps in Thailand for the chance where they would lose connection and participation with their communities.”
The curriculum is a combination of the Karenni Education Department and of the Burmese government curricula. The responsibility for curricula choice will largely fall on local responsible persons and teachers who will decide which elements of each curriculum will be the most beneficial for student learning.
Tharamu Hser Ku who also works as a Karenni Mobile Teacher Trainer said that, "This decision was made by the Karenni Education Department and by the Karenni District 2 leader P'doh Pa Moo and his members. They always support the Karenni education system encourage its development towards higher levels."
In the three Karenni districts, there are currently 460 primary schools, 33 middle schools, and 12 high schools. In these schools, there are 1677 teachers and 50351 students.>>>Back to top
June 14, 2012
The Ethnic MTTs Return from Field Trip
On June 11th, 2012 Eastern Burma Ethnic MTTs (Mobile Teacher Trainers) returned from their Summer Vocation Training. Before preparing for their second round of training each MTT has an opportunity to present information from their training and discuss strengths, weakness and beneficiation. This is also a time to discuss problems specific to the local community as well as teacher wishes for future trainings.
During the presentation the Shan MTT Thara Sai Nung Leang said, "This was my first training and I have seen that many of the local community leaders and the local authority participated well, so it's a positive sign. Moreover, when I gave the training there were so many teachers, more than I had expected. So, it made me feel very confident to continue my work for the future."
The main purpose of the MTTs meeting together is to discuss strengths and weaknesses. However this provides a great opportunity to share information about the education situation across all ethnic areas. While they are gathered together they complete trainings as well on topics such as working together with the community and teachers effectively and various kinds of teaching skills. The final task is to collect and prepare school profiles to better monitor and understand problems that arise in the future.
Ethnic MTT coordinator, Thara Scott, while encouraging the ethnic MTTs, said, "The most important aspect of our work is communication. If we are able to communicate clearly, we will know the situation in each other's areas well. We are in the same group. We need to educate, support and advise each other to best develop education across Eastern Burma."
All the members of the MTT team graduated from the TPC (Teacher Preparation Center) school. In the 2012-13 academic 9 students went on to become MTTs with 3 Shan, 2 Kayan, 2 Karenni and 2 Ta An representing their areas. When their work is finished they will immediately begin work collecting information and preparing for their second training assignment which will begin in the first week of July.>>>Back to top
June 13, 2012
Interculture Education and Peaceful Living Together Training for Ethnic Students
On May 11th 2012, TPC (Teacher Preparation Center) students received have Inter Cultural Education (ICE) and Peaceful Living Together(PLT) training. The training wa organized by PCF (Pestalozzi Children Foundation) with support from their partner organiztions.
The objective of the ICE training is to promote intercultural understanding through a range of empowerment activities. The development of one's self perception, self awareness, self esteem and self confidence lead to the main goal of peaceful living together which is turn improves acceptance and respect for diversity and differences while decreasing conflict and misunderstand.
PCF director, Naw Mu Yeh Pae, said, "The propose of this training is to encourage different ethnic groups to be able to know themselves, to know who they are, and to respect to each other. This promotesliving together in peace between all ethnic groups." Also, this could be lead to a more harmonious future and reduce misunderstanding and miscommunication." she added.
TPC Naga student Htunge Mangray from Naga said, "I am very happy learning among the different ethnic groups and I feel like I have much to learn from so many people perspectives and ideas during the training. Also, I can gain from the learning process and am very pleased to attend this workshop at the beginning of the school year.
There are 72 TPC students from 12 ethnic including Karen, Shan, Mon, Kachin, Burman, Kayan, Ta'ang, Lahu, Pa-ao, Kayah, Karenni and Naga. The ICE/PLT training will be completed on the 15th June 2012.>>>Back to top
June 11, 2012
Australia Would Provide $80 Million on Burma
Foreign Minister Bob Carr has announced a major new education package to train more teachers, lift student attendance and provide nutritious meals at primary schools in Myanmar.
In addition, Senator Carr announced the Australian Government will increase the number of tertiary scholarships from 20 next year to 50 by 2015.
Senator Carr said this new Australian assistance to be provided through AusAID will give hope and opportunity to children in the poorest country in Southeast Asia.
On a visit to AusAID education projects in the delta region south of Yangon, Senator Carr today said millions of children risk missing out on the basic right to an education in Myanmar.
"Australia's aid for education and scholarships will total more than $80 million over the next four years.
"Less than half of children who attend primary school in Myanmar complete the full five grades."That means this generation of children in Myanmar may become the first in the country's history with a lower level of education than their parents.
"Australia is determined to try and prevent this from happening.
"Education is the flagship of our aid program in Myanmar.
"Our focus is on the Millennium Development Goal for Education — ensuring children will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. Education is a basic human right that the people of Myanmar should enjoy.
"This program supports the basic rights of the poorest children in the country — the right to education, the right to learn in a safe environment, and the right to clean water and sanitation," Senator Carr said.
With our partners, Australia will work to give Myanmar's boys and girls the opportunity to have a full five years of high quality primary education by:
helping more than one million children get better access to education by providing textbooks, teacher training and food aid to remote schools
providing water and sanitation facilities at primary schools to stop children getting sick
supporting at least 85,000 children to access early childhood education
providing take-home meals for children who enter school and stay there for a whole year. Over four years we will provide meals for 1.3 million children, raising nutrition and doubling enrolment rates.
"Australia will also reach out to the most remote and underdeveloped regions of the country through Buddhist and community schools. In some of these schools less than half of teachers are properly trained," Senator Carr said.
Australia will support Myanmar to undertake a comprehensive education sector review to guide the Government of Myanmar and donors' future investments in education.
"We will work with the Government of Myanmar and civil society to support the momentum behind reform.
"We support sustainable change through public sector governance, and supporting civil society's role in demanding transparency and accountability of service delivery.
"The activities we fund will build capacity in teachers and local administrators to deliver quality education services.
"Australia will help drive sustainable development by steadily increasing scholarships to study at our world-class universities.
"Australian Development Scholarships will support champions for reform and development from both government and civil society organisations," Senator Carr said.>>>Back to top
June 08, 2012
2nd TPC Opening Ceremony
On June 8th, 2012 at 9Am the TPC (Teacher Preparation Center) school opening ceremony took place on the Thai - Burma border in Mae Sot. During the opening ceremony, there were various organizations representative from inside Burma and Migrant areas. Leaders and senior TPC students gave encouragement to the new students.
The senior student Thara Uki , a Kayan representative, when he encouraging to the newly students said, "among in the different ethnic groups it's very hard to make very close friends because there are many different things between ethnic groups regarding culture: their style of living, their activities and their languages, so all of you will find it difficult for the first time but, to be friendly while you are learning in the same place at TPC you need to be very patient and try to understand each other and be friendly and to be very helpful in your study. I'm sure, it's need to be take time before you get to know them very well"
The main purpose of the TPC is that , after the students have completely finished TPC school, they will be very useful for their own ethnic group, their own community and their people. More over there were lots of new different ethnic students showing their own traditional songs and their activities during the opening ceremony.
Mit Mo Den Chan, a representative of the Mon ethnicity said, "This is my first time that I have had a chance to learn among the large different ethnic groups like this. The most beautiful colors among the different ethnic groups are making me more understanding of the different ethnicity." "The most important things that I really want to learn from them are their skills and their own experiences as I'm a new student and at the same time I will also exchange my own too as much as possible while we are in TPC school." she added.
TPC School was established in 2011 and It has already run for one year. According to the last 2011-12 there were 39 students graduated from TPC. In 2012-13 academic year the ethnic groups that will learn at the TPC School are ; Pwo Karen, Sgaw Karen, Karenni, Kayan, Kachin, Mon, Burmese, La Hu, P'laung, Pa Oh, Shan, Na Ga and representatives of Burmese migrant workers. All together there are 72 students including 5 full time teachers.
There were more than 100 people who participanted in the opening ceremony of the TPC including the educational representatives , the teachers and students.>>>Back to top
May 28, 2012
7th KTTC Graduation Ceremony
The KTTC 7th graduation ceremony was held in Ma Ngae Lu, Bu Tho Township, Mutraw District, Karen State on the 25th May 2012. During the ceremony, 2 events happened. In the 1st event the teachers who graduated after 2 years at KTTC and another 2 years in the field received certificates. There were 14 teachers who received certificates from KED (Karen Education Department).
Saw Hsar Gru who completed 2 years in the field from Kler Lwee Htu District said, “Today, I’m so excited that I was recognized by both KTWG and KED.” He added, “ The school provided me confidence while I worked to the field. I used lesson plan that I gained here. So I can say that the teaching had a clearly positive effect compared to other teachers who have never attended Teacher Training College.”
The 2st event was for the teachers who graduated 2 years at KTTC to receive certificates. There were 36 teachers who received certificates from KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group).
Naw Wah Nay Say from Mutraw District who completed 2 years at KTTC said, “I’m so eager to go back to my own area to become a teacher. I’m going to use the teaching skills which I gained from the KTTC.” She continued to say that, “I didn’t know anything about what to teach or what to do before I came here but 2 years gave me so much knowledge related to teaching skills such as Child Psychology, Classroom Management and much more.”
Due to the difficulty of travelling along theThai-Burma Border while accepting new students from some Districts, KTWG opened a new KTTC school in Duplaya District, Karen State. There are 20 students for 1st year class and 29 students will continue 2nd year class. In KTTC- North, there are 34 students for 1st year class and 35 will continue 2nd year class.
The KTTC school was force to closed twice. The 1st time was in 1995 during the fall of Marnerplaw and the 2nd time was in Duplaya District at the end of 1996 when Burmese Military occupied the area. KTTC then re-opened again in 2004 in Karen State and there has been 7 groups who graduated from 2006 until 2012.>>>Back to top
May 21, 2012
KED Completed Annual Meeting
On May 3rd to 5th KED (Karen Education Department) held the 13th annual meeting inside Karen State at Pa An district in Thay Bay Hta area.
The purpose of the annual meeting includes an evaluation of the previous year, looking at what was successful/unsuccessful and then developing a plan for coming years, making any necessary decisions.
The KED Officer for 4 districts in Northern Karen State, P'doh Saw Kay said, "This 13th annual meeting has been very important. In the meeting we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the previous year and this discussion generated many things that excited us as we made plans to improve in the coming year. Although discussions are beginning between our KNU (Karen National Union) leaders and the Burmese government, they have not yet focused particularly on the education systems. So we need to continue to brainstorm and discuss as these issues remain on the negotiating table.
The main topics at the annual meeting included: receiving the Education report from each district; hearing from township education leaders; some schools inside Karen state which couldn't follow up the KED policy were also discussed. Other matters included hearing about the students who have completed their high education level inside Karen state and who are now able to join the IHE program in the border areas. The structure of KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistant Group) and KED were discussed. All the text books for inside Karen state schools were reviewed. All these issues were discussed and decisions were made on every single topic at the meeting.
KED Officer Thara Ben Nay said, "Every annual meeting teaches us more about the challenges facing participants and in the future our cooperation will be even stronger. Moreover, the weaknesses which have occurred, are understood by all our participants and we will struggle for our education system to improve in the future"
All of the groups and departments which work along the Thai-Burma border, the representatives of organizations active in education in the camps, the representative of townships and districts and Headquarter of leaders made a total of 55 members who participated in the 13th annual KED meeting.>>>Back to top
May 17, 2012
Rebuilding Teacher Capacity by Training and Revaluation by IHE
On May 7th to 11th 2012, the IHE (Institute of High Education) organized training for IHE teachers including a workshop for the whole group which included representatives from 6 IHE Schools from a number of different places. At the same time they evaluated the work of the previous year and set up their plans for the coming year.
Thara Hsa Doe Doh who works with IHE said, "This time of training is to promote, motivate and do capacity building for IHE teachers, as these teachers will be preparing their schools to be ready for the future. Each school from the different areas will be able to develop their own strategies for the future to follow"
The policy agreement that all the IHE schools signed included: every IHE teacher must complete their 1 year contract, i.e. not leaving their school mid- year, holiday regulations were agreed, 5 students from each district who have finished their high education in a Karen State school can join the IHE program every year and every IHE teacher must submit their monthly report to IHE. Moreover, there were many other issues discussed and on which negotiations will continue.
"Within the IHE program, there are 6 IHE schools; at the meeting it was decided that they would all now offer the same curriculum using the same books. IHE teachers are also not allowed to leave the school mid- year, so they all now have written contracts to sign" added Thara Hsa Doe Doh.
According to IHE program, the 6 IHE schools on the Thai – Burma border in the Karen Refugee camps: namely Mae La Oon, Mae Ra Ma Laung, Mae La, Um Phuim, No Poe and Hta M'him Camp. Altogether forty-seven individuals, representing their schools, participated in the meeting and training.>>>Back to top
April 27, 2012
Scholarship Open for Burmese Students
For basic Education, Food Security, Long term Improvement and Mother and Children health Education such as Bachelor Degree, Master Degree and Philosophy Degree are prepared for Myanmar students to attend. Myanmar is necessary to improve living standard so it is known as a special for Myanmar students. 30 students in Myanmar have an opportunity to study in Australia. On April 30, 2012 is the last date of the application. For online application, you can send at htt://Oasis.ausaid.gov.au.
Australia Office in Yangon, you can also application letter till April 30, 2012. School will open in 2013.
htt://www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar/studying.cfm>>>Back to top
March 05, 2012
Student Exchange at KTTC
On February 25th to 26th there was a Student Exchange between students from KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) and TPC (Teacher Preparing Course). The exchange happened at KTTC school compound in Karen State. The exchange was well organized by Shan group leaders and the KTTC School who hosted the event and shared the responsibility of organization.
A member of the exchange group of students from the Shan group, San Kyaw said, "Before I came here, I never expect the Teacher Training College to look like this and to be so well organized. I imagined that it would be just a small school, but in reality when I arrived everything was amazing for me. Also the students have been very friendly and kind. So although I had never met them before these Karen People have been extremely kind to us.”
The purpose of the exchange between all the participating KTTC Karen students, Shan students, Karenni students, as well as all of the teachers, was mainly to focus on the life of Karen society, their way of life, and the ways in which the students and their schools are organized. All the participants shared about their teaching skills, teaching experiences and everyone in the group shared freely about their personal experiences as they spent time getting to know more about the broader situation in their country that they are all facing now.
San Kyaw added, "This first visit to Karen State has helped me to understand that, the Karen people, and particularly the Karen teachers are giving their life for their people and their country even though they are poorly paid. I found that when we went to their villages and we heard the local authorities explain about the way they live and the situation in their villages our understanding of their situation grew". He added, " I hope someday I can show the Karen People’s approach and attitude in my home town or my village too."
TPC School is located at Thai – Burma border in Mae Sot and the students are from various ethnic groups in Burma. The KTTC is located in Karen State, Mutraw district, Bu tho Township at Hko Kay area.>>>Back to top
November 25, 2011
Ler Htu Poe School Reopened
Ler Htu Poe school which is located in Dweh Lo township, Mutraw district was forced to close for two weeks due to Burma Army activity in the area. Fortunately, the school reopened on November 23rd as the Burma Army moved out of the area towards To Thay Pu village.
Saw Lweh Rgay, a KTWG Mobile Teacher Trainer, reported that "the Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion 218 under Division 11 arrived in the Ler Htu Poe vicinity on November 12th. The purpose was of their arrival is unclear but the school was forced to close out of security fears and the possibility fighting would break out."
Saw Lweh Rgay speculated that "maybe their headquarters ordered them to withdraw from the area as there was news developments that the Karen National Union was forming a committee aimed at entering into peace or ceasefire talks with the Burma government".
Ler Htu Poe is a middle school with 9 teachers and 107 students.
>>>Back to top
November 03, 2011
Risky Schooling and Villagers Stop Farming Due to Government Troop Transportation
According to local sources in Karen State, at Kler Lwee Htu district between the Mon Township and Ler Doh township, as the government troops start transportating their food to their camps, their soldiers have taken control of the area and fully secured the car road which runs between Mon and Lerdoh Townships. This has significantly impacted the lives of the ordinary people who farm the adjoining land, using their traditional methods, making their transportation, communication, schooling and farming increasingly risky.
Saw Thein Gay, a local Area Teacher Trainer (ATT) and a former member of Ler Doh Township’s Education system said, "This year the government troop divisions such as 66,77,99 , a total of more than a thousand soldiers, have been guarding the car road since the end of the October. Also they shield the weapon everyday to the villager's farm wherever they suspect "
"In previous years, the government troops sent their trucks one by one; the disruption was insignificant and the villagers were able to continue to work and the school was able to operate normally. However, this year it is not the same as before, all of the trucks come at the same time with full guard and it takes them a long time. It is harvest time and the children are in school , but it is dangerous to be in the fields or schools when they are close to the road, making it very difficult for normal life (farming, education, day-to-day communication) to continue due to the high risks" added Saw They Gay.
Saw Pler Hai, who lives in Mu Traw District at Lu Thaw Township in Ler Mu Plaw village track and works for community social welfare, said, "This year, the Burmese government troops shoot their weapons almost every day, so the villagers who live or work closer to the car road have to leave their fields and farm even though it is harvest time."
The Burmese government troop's transportation schedule is not the same as in previous years, so this year, there might be the new stringency and the same time they can attack the villagers again as usual.>>>Back to top
October 12, 2011
Two Students Injured and School Closed During 10 Days of Fighting
On August 5th 2011, there was fighting between KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) and Burmese government troops near to Wa Thoo Kho school compound in Dweh Loh township, Mutraw district. Naw Regena,11 years old, and Saw Chit Aung, 10 years old, both second standard students were both injured in the fighting. Naw Regena was injured in the leg and Saw Chit Aung in the shoulder. The school was forced to close for more than 10 days.
Thara Pu Htaw, a Mobile Teacher Trainer (MTT) and Dwe Loh township education worker said, "On August 5th, when the government troops shot against to the Karen soldiers they used 81 mm mortar shells and 9 mm ammunition which hit the school and to the village.
The two students were sent by their parents and school committee to the nearby hospital for treatment. They have both since recovered. After 10 days, school was reopened. Students and teachers are now going to school but when the situation is not good they also close the school for one or two days until security has been confirmed.
Wa Thoo Kho high school located in Lay Poe Hta village track, Dweh Loh township in Mu Traw district. According to KSEAG’s 2011-2012 records, the school has 11 teachers and 244 students.>>>Back to top
October 10, 2011
Karen Students Leave Burmese Government School
During the 2011-2012 academic year, Karen students from Poe Hta, K'Ter Hteet and Htee Th'Blu Hta village tracts in Dweh Loh township in Mutraw district, left their area to seek middle and high schooling in the Burmese government school in Pa-an and K'Ma Mon cities as this level of schooling is not available in their area. However, these students left these city schools and returned to their areas between June and October this year.
Thara Pu Htaw, a Mobile Teacher Trainer (MTT) and a Dwe Loh township education worker, said, "This year, there has been a lot of fighting between BGF (Border Guide Force), Burmese government forces and the KNLA (Karen Nation Liberation Army). For this reason, during holidays or weekends, the students are not able to return home because the troops will recognize them upon their return to their villages and when they return to the city for schooling if they are recognized later by those same soldiers it will create a problem for their own security and that of their parents in the village. This is why the students are forced to leave the Burmese government school in the city and return to their villages."
Lay Poe Hta Middle School(Photo- KTWG)
Upon returning to the village, these students are not able to join another school in their township or even in the refugee camps as the school year is almost half over. This is why they just have to live in their villages and support their parents in whichever way possible.
Pu Htaw added, "For this year we couldn't help them to continue their studies in the refugee camps or in another township because it's too late for them. But surely, for the next year, for those who are willing to continue their further study, we plan to provide a chance for them, either in our township, in another township or in the refugee camps.".>>>Back to top
October 07, 2011
World Teacher Day Celebrated Along Thai-Burma Border
On October 5th 2011, World Teacher Day, migrant and refugee schools along the Thai-Burma celebrated the17th annual World Teacher Day.
"The purpose of the celebrations is for us to know and keep the value of the teachers. We must remember and recognize teachers who dedicate themselves to their teaching for the benefit of the next generation of the valuable teacher" says Thara Say Pa Htoo, the OCEE chairperson (Office of Camp Education Entity) at Mae La refugee camp.
During celebrations in the refugee camps, teachers were each given small gifts from their students. Also, leaders spoke to all participants encouraging students and the community as a whole to thank, honor and respect teachers. Speeches from the education department and other education groups encouraged that we should follow those teachers with good characteristics and habits in their teaching life.
Thara Say Pa Htoo said, " We should celebrate the world teacher day because if we look back to the current situation of teachers, many people no longer value them and fail to show them proper respect. This leads some teachers to become disappointed in their teaching life. Some of them begin to ignore their jobs and do not concern themselves with their work anymore. So, on this World Teacher Day, we should try to motivate our teachers as much as we can."
World Teacher Day was celebrated in many places along the Thai-Burma border on October 5th. In Mae La refugee camp, over 1000 students, teachers, leaders, CBO and NGO staff and community members participated in the day’s events.>>>Back to top
September 05, 2011
Monthly Competition for KTTC Students
On August 31, 2011, KTTC (Karen Teacher Training Collage) organized the first monthly competition for the students; this month it was a poem competition. KTTC school principle Th'ra Tha Taw said, "Mainly, we organize the competition for the students as we want them to use their skills, critical thinking and their own ability without just learning from the classroom and books. Competing in groups makes them less embarrassed, and helps them to become braver in speaking in front of other people. It gives them a skill to carry into their future life, for the most important thing for them is to sustain our traditions and tell others the positive issues about our tradition and culture through the competition."
There are many activities for the KTTC students to learn from on both the sites during their time in KTTC the school has organized monthly competition every school year. The second year KTTC student Saw Day Gay who competed in the Poem competition said, "It was a first for me. Before I’d never been in a competition like that. Actually, I like this kind of competition because it teaches us to speak bravely in front of a group, learn from each other and learn about the poem's topic."
KTTC has the plan like every month will organize an interesting competition for the students on many different types of topics.">>>Back to top
August 18, 2011
The 61st Annual Karen Martyrs' Day Ceremony
On August 12th, members of the public, students and teachers participated in the 61st Annual Karen Martyrs’Day Ceremony which took place in the Karen State Bridge 5 control area. A number of organizations that are based around Bridge 5, such as KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College), Next generation school, Kaw Lah Hey youth preparatory Academy school, Mae Nu Hta school, Hko Kay middle school, Ei Tu Hta Camp primary school and high school, U Wam Hta camp school as well as teachers, soldiers and the public who live in that area, came and joined in the Karen Martyrs’ Day Ceremony. Ei Tu Hta Camp education coordinator Thara Law La Doh said, "We are representing E Thu Hta camp. We always encourage our students to participate in Karen event days like this and hopefully they will take the chance and be encouraged by the ceremonies." This year the ceremony included a time of recognition for people who have been disabled: these people have given a part of their body for their nation and their country. Another event included the soldiers marching. The Captain spoke to the public, teachers, and students who attended the ceremony about the Karen martyrs and the good Karen leaders who had heroically given their lives for their people. Thara Law La Doh added, "We encourage the students to come and learn from this ceremony, and about 80% of the students attended. We wish to focus the attention of the students on the future so that when they finish their schooling they will be interested in working with their people. That's why we provided this opportunity for the students to celebrate Karen Martyrs’ Day.>>>Back to top
August 16, 2011
Schools Reopen in Mae Ra Moe and Mae La Oon Refugee Camps
Schools reopen in Mae Ra Moe and Mae La Oon Refugee camps
The Mae La Oon schools which were damaged by flooding on 3rd August were reopened yesterday, according to a source from KRC(Karen Refugee Committee).
Saw Kaw Wah, Mae La Oon camp leader also confirmed, " We tried hard to fix all the schools damaged by the flood within a few weeks, therefore all the schools reopen now."
Saw Penu, a resident from Mae Ra Moe also said that all the primary and lower secondary schools would reopen on Monday but 3 higher secondary schools will reopen tomorrow. The Moei bridge which links section 7-A and 7-B is not yet ready to use so students who need to cross the river to travel to and from school, will use a boat instead.>>>Back to top
August 10, 2011
Post-ten School Destroyed by Flooding and Other Schools are at Risk in Mae La Oon Refugee Camp
In Mae La Oon, Karen refugee camp, a post-ten school along with some other schools’ buildings have been completely destroyed by recent flooding. Other schools near the Moei riverbank are currently at risk of being destroyed, according to a report from Mae La Oon.Click on the report to read more. >>>Back to top
August 09, 2011
Detail Statistic of Damage Caused by Flooding in Mae Ra Moe and Mae La Oon, Flood Waters Recede but May Take Another Month Until School Can Reopen
According to KRC(Karen Refugee committee) survey, the statistic damaged by flood in 3rd August, 2011 were 406 houses, 10 bridges and 3 rice stores. In these rice stores, 2970 rice sack(3 tins a sack), 255 yellow bean sack(3 tins a sack), 136 oil tins(28 little a tin), 65 fish paste tins(20 kilograms a tin) and 63 Sault sacks were damaged by flood. See detail damaged and request letter from KRC here>>>
Regarding to emergency supply, TBBC (Thailand Burma Border Consortium) is collecting basic need and are sending to the camps. Mr. David Curmi, a northern TBBC field coordinator said, " We take a responsible with plastic sheets and cloths while other NGOs were promise to provide blankets, mosquito nets and other basic need. For foods supply, we don't need to worry about this right now. We have 13 rice stores while damaged only 3 stores. We have enough foods until October."
Right now, the water keep receding but school still unable to reopen them yet. A source from residents, the schools may take one month to able to reopen.
According to KRC monthly report in July 2011,There are 1974 families and 11017 register persons while 1001 families and 7571 are unregister persons in Mae Ma Moe Karen Refugee camp. In Mae La Oon Karen Refugee Camp, there are 2325 families and 11281 register persons while 609 families and 4106 are unregister persons.>>>Back to top
August 05, 2011
Flood Waters Recede but Schools Still Unable to Reopen
Despite the flood waters receding schools in Mae Ra Moe and Mae La Oon are still unable to reopen due to a combination of damage to the roads and the fact that many refugees are still taking temporary refuge in the school buildings following the water damage to their homes, according to a source from KRC (Karen Refugee Committee).
Saw Pway Doh, who is in charge of IT(Information Technology) at KRC said, "Right now, the water level is subsiding but the schools can't reopen because most of the roads the students use have been damaged by the flooding and they are not yet ready for use”.
Flood water damaged 346 houses in Mae Ra Moo Camp. Detailed information for Mae La Oon has not yet emerged as the camp is still unreachable and communication has broken down.
A local resident suggested that the school might be reopening on Monday. Saw Pee Nu who lives in section 1 at Mae Ra Moo camp said, "I don't think the school will be reopening in these next few days because the flood water damaged all the bridges and roads. If reconstruction can happen quickly then I think on Monday the school can reopen but if not I don't think so."
Today, the KRC call an emergency meeting to seek assistance from NGOs that are based in Mae Sariang town.>>>Back to top
July 29, 2011
Schools in Finghting Area Closed
Schools in Mae Kwee Hta, Law Pu, Wae Pya, Wa T’mu, Mae Hsait, Mae Law Hta, Htee Lar Nae, Yaw Po, T’kwee Kla, Th’ray Poe Kwee, K’mah Hta, Kwee Lay, P’nweh Tha Kla and Htee Per have had to close due to fighting between BGF(Border Guard Force) and the Formal DKBA(Democratic Karen Buddist Army) who have rejected BGF. Saw Paw K’la, a DKBA medic who has just returned from the fighting area said, “BGF troops are patrolling the highest mountains and firing mortars at areas they see as suspect; this is resulting in villages being hit. Therefore, all the schools have had to close as the villagers were afraid and fled to safer areas.”
Due to the fighting between BGF and DKBA, the percentage of parents taking their children out of school has become very high even though they have fled to a safer area, according to Saw Paw Kla.
A former BGF’s wife who wishes to remain anonymous said, “Soon after I realized that my husband rejected BGF, I took my children out of school. The children did not understand the current situation and the level of risk for them until I explained it to them. Her daughter Naw Bleh Blen Hser who was in 7th standard but has now dropped out school said, “I’m missing my school mates very much. I don’t where they are now. I’m not sure whether they are still attending school or not. Hopefully, I can go to school with them again very soon.”
A source from local villages in fighting area, said that some villagers have fled to Kaw Taw Pu(Myeing Gyi Ngu) while a number of families totaling more than 100 people fled to Mae Th’waw (Thai-Burma Border) on 25th July. There might be more people arriving at the Thai-Burma border if the fighting continues, a source close to DKBA said.>>>Back to top
July 28, 2011
Flooding in Pa-an Town forces School to Closed
On the 24th there was major flooding in the town of Pa-an, Karen State. The floodwaters have forced the closure of school there for a few days, because students are not able to travel to school and also the school dormitories are being used to house members of the public from low lying areas whose homes have been inundated with water, According to reports from the KIC (Karen Information Center).
High school principle, Daw Nan La Ya May, said, "On Friday members of the public came to me and said please provide us shelter at the school. Also, some parents reported that their children could not travel to school because of the floodwaters. Due to these reasons, I have chosen to close the school for a few days."
Many people have lost their homes and their jobs because of the flooding and are now living in the school compound in sports grounds and classrooms.
One of the high school students said, "The flooding has been increasing day by day, I didn't think the water could get that high before. Even our school is closed and our class is now outside and organized by a private teacher who charges tuition and we have to go there by small boat."
One member of the public from Pa-an town added, "Since July 20th, 2011 the heavy rain has been continuous and many people have lost their homes and jobs. Also, teachers and students are facing difficulties because of the heavy rain. They are not able to go to school and aren't able to study while the water has flooded Pa An town.>>>Back to top
July 21, 2011
Mae K'tha Primary School Still Unable to Reopen
Mae K'tha village, located in the Three Pagoda Pass area, Noh T'kaw Township, Karen State was caught in the middle as troops clashed between the KNLA (Karen Nation Liberation Army) and the Burmese Government army, said a source from the KIC (Karen Information Center). Mae K'tha village has 90 households and a primary school with 40 students and 3 teachers.
On June 10th, KNLA Battalion 16 attacked the Burmese LIB (Light Infantry Battalion) No. 563 under MOC (Military Operation Command) No. 19, which is based at Mae K'tha’s monastery. When the attack took place, villagers fled to neighboring villages. Currently, the villagers are returning to Mae K’tha, but the school is still unable to re-open. One of the head villagers, who asked to remain anonymous explained, "We can't stop the KNLA from attacking Burmese troops in the village and we can't order the Burmese not to base their camp in the village. For this reason, we can't say when our school will re-open.” Consequently, school children have suffered the impact of this attack.>>>Back to top
June 30, 2011
The Schools in Three Pagoda Reopen
On June 21st, 2011 all the schools in Three Pagoda reopened. After the two recent attacks by unknown gunmen all the schools in Three Pagoda closed for more than one week. However, they have now been able to open once again.
local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous but who looks after the students in a school dormitory at Three Pagoda said, "After the two attacks at Three Pagoda, I noticed that even though the school was open the students dared not go to school; that is why the schools closed for more than one week but now they have reopened. One high school in Three Pagoda was only closed for a few days because it is a Burmese government school."
Also she added, " Even though my school has reopened some of the students who live in my dormitory still do not dare to go to school because there are lots of Burmese soldiers actively recruiting soldiers around the street.
The two attacks occurred on June 5th and then on June 14th. These events made it very difficult for the students and the teachers who were not able to maintain their normal school routines around the Three Pagoda areas. A witness also reported that since the schools reopened fewer students are attending school than before the attacks.>>>Back to top
June 16, 2011
Students in Three Pagodas Town Dare Not Go to School
On June 5th and once again on June 14th Three Pagoda was attacked by unknown gunmen. Fears of additional attacks have forced to remain in their homes and students in the Three Pagoda area are not able to go to school.
Naw Wah Cho 7 standard who is studying at Three Pagoda high school said, "Now on the street at Three pagoda there are just 5% of people are going so for me if the school is open I won't go to school other wise my mother, father and some of my relative are not allow me to go to school just stay in the house and wait and see the situation." As well as Naw Paw Dah 10 standard who is studying at Three Pagoda high school said, "Now I have almost finished my school in this year, whenever the school is open even I'm not dare to go I have to go because other wise I will be late with the school lesson. If I'm not daring to go alone I asked for help from some other friend to go with me. Hopefully, in this year I wish I could finish my school here comfortably.
In this 2011-2012 Academic year at Three Pagoda high school the school are reopen and closed for awhile because of the attacks so the students and teachers are not able to attend classes like the other side in Thailand. Even the school are open the students are not dare to go to school. Saw Has Keh Say who lives in Three Pagoda said, "I have see many parents are don't allow their children to go to school in this case. They just ask them to stay at home wait and see the chance and also some of the parents are sent their children to Thailand or refugee camp where their relatives has been based.
After the school reopened on June, There were two attacks one is at June 5th three masked gunmen on a motorcycle fired a gun into the Military Affairs Security office killing two Burmese soldiers and one thirteen year old girl and injuring two villagers and second one is at 14th June at mid-day with 4 people on the car and shoot the Aung Tin Win house with the big guns and burnt so all the public and students are the most risky. According to the high school at Three Pagoda including with more than 60 teachers and 1170 students.>>>Back to top
June 08, 2011
Schools Forced to Close in Three Pagoda
On June 6th, 2011, three high schools and other branch schools in Three Pagoda were forced to close. The closure was due to an attack in which three masked gunmen on a motorcycle fired a gun into the Military Affairs Security office killing two Burmese soldiers and one thirteen year old girl and injuring two villagers. Schools in the area were also forced to close in 2010.
The Burmese soldiers have tightened security around Three Pagoda, both day and night. Saw Has Ken Say who lives in Three Pagoda said, "I have seen the schools reopened for a short time, but they have now been forced to close again. During the day, there are a few people walking around in the city, but at night, the city is empty, the shops and the markets are closed and the whole city is afraid."
Saw Has Ken Say added, "Many people believe that the attack was done by the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddist Army), but I have been told by my friend who saw the attack, that the way the three gunmen were speaking in Burmese was not like Karen people speaking Burmese, but that the Burmese words were spoken in a Burman accent, like they were actually Burman people, not Karen."
An eyewitness said that after three gunmen fired, they commandeered a truck from some villagers and drove until they reached a safe area, then abandoned the truck and escaped.>>>Back to top
June 06, 2011
A New KTTC Opening Ceremony
On May 31st, 2011 at 10:00 am, the opening ceremony took place for KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) in No Poe camp. This new KTTC has been set up to serve those students who have finished the 10th standard in Dooplaya, Pa An and Merguri-Tavoy districts as well as students from the camps.
The Education coordinator from Dooplaya district, Pa'Doh Ma Canady, said, "This opening ceremony will be a great pleasure for our the new students entering KTTC and also for all of us who are working for the development of education. I was pleased to see many of the leaders, such as the camp committee, school principle and some leaders from the districts and townships who all joined together and gave encouragement during the ceremony." Pa'Doh Ma Canady continued, "After the students complete their training course at KTTC, they will be the power in their communities, so at this stage I would like to comment that the school, it’s students and the teachers are not only benefiting themselves, or the organization, but will benefit the future of our Karen people. So, please be involved and provide support for them."
KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) chair person, Thara Mu Ler Htoo, said, "As there is such a lack of teachers and especially quality teachers in Karen state and the refugee camps, one school for 30 teachers is not enough to fill the needs. As there is a need and desire within our communities to increase the number of trained teachers, we are providing another school for the Southern area to give more chances for new teachers to be involved."
The new KTTC South is a four-year program, the first two years focused on learning methods in the school and the second two years practical work in the field. In this first 2011-2012 academic years, KTTC South will have thirty-three students and five teachers.>>>Back to top
May 31, 2011
3rd KTTC Reunion and the Graduation
On 13rd May 2011, the Karen Teacher Training College(KTTC) held the 3rd KTTC reunion. 113 old and new students were attended. Zaw Pai a student who completed the two-year course at the College in 2009 said, "The reunion has given us the opportunity to come back and share both our weak and strong field experiences, as well as hearing other teachers’ experiences.
Naw Ler Htoo, a Karen Teacher Working Group (KTWG) chair person explained that the purpose of organizing the reunion is to listen to the teachers as they report back on both the positive and negative experiences after their first two years in the field and to hear about how they want to improve. Naw Ler Htoo commented on the reunion, "Up until now we have held a KTTC reunion every year so that teachers can come from all 7 districts in Kawthoolei. However, we will hold the next reunion in three years time. She added , "By organizing reunion, we want the education workers to share their problems and then we will help them to find possible alternative solutions to the problem."
On 16 May 2011, KTTC held the school closing and opening ceremonies and graduation. There were two different groups honored with certificates: the first group were those students who had completed the two-year teacher training course at KTTC, while the second group were awarded a KED certificate on completion of their first two years successful field teaching. Naw Paw Lar Hay, a student who graduated from the two-year course at KTTC this year said, "I have learnt many things during the two years I have spent at KTTC. I will now serve my community in any way they wish that uses my teaching skills.">>>Back to top
May 30, 2011
KED Completed Annual Meeting
On May 17th at 9:00 in the morning, the Karen Education Department held the opening ceremony of the twelfth annual meeting. The meeting took place over two days in theEi Tu Hta refugee camp for IDPs (Internally Displaced People).
During the opening ceremony, community leaders gave words of encouragement about the benefits of the education and its importance for the community, to the education representatives from the different areas.
Thara Wai Htoo who is the representative from Taw Oo district said, "As I heard these words of encouragement, I felt motivated to go forward and do my work for the people, work hard and keep my heart pure for our people. Last year, I attended the KED annual meeting, and I didn't know anything about the development of education in other districts, but this time I hope I can learn and compare what is improving with what is still not improving in the different areas."
A member of KWO (Karen Women Organization) at Ee Thu Hta who has chosen to remain anonymous said, "This is the first time that KED came to our camp to have their meeting. For me, I'm very pleased to get to know more people from the different districts and townships. So, it's good for us to be able to share our experiences of the different situations from each of our districts. We are so glad because even though we are in an IDP area, the leaders have come to cooperate with us and support our school and our community.”
Representatives from the following districts attended the KED annual meeting: Do Th'Thu, Taw Oon, Kler Lwee Htu, Mergui Tavoy, Mu Traw, Dooplaya, and Pa an. Also in attendance were some of the MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainers), some ATT (Area Teacher Trainers), and members of KED. All of the representative brought with them and shared their annual reports about the situation in their districts. Altogether, more than 50 members attended the KED annual meeting.>>>Back to top
May 12, 2011
PKLCC Successfully Finished Summer Vacation Language and Culture Training
On May 2nd, the Pwo Karen Literacy and Culture Course (PKLCC) ended in Mae La Refugee Camp. The training, which opened on March 29, was organized by Pow Karen Literacy and Culture.
Pu Sein Tin Aye, an advisor of PKLCC, explained the objective, "We want Pwo children to understand Pwo language and to gain the skills of Done dance".
There were more than 700 trainees involved , including many monks who attended the training. The training took place in 5 different locations; Zone-B No. 9 primary school, Zone-B No. 7 high school at Thirisandar temple, Zone-B No. 5 high school, Zone-B Thirimingalar primary school and Zone-A No. 20 Nursery school. During the training, 30 teachers were volunteering and final exams were held in 2 different locations; Thirisandar temple and Thirimingalar.
PKLCC summer vacation training was started in 2006, with 15 successful training sessions completed to date.>>>Back to top
April 22, 2011
Training of Trainter is Opening for the Minority Ethnic Group From Burma
Mae Sod, April 21 2011
From April 18th to May 13th 2011, KTWG, World Education (WE) and the Indigenous Knowledge and Peoples network (IKAP) are implementing a Training of Trainer (ToT) workshop for 10 different ethnic groups from across Eastern Burma as well as in refugee camps and migrant areas in Thailand. The Burmese Migrant Worker Education Committee (BMWEC) are hosting the workshop by providing accommodation and space for training. 72 participants and 11 trainers are involved in the training. The ethnic groups who joined the (TOT) training are Pa-oh, Arakhan, Shan, Ta'ang, Lahu, Kayan, Kayah, Kayaw, Karenni, Mon and Karen. The training began with a two day introduction and cross-cultural communication focus to highlight the need for all participants to respect, tolerate and appreciate their cultural differences.
One Ta'ang participant, Mai Pui Jar, said, "This type of introduction is very beneficial and good to know for the trainees because we have to stay here together for a long time. Also, in the future, we need to work to build understanding and relationship between our ethnic groups. So sharing our cultures and experiences is the best idea for us to do in this training."
Trainers from KTWG and WE are facilitating the training which focused on training skills; designing, implementing and evaluating training workshops; community dialogue and advocacy; as well as teaching skills, subject methodologies and other pedagogical issues.
Phyo Phyo (not her real name), a Pa-oh participant, said, "We must learn about the needs of teachers, their weaknesses and their strong points. I hope that vevery one of us can learn from this training. However, I am not so sure yet because we have only just started the training. For me this training is really good and suitable for the participants who will become teacher trainers.">>>Back to top
April 13, 2011
Summer Vocational Training has been Completed in 5 Districts Throughout Karen State
During March and April in 2011 the summer vocational training took place in 5 districts throughout Karen State. The teacher trainers arrived with certificates for the trainees attending the training. (Mobile teacher trainer) MTT section leader Saw Mu Htee said, "giving the certificates recognizes the teachers who came to the training and shows how much training and on what topics they studied from teacher guide and teaching methods." "We are hoping that after they have finished all of the training for teaching methods, even we couldn't go to their area they will be the brighter for their community and provide the skills to others." He added.
In summer vocational training the MTT group monitored the KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistant Group) which distributed the school materials, observed the parents and the teachers and newsletter, which is distributed to schools and communities.
"For the observing the teachers are two steps, the first step is observing the teacher when they are attending the training and the second step is observing them when they are teaching in the class in the rainy season when the school is open. It's means that we can get the results for how much they learned the skills while they are attending the training and useful for them and how well they can able to use them. if necessary we provide advice and help for them." Mu Hhtee added.
This year because of the situation we had to stop the summer vocational training in two districts which are Meguy-tavoy and Taungoo districts but coming next years it will be available.
The anonymous teacher who attends the training at Dooplaya district from Burmese government school said," I'm very pleased that I am in this training. Even though we are teachers in the Burmese government school we didn't get these kinds of training exactly. We use the teaching methods which are from the Burmese government production books. Also for the Karen Language and political vision that I had learned from the training are all new for me."
In 5 districts the number of the teacher who came to training from Do Th'thu district are 109 teachers, 1 training site, Mutraw district are 173 teachers, 3 training sites, Kler Lwee Htu district are 100 teachers, 3 training sites, Pa An district are112 teachers, 1 training site and Dooplaya district are 53 teachers, 1 training site.>>>Back to top
April 11, 2011
Refugee Children's Culture Festival in Umphiem Refugee Camp
On April 7th, the SVA (Shanti Volunteer Association) organized the RCCF (Refugee Children’s Culture Festival) in Umphiem Karen Refugee Camp. During the event, more than 200 children participated including children from Htam Him and Dong Yang who were selected by their sections. The one day event included games and a puppet show and in the evening, a cultural show.
Ko Ko Maung, a Muslim who brought his child to the event said, "I'm very happy to see my child was selected for this event. The children don't see these kinds of games when they are in the refugee camp." He added, "Our children are getting to know and respect each other's cultures. On behalf of my child, I'm proud to represent ourselves as one of the ethnic groups."
Twelve different ethnic groups including the Karen, Burmese, Arakan, Shan, Mon, Chin, Muslim, Hindu, Gawraka, Pa-O, Kachin and Kayah participated in the event.
This was the third time the RCCF has been organized. The event will also take place in Nu Poe, Mae La and Mae La Oon/Mae Ra Moe camps during April and May this year.>>>Back to top
April 09, 2011
Teachers and Students Forced to Carry Rice
March is a school holiday in Burma after final exam to let teachers and students take break but teachers and students in Kwee T'ma track have to sit exam one month ahead as usual due to SPDC have forced villagers carrying food supply.
Th'ramu Th'lay Say who are teaching at Waw Mu Villlage said, "SPDC gave us food quota to carry for them before we sit final exam as usual year and want the villager to complete it. Therefore, we have to finished one month a head and carrying food for them."
Forcing villagers including Teachers and students to carry food is order by Column 11 commanders. The destination for the food has 3 step to carry. The first step is from Waw Mu to Mae Toe Hta, the second step is from Mae Toe Hta to Kay Kaw and the third step is Kay Kaw to Mae Way military post.>>>Back to top
February 22, 2011
ZOA and KRCEE Will Both Take the Responsibility for Refugee School Buildings
On February 15th and 16th 2011 ZOA and KRCEE (Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) held a meeting to discuss taking responsibility for the repairing the school buildings in all Karen refugee camps during the school holiday on March.
The Regional Coordinator for the two northern Karen refugee camps, Thara Ta k'lu Moo, said, "If we look back, the ZOA contract was already completed in 2010 but they haven’t left yet. The reason is that they have to train the KRCEE as soon as possible so they can take up the work that ZOA had been doing. Also because the work that KRCEE will do should be exactly the same as ZOA had done, they have the responsibility to train them to be able to work by themselves after ZOA stops their work."
In all the previous years in each of the Karen refugee camps ZOA had taken responsibility and fulfilled the needs for the school buildings, school materials and teacher subsidies. Also, they provided the teacher training in the holiday training to prepare the new teachers because many experienced teachers had resettled. In addition, ZOA delivered many kinds of vocational training for refugees’ life development."
Thara Ta K'Lu Moo added, "The KRCEE need to know and understand every single thing that ZOA had been doing first, so that it will be easier for the KRCEE to work and understand the ways that ZOA had done it before taking the responsibility from them. The KRCEE will take the responsibility for Karen refugee education, and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) will take over the VT (vocational training).
During ZOA’s ten years working in education in the Karen refugee camps along Thai-Burma border many things have improved and developed for the students and Karen refugees such as, education systems, life professional training and many kinds of vocational training.>>>Back to top
February 21, 2011
KTTC First Year Students Finish Semester 3rd
The Karen Teacher Training College's (KTTC) first year students finished their final examination on 14th to 15th February 2011. There are semester 1st, semester 2nd and semesters 3rd for the whole year.
Thera Antonio computer teacher said that, “We arranged exams for first year students earlier than the second years because after their exam the first year students have to join summer teacher training in March at Karen State."
All the first students number at KTTC are 36,second years students are 31and the number of the teacher are 8 members. KTTC School is locating in Mutraw District, Karen State and specializes in producing the teachers for schools in Kawthoolei.>>>Back to top
February 11, 2011
After 3 Years a Time for Reflection: KTWG Congress and Election
On January 26th -28th 2011, all the members of the KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) came together for a meeting to reflect on the work that has been done over the last three years. They considered both the weak and the strong points from the past. They then looked to the future and worked on developing a better plan for the next three years. In addition, they completed the elections for the KTWG Central committee for 2011-2014.
The KTWG Congress took place in Karen State at the KTWG's Office headquarter. All sections under the KTWG including KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistant Group), Media and Advocacy, MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainer), KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) and Office Administration joined the meeting.
In line with being a formal organization, KTWG holds a three yearly congress when it also holds the elections for the Central committee. All members of KTWG can vote in the elections for the Central Committee. The current KTWG advisor said, " "At the Congress, our members reflected on our successes and weaknesses over the past years. It is important for the group to recognize our incredible achievements. It is also important not to become complacent in our work but to always look to develop our activities and ourselves."
He added, "My main hope and message form the Congress was that KTWG members look to communicate and cooperate in all aspects of their activities - to not simply look at their specific role but how this role connects with other areas of our work."
On January 27 2011, the KTWG members elected the following individuals to take responsibility for the next three years on the KTWG Central committee: Chair Person Naw Ler Htoo, Office Administration Naw Ruth, KSEAG Saw Ko Lo Htoo, Media and advocacy Saw Eh doh Wah, MTT Saw Mu Htee and KTTC Saw Tha Taw.>>>Back to top
February 09, 2011
Twelve New MTT Graduate
On January 27th, 2011 twelve new mobile teacher trainers (MTT) graduated. The MTT have been based at Hoe Kay, where they were a part of the KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group). They have been studying in Hko Kay for six months.
One of the new MTT graduates, Thara Nay Min said, "The subjects we have studied have made me feel much more comfortable as a trainer as we covered many topics in teacher training, different methods, and a variety of useful teaching skills including those needed for teaching languages and mathematics. The teaching methods class was very useful as now when we go back and teach the teachers, we can help them to improve their planning and classroom teaching. During the six months at Hoe Kay we have made many friends from different parts of the district and township, which is very important and useful for when we will work with them in the future.”
The twelve new MTT represent six different districts. So when they have finished their training they can go back and work for their district or township but they can also feel free to go to other districts and townships.
The MTT section coordinator Saw Mu Htee said, “As the new MTT begin their first round inside, in order for them to be able to understand the community, to have a positive experience and to grow in their understanding of the situation in Karen State we pair each of them with a more experienced MTT.”
The twelve new MTT who graduated are; Saw Hsa, Saw Law K'Lee, Saw Eh Kaw, Saw Aung Min Tun, Saw Nay Min, Saw Aye Tun, Naw Eh Ku Say, Naw Baw, Naw Gay, Naw Jue, Naw Moo Shee and Naw Ye Ye Myaing. The MTT have three cycles in a year when they work in Karen State.>>>Back to top
January 20, 2011
Reducing Numbers of Students, Teachers and Education Workers in Karenni Refugee Camps
A Karenni refugee camp representative reports that, "After the school holiday in Karenni refugee camps in December, schools re-opened and again found fewer students, teachers, and education workers as a result of increased resettlement in our Karenni camps.
A teacher (requested anonymity) who supports local nursery schools said, "In both Karenni refugee camps, I see that most of the students, teachers, education workers and parents are increasingly discontent with their lives in the refugee camps and as such are increasingly willing to resettle to the third country. They feel nothing is improving in their lives. They feel that everything is temporary in camp and that their lives will only begin when they leave."
Similar to Karen refugee camps, resettlement is becoming increasingly popular option amongst the Karenni. As teachers and education workers increasingly long for resettlement, they lose interest in their educational responsibilities and leave their positions.
The teacher added, "We struggle to find replacements for these teachers. We recruit and give them training as needed. We send some of them to other camps for training so to promote and improve their teaching skills and abilities. However, when student numbers drop, we are not able to replace them. The best we can do is to encourage them to work hard for them to improve themselves for their people and for the Karenni education system."
The November 2010 TBBC (Thailand Burma Border Consortium) recorded on report states that there are currently 14,971 people in the two Karenni refugee camps in northern Mae Hong Song province. In August 2007, there were 23, 448 people in the two camps.>>>Back to top
January 01, 2011
Karen Student Network Group's Working Feedback Annual Meeting
KSNG held its Annual Meeting between December 27 to 29, 2010 to review its accomplishments and progress made during 2010, and to plan for the upcoming year. The meeting was held in Mae La Refugee Camp and was attended by all members of the group.
KSNG Office Manager Naw Victoria Baw said, “On December 27th, we shared our experiences with one another.The meeting also involved the Unity Seminar’s decision to campaign the youth in refugee camps.”
We had our KSNG's once a year meeting on 28th and 29th.
"There are more than 50 people in total that attended the meeting and they are Phadoh Saw Sae (representative of the NGO), representatives from community base organizations, KYO, KWO, organization's counselors, representatives from Mae La Oon Camp, Mae Ra Moe Camp, Mae La Camp, Um Phum Camp, Noe Poe Camp, Mu Draw District, E Tu Ta Camp and KSNG's central committees," she added.
Saw K Shee, who is an in charge of KSNG IT and Design said, "In our meeting, we have organized a specific plan for future activities; to stabilize our past effors, to upgrade working facilities and to reorganize all the members that are scattered around to show the re-unity of KSNG.”
KSNG was established on July 6th, 1996. KSNG’s splinter groups include Mae Kaw Kah, K'saw Wah Lay, Mae La, Hso Klow, Htee Hkaw Kee, Wah Kah, Pho Bhaw Lay, Htee Sae Mae Ywar, Bled D Wae, Mu Draw students network groups and KSNG central students Network group.>>>Back to top
December 30, 2010
KTTC Students Paticipate in Their First Fieldtrip
From December 3rd - 20th, first year students at KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) participated in a fieldtrip in Karen State. They traveled to Mutraw district, Lu Thaw Township, both the North and South sides, and Bu Tho Township. The purpose of the fieldtrip was to build stronger relationships with local schools and communities, compare theory with reality, learn different educational processes and exchange experiences with local communities.
Naw Day Ku Paw, a first year student said, "We went to places I had never been before. The locations, schools, students, teachers, local authorities and communities were all new for me. I'm very pleased with my first trip, as it gave me a chance to experience the communities we visited. I'm glad that I was able to reach these communities and we did many things to exchange our experiences."
During the fieldtrip, the KTTC students and teachers were divided into two groups. One group went to Lu Thaw Township’s North side and the second group went to the South side of Lu Thaw Township and to Bu Tho Township.
Saw Hen Nay Lwen, a first year student said, "For me, I got to go to Lu Thaw Township’s North side which meant we had to cross the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) car road. I was not afraid because the precautions we needed to take to reach our destination were clear. It was like I imagined it and the experiences have stayed with me even after I returned to KTTC. I have seen the life of the Karen people in their communities. Even though there is starvation, and life development is difficult because of the unsuitable conditions, the communities are trying hard and take responsibility for their education and other social systems.”
The KTTC fieldtrip takes place every year in December with the participation of first year students and teachers.>>>Back to top
December 18, 2010
Heart Disease Kills a Student
On December 13th, 2010, Naw July Paw, a 17 years old student who had heart disease, died from a heart attack in Mae Sot. Naw July Paw was in the 8th standard in Hsa Thoo Lei school in Mae Sot.
Thara Lah Set, a computer teacher at Hsa Thoo Lei school said, "All the teachers are disappointed because Naw July Paw was very clever, obedient, respectful, honest and tried hard in her studies. As her teacher, I could see she was very social and good at making friends and always cheerful and gentle to her teachers. So, her death has made me very sad and it has been difficult for me to teach lately, or to enter the class that she has used to study in with her friends."
Naw July Paw was born on July 18th, 1993 in Kler Lwee Htu district, Karen State. She was a student in Kler Lwee Htu district at a Burmese government school until 2009. After that, she came to Mae Sot to study in Hsa Thoo Lei school and had just finished her first examination when she died.>>>Back to top
December 13, 2010
December Holiday Gives Karen Teachers the Opportunity to Attend Training
From December 6th to 10th there were exams in Mae La Oon refugee camp following a one month study break for students. During this break, teachers had the chance to receive methodology training in the respective subjects.
Thara Mu Bway Gay Thein Maung, the education coordinator in Mae La Oon, said, "Our education committee and teachers discussed the issue of teacher qualification and then we asked KRCEE (Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) to help us to improve the quality of our teachers in each of the academic subjects. We decided to provide subject methodology training during the December holiday."
Since 2006, there has been a intensive resettlement program in Mae La Oon refugee camps. It has caused a lack of human resources in schools and the entire refugee population. As experienced teachers continue to resettle to 3rd countries, new, inexperienced teachers are asked to replace them which has lead to the eroding quality of schooling provided to the children.
Thara Mu Bway Gay Thein Maung said, "Many experienced teachers have left from the Karen refugee camps. Some new teachers are not able to teach their own subjects properly - Science and Mathematics are particularly problematic. We don't have any trainer in the camp who can train the new teachers. So, during the holiday, we will organize training for grade 7 to post-ten teachers who teach Science and mathematics. Also, if necessary, we will organize training in other subjects."
There are 5 high schools, 1 middle school, 2 primary schools, 7 nursery schools and 1 Non- Formal Education school with a total of 6901 studetns and 311 teachers in Ma La Oon Refugee Camp. (It should be noted that in the Karen area, 'High Schools' include students from KG to Grade 12 and 'Middle Schools' begin at KG and go to grade 9)>>>Back to top
December 06, 2010
2010-2011 2nd Examination in Refugees Camps
A source from KRCEE (Karen Refugees Committee Education Entity) has reported that between the 6th and 10th of December, there will be 2nd examination administered in schools in seven refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Thara Mu Bway Gay Thein Maung, education coordinator in Mae La Oon camp, said, "Last week every school in the camp will give students the time to review the lessons they have learnt before they take the 2nd examination. Also, we are inviting camp leaders to come and give students encouragement and support them in their preparation for the examination."
A source from the KRCEE explained that there is no specific time schedule for the seven refugee camps to administer the examination, but that each camp will administer the examination as best fits their situation.>>>Back to top
November 30, 2010
Schools Closed Due to Ongoing Fighting
On November 29th, 2010, some schools were closed in areas where there has been fighting between the DKBA (Democratic Buddhist Army) and the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council). The closed schools are: Palu, Mawker, Mae Wa Khee, Yathayt Gu, Ler Kaw, Waw Lay, Maw Ker Hta, Maw Khee, Maw Poe Klo and K'law Gaw.
Th'ra Eh Ku, headmaster of the middle school in Tay Baw Boe, said, "We have kept our school open even though some other schools have been closed. We are monitoring the situation and will decide whether to close or not. Due to the fighting, some parents aren't sending their children to school, so the student attendance numbers have decreased."
A source from the KIC (Karen Information Center), reported that 2000 villagers who escaped the fighting by fleeing to Thailand were sent back to Burma by local Thai authorities.>>>Back to top
November 25, 2010
Conflict Continues to Impact Civilians' Workd and Schooling Time in Dooplaya District
The civilians from Dooplaya district are still facing the impact of fighting between the State Peace Development Council (SPDC), Democratic Karen Buddish Army (DKBA) and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). The SPDC are increasing the number of their soldier in the KNLA’s and DKBA's control areas. The SPDC is using torture to force local villagers to work as porters and carry their ammunition and other soldiers' supplies for the front line. Due to this villagers have big problems finding time to harvest their crops.
P'Doh Canady, who is an Education coordinator for Dooplaya district, said, "We haven’t really had this kind of situation before. But this year, especially after the election in Burma, SPDC came and attacked immediately. I can see that although some of the schools are now reopened, most of the students seem like they are not really enjoying school and are unable to concentrate on their studies.
Thara Ko Lo Htoo, KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistant Group) coordinator, explained, "In Kaw T'ree Township, in the Eastern part of Dooplaya district, there are some schools that have been closed after distribution of teachers' subsidies last week but now whether or not these schools re open, we still have problems to content with.
The fighting between armed groups makes it difficult for civilians to pursue their livelihoods and brings uncertainty to education within the conflict areas.>>>Back to top
November 23, 2010
KSEAG Completed Distribute Annual Subsidies to 3650 Karen Teachers
KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistance Group) began distributing teacher subsidies in the middle of October until the middle of November. 3650 teachers from the 7 Karen State districts were received annual subsidies from KSEAG.
The process of distribution was divided into two steps. The first step included 3 days workshop to verify teacher statistics with district, township and village tract education leaders. Additional training was provided to local leaders and the distribution team. Following the first step, funds were handed over to the distribution team. Local Education Leaders took the role to monitor and evaluate the distribution process. During the second step, monitoring team members went to the distribution sites where teachers and school committee members met them. Sites were selected throughout Karen State to ensure that teachers and school committee members needed to walk no more than one day.
Naw Wah Wah Poe Khin, KSEAG member who went and participant with distribution sites in northern Karen State, said, "I can sense in my mind that the teachers living in Karen State really struggle for their students’ Education. I see and realize that even though received a small support for their work, they keep it as very valuable. Even though life is very difficult, those teachers are trying really hard their best for the Education for the next generation."
In the 2010-2011 academic year, there are 4667 teachers in Karen State, of which 3650 receive support from KSEAG. The remaining 1017 teachers are receiving support from other organizations and individuals.
KSEAG coordinator Thara Ko Lo Htoo said, "Last year we supported 2500 baht for a teacher but this year we support 3500 baht for a teacher. Actually, for this year we aim for a teacher should be 4000 Baht but it has been impossible because the exchange rate became lower. Anyway, for next year, we aim to reach our goal even teachers are increase or decrease. The distribution is going well.There have been no disruptions as of yet. There are just some places in Dooplaya and Pa.an which were complicated due to the current political situation following the ‘election’."
KSEAG distribution members will return in December, with up to date information. This information will be used to prepare for the school material distribution in February. Any extra teachers who require additional support and assistance will receive this during the school material distribution.>>>Back to top
November 19, 2010
Schools Reopen in Thai-Burma Border Area
Since November 15th, IDP and migrant schools along the Thai-Burma border reopened following the outbreak of fighting between DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) and SPDC (State Peace Development Council) forces following the ‘election’. Saw K'Shee, who is temporarily based in Thailand, said, "Now, the schools have reopened. But on the Myawaddy side (Burma), schools are still reorganizing themselves. On the Thai side, is everything has become normal. Also, the Friendship (between Mae Sod and Myawaddy) is available for travelling."
In Myawaddy, the situation has significantly improved which has meant that almost all of those who fled into Thailand have now returned. However in areas near Sangklaburi, there are many schools that have yet to reopen due to ongoing fighting in the area. Saw K’SHee added, “Schools which are located in Kya-in and adjacent to Sangklaburi near Three Pagoda Pass cannot reopen yet. The school principles are still afraid that SPDC will fire big weapons on or near the schools. T'Ka Hkee school was hit by SPDC already and that's why they need to re-build it”.
Some schools have were only closed for one week but others remain closed indefinitely as SPDC and DKBA skirmishes continue. The guerrilla wars between DKBA, KNLA (Karen Nation Liberation Army) and SPDC will continue as SPDC are still coming into ethnic areas.>>>Back to top
November 17, 2010
Post-ten Students Exchanging Program Inside Karen State
On November 13th, 2010, Karen Teacher Training College (KTTC) students had skill exchanging program with post-ten schools in E Tu Ta camp. In this program, KTTC school, E Tu Ta high school, E Tu Ta new generation post-ten school and Kaw La Hey post-ten school were involved.
KTTC second year's students Saw Eh Ya Naw said, "I have learnt many things from this exchange. We also know more about the other school how they are running, managing and teaching styles. Also, we have known more about the schools activities."
This program was aimed for the students to be able to built up their fellowship for the good things between the schools and in their society, all the teachers and students to have the ability of sharing their experiences and skills that they have, and to be able to gain things over their cooperation.
Antonio, who is a teacher in KTTC said, "We have an arrangement for all teachers who represent each school to give speech to the all the students about the aim of these fellowship and skills exchange in the evening of 12th, and right after that in night time, we have the plays and presentations from every school for fun", "On 13th, we have different kind of game competition from each school" he added.
Among the many different plays of KTTC, skills, experiences and opinions exchange are included sharing to the other schools and let them know how KTTC's condition and movement are. In this 2010-2011 school year, this 4 schools exchanging program is going to be the first time.>>>Back to top
November 15, 2010
SPDC Launched Mortars Kills Student
SPDC launched mortars from their bases into several villages during the recent fighting with the DKBA(Democratic Karen Buddhist Army). One student, named Naw Dah Paw, a 17 year old 10th grade was killed and 4 other people were injury. T'Ka Hkee, Ka Lee Hkee, Mae K'Daw from Noe T'kaw township, Duplaya district were affected by attack.
The SPDC troops started firing mortars into the villages on November 8th. The troops fired more than ten times in the morning on November 8th with 81mm mortars, on November 9th, they fired more than 50 times. The shelling destroyed T'Ka Hkee school, one house, some lemon groves and several farms.
P'doh Saw Kennedy, an education coordinator of Duplaya district pleaded with deep emotion and said "I felt too bad with this kind of thing happening, it is a time for children to go to school but they have to stop schooling so most of the students are being separated. The SPDC troops think the DKBA and KNU soldiers might be around or inside the villages that's why they shoot the mortars. But the aims of the SPDC not only want to target their enemy but innocent people too."
During the fighting, some villagers were fleeing to Thailand while some were still hiding in their villages.>>>Back to top
November 10, 2010
Border Schools Closed Due to Unstable Satuation Fighting Between DKBA and SPDC
On November 8th, 2010 at 8:45 fighting began between the SPDC (State Peace Development council and DKBA (Democratic Karen Baddish Army) on the border area. The fighting has caused schools to close and many people including students and teachers have fled as refugees to Thailand.
A source from Radio Free Asia reported that the Thai Authorities asked the NGO (Non Government Organization) run schools (and some NGO offices as well) on the border to close.
Saw K'Shee who is temporarily based in Thailand said, "As I know there are lots of teachers, students and members of the public who are coming to Mae Sot. Schools on both sides of the border have closed. As I’ve heard, the schools in Mae Sot will be closed for 2 or 3 days, but in Myawedy I don't know when the schools will open again."
There is also fighting in Three Pagoda town which is close to the border area. In Hko Thur Pler, one monastery school, two high schools and many primary schools are closed and the teachers, students and public have fled to the Thai side of the border. There have been two days of fighting between SPDC and DKBA on the 8th and 9th of November and this has caused more than 30,000 people to flee their homes in Burma and come to Thailand as refugees.
Currently, in the Myawaddy town, the people who fled to Thailand are ready to return to their homes in Burma, but there is still no news about when their schools will reopen.>>>Back to top
November 08, 2010
Solar Panels Stealers Were Arrested By Thai Police, Included Student
On November 6th, 2010, Thai police arrested six refugees for stealing solar panels from Thai villages. The group of arrested refugees including a student who is studying in No. 3 high school in Mae La Oon Camp. All of the arrested refugees are living in Mae La Oon, and are a mixture of long-term residents and new arrivals to the camp.
Naw Thoo Lei Paw, who is the KRCEE (Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) primary education secretary, in discussing the worsening behavior of camp youth, said, “I don't really have so much evidence so I can't say exactly, but actually the only things that we can say is today is that our youth are influenced by society around them, and this includes their friends. Before, most of our youth were living in their own society, but now they experience a change in life styles when they are arrive in the refugee camps and are also living among other ethnic groups. So, this is the main reason that youth are changing their behavior as they are exposed to the influences around them.
Saw Hsar Mu Aye La, (18)years old, Saw Eh Nay 18 years old, Saw Nay Hta Gay 21 years old, Saw Klo Wah 17years old, Saw Wah Say 24 years old and Saw Paw Wah 40 years old were involve in the incident. The incident was take place at Klo Dat Hkee village, Htee Ler Baw village and Mae Sam Lap village.
"The news we have from camp is that there were eight refugees stealing solar panels who could be arrested, but two of those were actually informants, and so six were arrested and the two informants ran away and have still not returned to camp" added Thara Kaw Wah, Mae La Oo camp leader.>>>Back to top
October 28, 2010
Hkeh Der School Re-opens for the 2010-11 Academic Year, But with Fewer Standard
Hkeh Der school has re-opened for the 2010-2011 academic year, after the school was destroyed by the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) last year. Although Hkeh Der school has re-opened, it has not been able to continue teaching the 6th and 7th standards, as it did in the previous year. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the SPDC burnt Hkeh Der school, also burning the school’s dormitory and school materials. The school was destroyed just before the 2009-2010 examinations.
Thara Nay Htoo, the head teacher of Hkeh Der School and also an ATT (Area Teacher Trainer) said, "In past years our school went until the 7th standard. But, this year we have to reduce it until the 5th standard. We aren't able to keep teaching the higher standards like last year because we now have fewer teachers, no school materials and no textbooks for the students. We have problems now in the 2010-2011 academic year, because the students don't have text books so they need to copy them which slows down their studying. Also, for the teachers, it is difficult for them to make good lesson plans without teacher guides.”
Thra Nay Htoo added, “The parents who have been supporting their children’s education are very disappointed. I always encourage them to participate in their children's educational development and to support Hken Der school as well. As I'm a school head teacher I know how difficult it is for parents to support the school, but if we don't wake up and work for education, no one else will work for us. So if we don't work for our school, it will be lost."
Kler Lwee Htu District Education secretary Thara Hkay Nay Ywa said, “In Kler Lwee Htu district, we are trying to develop our education system in participation with our community members to be able to teach higher standards and raise the quality of education, especially for the primary schools. But it does seem like we have to rebuild what we have already done in past years. I feel bad about this, but there is nothing I can do. This trouble is all because of the SPDC’s actions.
Hkeh Der Middle is located in Kler Lwee Htu district, Ler Doh Township, Hken Der village tract, in Hken Der village. In the 2009-2010 academic year Hken Der school had 7 teachers, 75 students and the school went up to the 7th standard. In the 2010-2011 academic year, there are 75 students, 6 teachers and the school goes up to the 5th standard.>>>Back to top
October 27, 2010
SPDC to Build a Dam in Ler Doh Township, Teachers and Parents Unable to Harvest
There is recent news from LerdohTownship, that the SPDC will build another dam in the township on the Thae Law Klo river. Thara Wah Say, who is Lerdoh Township’s education coordinator said, "Now is the time for harvesting as all of the rice in the farms is ready, but there is no time for our teachers and student’s parents and other villagers to harvest the rice. This is because the SPDC is forcing the villagers to sweep the area for mines and clean and prepare the place for the dam without paying them anything."
The SPDC will remove the villagers and local people from the area when the dam is completed. They will use the dam to generate hydropower and take advantage of the river. Already, the SPDC have set up their camps and placed their troops close to the planned site of the dam to establish security for the foreign engineers who will carry out the actual construction of the dam. Thara Eh Ku Soe, education coordinator of Hsa Htee Township said," The situation is that the SPDC will kill us and make us lose our land because of their dam. The SPDC have already built one dam in the area, Kyat N’Gam dam, and the result has been that so many areas used by local people in the past, including villages, farms and fruit gardens have been destroyed and are now underwater. Now the SPDC will build up another dam so, we do not dare to think what troubles we will face in this situation."
There are strong indications that the new dam is now ready to be built, because material for the construction of the dam has reached the area and a great deal of money has already been spent in preparation. Also, many local villagers have been forced by the SPDC to help prepare the dam site. At this time, however, there is no information about when actual construction of the dam will begin. >>>Back to top
October 22, 2010
BGF Gold Mining Business Forces School to Close
A source from Du Tha Htoo district has reported that K'ser Poe village primary school, which has been serving the village since 2007, has been forced to close due to the BGF (Border Guard Force) (formerly the DKBA) mining for gold within the area.
P'doh Saw Pee Lu Ku, head of the Karen Education Department, Du Tha Htoo district, said, "The cause of this schools closure is the DKBA (many people are still using the BGF's former name) mining for gold along the Mae Klei Klo river and placing many troops in the area to support the mining. They (the BGF soldiers) force six villagers every day to work for them as potters. The villagers can no longer live with these conditions. Therefore, most of the villagers have relocated their homes to Zee Gone, Mae Pray Khee and Kwee Baw Lo villages. Due to the fact that there are only four household left in K’ser Poe village, the student ratio is not enough to cover the costs and it is difficult to find a teacher in the village. I don't think the school can reopen this year or even in the next few years."
K'ser Poe village is located in Mae Pray Khee village tract, Belin Township, Du Tha Htoo district and had more than 30 households before they relocated.>>>Back to top
October 19, 2010
SPDC will Send their Teachers to Community School
In September and October during the 2010-2011academic year, the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) have asked for permission from the local tract authority to send their teachers to Klaw Hta school which was ran by the community. Villagers, students and teachers can't go to the SPDC School because the DKBA is logging the area and has placed landmines around the school. Thra Lwee Gay who takes responsibility of Mu Traw District as a joint
secretary and is at the same time a member of the MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainers) said, "Since the beginning of the school year, students and teachers have not dared to go to school because of the SPDC’s and DKBA’s landmines. Actually, they set placed lots of landmines around the school, but the local authority still can't find
all of them. Therefore, parents are not supporting their children to go to school. For that reason, the SPDC has taken advantage of the situation and is willing to build their school in that area. First, they asked permission from the local tract leader, but the local tract leader sent the request it to the township level and township level sent it to the district level, but they haven’t give any decision yet.”
The SPDC has the specific plan to build up the school and give support for the students’ materials and school’s equipment and also teachers’ subsidies as well. The SPDC will choose the teachers themselves, from their own members.Thra Lwee Gay went on to say, "This is a very exciting time for discussion and negotiation on this issue. On the township and district level we have not agreed with this pushing our Karen teachers away and sending their SPDC teachers to build up the school. If we are going to agree with this, it will cause a bit of a problem for us because it means the SPDC will send more and more of their members to take control of the area. After that, our people will face with many kinds of problems with the local economy. Also our children will find it difficult to learn in an SPDC school. We already know that if we accept this now, the situation will get worse and worse."
Klaw Hta School is located in Mu Traw District, Bu Tho Township, Mae Nu village tract.>>>Back to top
October 18, 2010
Burma Army Based their Camp Close to School, Left Students and Villagers with Fear
Since April 2010, there has been an SPDC army camp with troops located close to Htee Wa Bway Hkee school. This has caused a problem for the villagers who must Walk close to the camp to search for food. Village children are also finding it very difficult because they are afraid the SPDC troops will shoot them when they are traveling to school. Each month the SPDC are increasing their military activities
and attacks in that area. The purpose of the SPDC building a camp in that area is to make it easier for them to find villagers and force them to labor in camp, as porters, and as mine sweepers.
Thra Nay Kaw, who is a member of the MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainers) and responsible for teacher training in that area said, "Actually, I have been there quiet a few times in the past with no problems, but lately, I haven’t been able to go there. I have seen many parents and villagers who are afraid of the SPDC soldiers when they must travel in that area to look for vegetables."
Htee Wa Bway Hkee school is located in Kler Lwee Htu District, Hsaw Htee Towship, Htee Wa Bway Hkee village tract. The school is beside Htee Wa Bway Hkee village.>>>Back to top
October 15, 2010
Teacher's Day Postponed Due to Influenza
The Teacher’s Day celebration scheduled for the 1st week of October in Mae Ra Moe and Mae La Oon refugee camps has been postponed due to the Influenza outbreaks in the camps.
Saw Taw K'lu Mu, KRCEE (Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) northern representative said that the Teacher’s Day celebration was planned for the 5th of October, but because the Influenza outbreak has spread across the camps and especially to the school’s area, Teacher’s Day has been postponed. He added, "On the 8th of October, Mae Ra Moe refugee camp successfully celebrated Teacher’s Day but Mae La Oon will celebrate Teacher’s Day on the 20th of October if the disease’s spread is under control."
A source from KRC (Karen Refugee Committee) said that the decision stopping outsiders from traveling to the camps since the 3rd week of September was re-visited on October 14th and subsequently has been re-opened.>>>Back to top
September 27, 2010
Influenza Spread Causes Schools to Close
A source from Mae La Oon Refugee camp reports that a serious strain of influenza has spread across the camp over the last week forcing schools to close. Saw Toe Ma, a teacher at Mae La Oon No. 1 High School said that, "People started to get influenza last week and since then it has spread quickly. Children are especially susceptible and schools are places where influenza can spread easily and quickly. For this reason, we have closed all schools in Mae La Oon Camp. The time to reopen schools will depend on our ability to contain the spread of the influenza."
There are 5 high schools, 1 middle school, 2 primary schools, and 7 nursery schools with a total of 6901 students and 311 teachers in Mae La Oon refugee camp.>>>Back to top
September 20, 2010
Karen Youth Empowerment Post-Ten School Program available in Mergui-Tavoy District
On September 6th, 2010 a Karen Youth Empowerment post-ten school was opened in Mergui-Tavoy district by the Karen Youth Empowerment committee and Cultural and Traditional Development committee. The purposes of the school are to support Karen youth to maintain their own culture, traditions, language, behavior and build connections with the community, and unite participants as they prepare for work and their future lives.
Pa Doh Nay Gay Kaw who has the responsibility of being Mergui-Tavoy’s education coordinator as well as the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) committee chair said, "This is the first post-ten school in our district. We haven’t had any post ten school like it before." Also, he added "We are hoping for the youth to be able to participate in the community and work for the Karen nation. Also we provide an opportunity for learning and hopefully they will pass those skills on to the community too."
The core subjects taught in the school are: Karen culture and traditions, Karen politics, Burmese politics, and Karen history. Additional courses include: leadership and management, law, human rights, observation and critical thinking, community development, English and computers. The maximum number of students is 20 and there are currently 19 students and 3 teachers (from the YEP committee). At this time the YEP committee are looking for more teachers such as Karen youth leaders, teachers from border area also from abroad. They are also inviting volunteers from any nationality to work at the school.
Studies will take place over one year. The first 8 months of study will be at the school and the other 4 months will be practical work in the field. >>>Back to top
September 13, 2010
Teachers Chosen to Monitor Ballot Box
A source from the Karen Information Center, for the 2010 election on November 7th, the SPDC (State Peace Development Council) have chosen the teachers from Du Th'Htu District, Belin Township to monitor the local ballot boxes.
Teachers who are teaching in Belin township in villages such as Shwe Yam Pyam, Doun Yam, K'Dee Pu and Ho Th'Nay were given the responsibility of monitoring the ballot boxes by the SPDC. On September 15th, those chosen to perform the role of ballot box monitors must go to the Belin Township to attend training.
One of the teachers from Du Th'Htu District, Pa An Township said, "For Pa An township, the SPDC gave us the duty to monitor the ballot boxes for each village, but as for the training we haven’t heard anything about it."
Also, a teacher from Hkaw Poe Plei village, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said, “As for monitoring the ballot boxes in Htee pa Doh Hta and Hkaw Poe Plei, we don't know anything about it. Nobody has come to give us any information about ballot box monitoring in these villages.”
The 2010 SPDC election is only a little more than one month away. The process of planning and persuasion is already quite far along and the SPDC have already given us many duties related to this, but exactly how they will organize the voting still hasn’t been discussed in public. >>>Back to top
September 09, 2010
Schools Force to Closed by Dam's Water
In August, a dam from T'Nay Pa(Shwe Gyin Chaung), Karen State, the water were over flood on the land surface and there were three school which was located in T'Nay Pa, Kyauk Na Gar and Tha Yek Chaung force to closed. There were some hidden villages included Htee Kay Hta, Su Mu Hta, Hse Hsone Gone, Po Lo, Hko Hka Lo, Nya Mu Kwee and K'hsaw Wah Kwee were force to move to the highest mountain to escape themselves and approximately 5000 villagers are becoming Water Refugee. Saw Eh K'Lu who live in Hsaw Hti Township said," Since this August, the water is start flooding at those areas and start over take the land, the land which is getting benefit by local villagers have been lost, destroy and underwater. More than 10000 acre includes Rice farm, limes gardens, Dogfruit gardens and other resources are have been underwater right now."
T'Nay Pa Dam was built Since 2002 by SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) which invited the engineers from China and started to open the Dam's doors in this year. SPDC is hoping to raise water level to 200 Cube Meter. >>>Back to top
September 04, 2010
KSEAG Completed Collecting Schools Information
Karen State Education Assistance Group (KSEAG) has been collecting Karen State Schools' profile information since August. This process is now completed and the data has been collated. Soon, KSEAG will provide teachers’ subsidies to the Karen State teachers for 2010-11 academic year. Saw Kolo Htoo, a coordinator of KSEAG said, "This year, we are planning to distribute teacher subsidies a little earlier. Last year, we distributed the teacher subsidy in November but we are planning to distribute from the 3rd and 4th week of October until the 1st and 2 week of November this year."
The number of schools in Karen State increases every year. Saw Kolo Htoo added, " The number of schools in the seven districts has increased by thirty this year. This shows that communities are eager to reduce illiteracy in Karen State."
The school statistics for the 2010-11 academic year will soon be available for release.>>>Back to top
September 01, 2010
KRCEE Survey on Post-ten Schools in Refugee Camps
KRCEE(Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) has conducted a survey on post-ten schools in 7 Karen Refugee Camps and 2 Karenni Refugee Camps since the beginning of August. Saw Law Eh Moo, a secretary of KRCEE explained, "We are surveying post-ten schools in the refugee camps to find out how many post-ten schools are in a refugee camps, which curriculum the schools use and the impact of using different curriculums, to be able to work closely and effectively in the future."
He added, "We are preparing ourselves to look after those post-ten schools and work together with other donors after ZOA(Zuid Oost Azie) leave in 2012. After completing the survey, it will be easy to provide information about the schools when new donors want to get more details about a school."
The survey has been completed in Htam Hin, Umpian, Mae La, Mae Ra Moe, Mae La Oon, and Karenni Camp #1/2. The survey in Nu Poe refugee camp will be carried out in the first week of September. There has not been a post-ten school in Daung Yan refugee camp up to now.>>>Back to top
August 28, 2010
KRCEE Evaluated Methematic and Science Curriculum
From the 16th to 27th of August, 2010 in Mae La refugee camp, KRCEE (Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) which is taking responsibility for Karen education in the 7 Karen refugee camps in Thailand, are reevaluating their curriculum materials, such as in mathematics and science. KRCEE primary education secretary, Naw Thoo Lei Paw, said, "When we had our education meeting in 2007, everybody agreed to evaluate the curriculum materials each year. Also, in 2008-2009 we provided the curriculum materials, but at this time we are reevaluating them and considering how to improve them for the future."
During July, KRCEE had already created the curriculum syllabus for mathematics and science for the primary level, but the secondary level materials will be done by the end of August.
She added, "We still have many syllabuses to do. For the English syllabus we just finished grade 1, but for grades 2 -12 we use the old syllabuses. Actually, our aim is to complete the social study syllabuses for grades 1 -12 in October. Also the Karen syllabuses, grades 1 -12, will be done in September.”
KRCEE has been working with ZOA(Zuid Oost Azie) for many years in education for the 7 refugee camps in Thailand, but in 2012, ZOA will hand over the education work to UKDF (U-Sa Khanae Development Foundation) and the vocational work to ADRA(Adventist Development and Relief Agency).>>>Back to top
August 27, 2010
Celebrated Wrist Tying Ceremony Throughout Karen Refugee Camps and Karen State
Yesterday, Karen year 15.08.2749 (26.08.2010) was the lunar full moon day and Karen people all around the world celebrated the Wrist Tying Ceremony. (To learn more about Karen history click on these links) (http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs3/karenmuseum-01/ or http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs3/karenmuseum-01/History/migratory_period.htm),
The wrist tying ceremony has been celebrated since at least 2017BC, when Karen people started to move from Te Sat Mae Ywar(Mongolia).
As it was recognized as a special day, all the schools were closed and celebrated the Wrist Tying Ceremony. Thara Hgay Po Hai, who is a secretary of Karen Education Department and once an animist for 24 years said" This Wrist Tying Ceremony was mostly celebrated by the animists. But now, all Karen people celebrate and it is a great opportunity for families to gather once a year, regardless of religion".
The ceremony was widely celebrated in the Refugee camps either. Thara Ka Lay, who is a headmaster of No (1) high school in Noe Poe camp said, "We planned the competition for the students on this special day to make the students to know and respect their own culture and customs. We set up Poetry competition about the Wrist Tying ceremony for grades one through six, essay writing for grade seven to twelve and for the public, there is an article writing competition”.
He added, "in the past, some people think that this day was a religious ceremony, but now, it's been changed. For me, even I though am a Christian; the Wrist Tying day was a cultural gift that was left by our ancestors and not religious". This special Wrist Tying Ceremony was also celebrated for the first time in the KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) School in Ho Kay. Over 200 Students, teachers, and local villagers all joined the ceremony for spiritual service.>>>Back to top
August 24, 2010
Higher School Dormitory Fee Causes Karen State Students Leave Classes, and Seek Education in Refugee Camp Where They Face Food Shortage
A source from Duplaya District said some students who attend SPDC(State Peace and Development Council) schools were forced to end their schooling due to too higher dormitory fees. The new dormitory fee is about 230,000 kyats.
P'doh Sa Canady, who is in charge of Duplaya Education Department said, "This kind of issue happen mostly in Waw Raw Township. But the dormitory fee can be reduced to 150,000 Kyats if the students cook and wash their clothes by themselves. Because of the high dormitory fees, I could see that 70% of students had stopped their schooling and when I found out the real situation, it was because they couldn't pay the dormitory fees."
Karen State students who could find a way to come to the refugee camp are now facing a problem with the food supply.
Naw Poe, an in charge of Nu Poe Education, who looks after Karen State Dormitory Students said, "The Students who enter the refugee camp in 2010 don't get any food supplies, which are provided by TBBC (Thai-Burma Border Consortium). Therefore, we have to find any possibility to get food for them. Due to this consequence, some students have left the school and returned back to Karen State."
Even though the students don't get any food supplied to them, they still receive other supplies such as school uniform, umbrella, tooth paste/brush and soap provided by COEER (Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees).>>>Back to top
August 23, 2010
All Schools From 7 Karen Refugee Camps Sit the Exam for the 2010-11 Academic Year
All the schools in the seven Karen refugee camps finished the first academic exams for the 2010-11 school year during the week 15th to 19th of August.
Saw Say Pa Htoo, an education coordinator from Mae La camp said, "KRCEE (Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) set up an exam week schedule for us; however, it became necessary for us to adjust the timing as during the planned exam week some schools and students had to confirm their registration or get their food quota from the TBBC(Thai Burma Border Consortium). Therefore, we had to postpone the exams for some schools to another week."
Some Refugee Camps needed to adjust the timing for different reasons. Naw Poe, a coordinator of Education from Nu Poe refugee camp said, "We require two weeks in which to complete the exams due to a shortage of classrooms in our camp. The exam rules state that a maximum of two students may sit at one table for an exam."
KRCEE sets up academic exams three times per school year. The first exam session is in August, the second is in November and the final exam in March. >>>Back to top
August 21, 2010
Encouragement Between Karen Youth Leaders and Students in Regfugee Camps
From August 10th – 14th, representatives from KYO (Karen Youth Organization), KSNG (Karen Student Network Group), KORD (Karen Office of Relief and Development) and KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) went to Mae Lo Oo and Mae La MaLaung refugee camps to encourage camp youth to participant in community field work for their community’s future at a time when many camp residents are resettling to third countries.
The aims of the meeting were: for the youth studying in the camps to build stronger connections with and gain encouragement from youth leaders from Karen CBOs (community based organizations), to get to know more about the current political system, and to learn more about schools and the lives of students and teachers living in Karen State. Camp youth were also able to gain general knowledge and have an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers from Karen youth leaders about issues including: Burma’s 2010 government election and the KNU (Karen Nation Union) role in politics today.
During the meeting, the secretary of KYO, Saw Rocky Ku Pee T'Ka said, “The main reason that we are here is to encourage the youth who are studying now so that when they finish their studies they will participate in the work that we are doing for the community, especially now that, due to resettlement, there are so many empty positions in Karen CBOs in the Thai-Burma Border area. That's why, at this point we are trying to inform camp youth about the situation happening in our community right now and give them some more encouragement. "
In this meeting it was particularly important for the youth to learn more about the nature and work of Karen CBOs. To support this, each of the organizations represented at the meeting clearly explained about themselves and their activities and suggested ways in which camp youth could participate in future. Just as the KNU set up the 7th Unity Seminar to discuss important issues and make decisions concerning the future of the Karen community, KYO and KSNG need to take responsibility and follow up the issues raised with camp youth during this recent meeting by traveling to each of the remaining camps and further encouraging NGO and CBO participation. >>>Back to top
August 18, 2010
Mae La Library Number 5 Re-open Ceremony and Mother's Day Celebration
One of the six libraries in Mae La Camp was badly damaged in a fire on 8 May 2010. The fire had started in the KYO (Karen Youth Organization) building but had spread rapidly to #5 library, which is in Zone C. After this incident the SVA (Shanti Volunteer Association) received support from some Japanese citizens to renovate the library, and to transform it into a half-permanent building. The renovation was started in mid June and completed on August 8th.
The opening ceremony of the library was held on August 10, at 10:00am. There were more than ninety participants from different organizations involved in the celebrations: including a MOI (Ministry of Interior) representative, Shanti Volunteer Association(SVA) Asia Regional staff, Camp Committee members, Camp Education coordinators, library committees, TYV (Toshokan Youth Volunteer), library camp base staff and some SVA national staff.
The ceremony started with a speech from Mr. Yagisawa San, the SVA Asia Regional Director and the representative of MOI. He said “We were saddened by the fire damage to the library, and we felt its loss for the three months it was closed. However, with the support of Japanese citizens and many people in the camp, we are now delighted to be able to re-open it today. For our physical development we need food but for our mental development we need stories, so we hope that many children will come to the library and enjoy both reading and participating in library activities with their friends.”
On August 14, the library was also used for Mother’s day celebrations in Mae La camp. Two hundred and sixty-six participants took part in the festivities including Camp residents, the UN-Japanese Embassy representative, IOM's representative, KYO's representative and many children. Ms. Jiraporn, the SVA Project Manager for Thailand attended the event. She said, "After the ceremony, the children thoroughly enjoyed listening to stories, watching the TYV puppet show and joining in with many other activities. There were also many children simply enjoying the opportunity to read books by themselves".
Mae La camp libraries are supported by MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affair-Japan) and UNHCR. >>>Back to top
August 09, 2010
DKBA's Mining and Logging Business Forces Schools to Close
A source from Dwe Loe township said four DKBA regiments (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, regiments #333, #666, #777 and #999) are setting up their camps in Kwee Day Law, Wa Thoe Kla and Mae Tae villages, forcing schools to close. Saw Kaw Khee La, a head of Dwe Loe Education said, "For security reason, DKBA troops are placing landmines everywhere while they are doing mining and logging along the Mae Klae River bank. Villagers fear stepping on a landmine, forcing villagers to relocate to other villages."
According to the 2010-11 Dwe Loe township school statistics collected by KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistance Group), there are 279 Teachers, 6192 Students and 90 schools in the area, three of which were forced to closed.
>>>Back to top
August 04, 2010
KTTC Monthly Competition
On July 31, 2010, KTTC (Karen Teacher Training Collage) organized the second monthly competition for the students; this month it was a debate competition. The title of the debate was "Education is More Important than Health"
KTTC Head Master Thra Tha Taw said "From my perspective, it’s good for the students to have a competition like this which encourages them to express themselves clearly. The competition also helps develop their skills in public speaking and defending their arguments and builds their confidence. Although in reality Education and Health can be considered equally important, the exercise of having to debate the importance of one over the other encourages the students to develop their ability to think and speak critically and they learn from each other during the competition.”
During their time at KTTC, students participate in many activities which support them to consider different perspectives on the same issues. A first year KTTC student who competed in the debate competition said, "It was a first for me. Before I’d never been in a competition like that. Actually, I like this kind of competition because it teaches us to speak bravely in front of a group, learn from each other and learn about the debate topic."
The school has organized monthly competitions every school year and this was the 2nd competition in the 2010-11 academic year.>>>Back to top
August 02, 2010
Th'dah Der School Reopen
Saw D'gay Junior, The head of Mutraw District’s Education Department said Th'dah Der School which was burnt by Burma Army MOC#10 (Military of Command) will continue classes within the week.
He said, "We cannot fully guarantee security in the area, but we also don't want students to miss classes. Therefore, I ordered the tract and township leaders to rebuild the school in a safe area."
Th'dah Der village was burnt by LIB (Light Infantry Batallion) 361 and 370 on July 23rd 2010, totally destroying the school, the church and the village houses. >>>Back to top
July 27, 2010
Villagers Flee Fearing Possible SPDC and DKBA Attack But Thai Authority Ask Them to Return Home
On the 25th of July 2010, about 500 Karen Villagers fled across the border to Thailand from Wa Mee Hta, Lay Gaw, Hsone Hsee Myine and Thay Baw Boe villages after news spread of a possible attack by a DKBA and SPDC alliance.
The villagers have now returned to Burma, but their future security is uncertain.
This has affected education in the area and the 4 villages’ schools have had to close indefinitely.
The incident occurred after DKBA's Brigade #5 Brigadier, Saw Lah Pwei (Hnakan Mway), rejected the SPDC's Border Guard Force (BGF) proposal for a joint attack. Although Saw Lah Pwei did not agree to join in the attack, the rest of the area DKBA forces did accept the SPDC’s proposal.
The area news source reported that the villagers fled in fear after Brigadier Saw Lah Pwei ordered village heads to protect against the possible attack from the DKBA and SPDC alliance.
Naw Silia Paw, a Karen Women Organisation (KWO) staff member who was in the area helping the villagers said, " Soon after we arrived in Thailand, Thai soldiers showed up and asked the villagers to return to their villages."
She added, "The Thai soldiers told the Karen villagers that there is no sense in them fleeing from Burma to Thailand when there is no attack, but that they could cross the border anytime if an attack does occur."
>>>Back to top
July 25, 2010
SPDC Burnt Village and School
On 23.07.2010 the SPDC Troop (State Peace Development Council) burnt down the Th'Dah Der village during the night. P'Doh Pa Gaw who is responsible for that area said, "The SPDC troop stayed at the village until yesterday, 24/7/2010 and at 11:00 PM they started to burn the village, schools and Church. The SPDC troops left when they had burnt down all the houses in the village."
On Wednesday, the villages got a message from the local security that SPDC troops were entering Th'Dah Der village. “This was why we closed the school and now we have no idea when we will be able to reopen our school again”, reported P'Doh Pa Gaw.
According to our school records for 2010-2011 there are 12 teachers and 217 students in the Th'Dah Der village Middle School. >>>Back to top
July 21, 2010
From the 2nd to 16th July, Karen youth from Australia, the Thai-Burma border and Karen State met together, exchanged their experiences and learnt about different Thai-Burma border based organizations' activities. During the15 days meeting, the youth were divided to 2 groups. Group 1 went to learn about Karen community based organizations in the Mae Sot area and group 2 went to learn community based organization in the Mae Sariang area.
Saw Tha Taw, one of the organizers, explained that the aim of organizing the exchange workshop was to encourage Karen youth to learn Karen organizations' activities and to strengthen connections between young Australian Karen and border Karen communities and support them to work more strongly together for peace and freedom.
He added, "Our main aim is to encourage young Australian Karen to return back to border and volunteer with the Karen organizations."
This was the first youth exchange workshop organized by the Australian Karen Foundation (AKF). There were 12 participants from Australia and 12 participants from Thai-Burma border and Karen State, representing the Karen Student Network Group (KSNG), Karen Environment and Social Action Network (KESAN) and the Karen Teacher Working Group (KTWG).
Naw Ei Mer, a young Karen who resettled in Melbourne, Australia said, "It is very valuable for me that I was chosen to participate in this workshop. I'm living amongst a majority of English speaking people and my moral is very low in terms of working for the Karen community. I thought I could never work for my people, but when I came back to visit the Karen community based organizations on Thai-Burma Border, my moral was positively changed. I know now that I can serve my people by working amongst my community."
When asked about the future of these workshops, Saw Tha Taw explained that future youth exchange workshops will depend on the success of this pilot workshop and financial support. >>>Back to top
July 20, 2010
SVA Ornanized Poem Writing and Art(Drawing) Competition
A source from SVA (Shanti Volunteer Association) said that a poem writing and art (Drawing) event successfully took place in the 7 Karen refugee camps. There were two steps in the competition: the first was to write poems and the second was to draw accompanying pictures for the poems. The competition began in February and finished at the end of June.
Th'ramu Say Lar Paw, a SVA project Manager, explained that, "Our main slogan for this competition was 'Make our world better, Make our lives better'. The aim was to encourage young refugee children to demonstrate their skills and improve their thinking abilities by drawing pictures. Another aim was to let promote public awareness about protecting the environment.”
Saw Eh Hser from Noh Poe refugee camp won 1st prize for writing poem while Saw Lah May Say and Saw Kaw Th'blay received with 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively. In the picture drawing competition, Saw Dee Ku Naw from Umpiem Mai refugee camp took the1st prize. Naw Nan Sar Bwa got 2nd prize and Saw Hay Ler from Mae La Oon got 3rd prize. >>>Back to top
July 07, 2010
Monthly Competition for KTTC Students
On July 5, 2010, KTTC (Karen Teacher Training Collage) organized the first monthly competition for the students; this month it was a poem competition. KTTC vice head mistress Thra mu Paw Lu Lu said, "mainly, we organize the competition for the students as we want them to use their skills, critical thinking and their own ability without just learning from the classroom and books. Competing in groups makes them less embarrassed, and helps them to become braver in speaking in front of other people. It gives them a skill to carry into their future life, for the most important thing for them is to sustain our traditions and tell others the positive issues about our tradition and culture through the competition."
There are many activities for the KTTC students to learn from on both the sites during their time in KTTC. Thra mu Paw Lu Lu add, "Every month at KTTC we will organize an interesting competition for the students on many different types of topics."
The school has organized monthly competition every school year and this was the 1st competition in the 2010-11 academic year. >>>Back to top
July 02, 2010
Video Games Negatively Effect Students
In many areas in Burma, students attend extra tuition classes outside of regular school hours to help them with their studies. An extra tuition tutor from Taungoo has reported that at the beginning of June, students from 7th to 10th standards have been doing less homework after playing video games regularly and their overall participation in studies has dropped.
The tutor who wishes to remain anonymous explained, “The students are coming to extra tuition classes less often and when they do show up, they are often late for class. The parents said their children are leaving the extra tuition classes regularly. I have found out that they are going to the video game shop.”
The video game industry is growing rapidly in Burma. Video game shops are becoming more common in cities and towns and are increasingly popular with students. For these reasons, students from Taungoo are spending more of their time visiting video game shops after classes and during lunch times. This is having negative affects on their studies.
A source from the internet (see link below) states that the video game industry is now over 30 years old. In that time, computer technology has improved at a geometric rate. The potential for computers and video games to support learning was clearly recognized in the 1980s when there was a nationwide push in the US to get computers into the classrooms. Unfortunately, computers and video games can also have negative affects on children and young peoples’ learning and attention, especially outside of the classroom. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children not spend more than one to two hours per day in front of all electronic screens, including TV, DVDs, videos, video games (handheld, console, or computer), and computers (for non-academic use).
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0816/is_6_21/ai_n9772319/. >>>Back to top
June 30, 2010
Burma Issues is Supporting Dormitories for Karen State Students
According to a source from Burma Issues (BI), in the beginning of the 2010 school year, the organization has expanded, building two more dormitories in Karen State.
Saw Mort, a member of BI staff said, “Communities have requested dormitories for their students who are living far from villages where schools are located. In response, we have built two more dormitories this year in Nwa Lay Koh village, Kler Lwee Htu District and Nah Yo Hta village, Mutraw District.”
The organization has supported one dormitory since 2008 in Lay Ther Koh village, Mutraw District. A dormitory can accommodate 30 students who are also provided with rice, salt, chilies, soap, tooth brushes and tooth paste.
Saw Mort said that BI also has a future plan to organize storytelling and community libraries for the students in Karen State. In addition, BI is also organizing art (drawing and painting) training in the refugee camps in Thailand and in Karen State in cooperation with the Karen Student Networking Group (KSNG).>>>Back to top
June 29, 2010
Teacher Profiles for the 2010-11 Academic Year Collected by KRCEE
KRCEE (Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) is the organisation responsible for education within the seven refugee camps in Thailand. They have recently completed collecting the camp schools’ profiles for the 2010-2011 academic year. The number of teachers for 2010-2011 in each camp is as follows: Mae La Oon 307, Mae Ra Ma Laung 301, Mae La 468, Umpuim 219, Noe Poe 207, Dong Yan 126, and Htam’ Him 176.
Thara Mu Paw Ku Thay, KRCEE in charge of operation and administration said, “ Although more teachers resettled to third country, we were still able to recruit sufficient replacement teachers in time for the start of the academic year. Therefore, I couldn’t see any gaps compared with last year’s teacher profile. In fact, the number of teachers is even increasing in some refugee camps.”
According to the teachers’ profile collected by KRCEE for 2009-2010, the number of teachers for each camp last year were: Mae La Oon 281, Mae Ra Ma Laung 238, Mae La 547, Umpuim 229, Noe Poe 100, Dong Yan 66 and Htam’ Him 96. These were the teachers who received support from ZOA. >>>Back to top
June 17, 2010
KED Dovelops Teacher to Student Ratio Policy
During the Karen Education Department (KED) Annual meeting held from May 10-12, a number of important policy decisions were taken to improve the overall quality of education throughout Karen State. One of the most important decisions is that schools are expected to have a minimum ratio of 15 students to 1 teacher. This policy will take effect immediately.
Scott, the former Karen State Education Assistance Group (KSEAG) Executive Director explains that KSEAG will follow the new policy when providing education assistance to schools. He said, “In terms of teacher subsidy support, KSEAG will continue to provide teacher subsidies for all teachers – so long as the teacher-student ratio is met. For example, if a school has 4 teachers and 80 students (the ratio being 1 teacher to 20 students) then all teachers will receive support. However, if a school has 4 teachers and 48 students (the ratio being 1 teacher to 12 students) then teacher subsidy support will only be for the teacher number that fits the students (in this case, 3 teachers). In such cases, the subsidies for 3 teachers will be divided evenly amongst the four teachers. It is the responsibility of the school committee to choose how many teachers they will have in their school.”
The fomer KSEAG Executive Director went on to explain that small schools, sometimes referred to as ‘Home’ schools, would need to attach themselves to larger schools in the area. He explained, “Over the past years KSEAG had seen a number of schools with one teacher and only 8 or 9 students. While, in some cases we understand the need for these small schools because of distance and security reasons, it is necessary that they attach themselves with larger schools for proper management of the education system as well as to meet minimum policy standards. It does not necessarily mean that they need to send their students to the larger school, but it does mean that they need to combine their statistics with the larger school’s statistics, share a school number, and receive education assistance as one school.”
The former director concluded by saying, “It is up to local school committees to decide how many teachers their schools will have – to decide themselves what the teacher-student ratio will be. KSEAG will follow KED policy and provide assistance accordingly. I think this is a good and fair policy. This year, we will increase the teacher subsidy that we provide. For most teachers, this will mean an increase in the amount they receive. For schools where the teacher-student ratio is higher than the KED policy, than this increase will need to be divided accordingly. We need all education leaders and teacher trainers to explain the new KED policies clearly to school committees, teachers and parents so that there is no misunderstanding.” >>>Back to top
June 14 , 2010
MTTs Are Heading to Second Cycle
On, June 12, 2010 MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainer) are returning to their own Townships and Districts for their second tour of going inside Karen State. The MTT coordinator Thara Mu Htee said "The plan that we have set up is designed for them to provide the most benefit possible. This time we are hoping that they will be very helpful to the Township and District Education leaders, to advise them, to collect the school profile forms and give them suggestions on their education system based on our experience. Especially, we will be going to meet our community, Schools, Teachers, students and parents as they are located in the remote mountains and jungle and will bring them hope and encouragement of their future."
The main focuses of the second cycle for MTTs is to provide Parent Education to the parents, give teacher training to the teachers, observe teachers in their teaching and if needed give them more advise in their teaching style. We will also be collecting school profile forms and evaluating the Karen Newsletter.
The Mobile Teacher Trainer’s year is divided into 3 cycles, February to April, June to September and October to January. >>>Back to top
June 09 , 2010
Emerging Leader School Closing Ceremony
The Emerging Leader School has recently celebrated its closing ceremony on the 31st of May, 2010. This year’s graduating class of 14 young prospective Karen leaders represent a variety of Karen community organizations including: the Karen Women Organization(KWO), Karen Office for Relief and Development(KORD), Karen Teacher Working Group(KTWG), Karen Women Action Group(KWAG), Karen Environment and Social Action Network(KESAN) and Karen Student Network Group(KSNG).
Graduate Naw Paw Kler who represents KTWG said, “It was very beneficial for me to attend this school. In the past, I didn’t feel confident to stand in front of a crowd and I had never stood and given a speech in front of people. Now, I have gained confidence and experience in public speaking.”
The Emerging Leader School was established in 2008 as a 10-month program of study. The following courses are taught at the school: Karen History, Burmese History, Human Rights, Democracy, Introduction to Gender, Introduction to Economics, Introduction to the United Nations, ASEAN and their policies towards Burma, Introduction to EU and their policies on Burma, Asian Countries and their policies on Burma, Country Case Studies, Policy Making, Public Speaking, Introduction to Media and News Briefing, Research Skills, and English.
Unfortunately, the Emerging Leader School is facing a funding crisis for the upcoming 2010-11 academic year. Tharamu Naw Siyo Paw, a full time teacher at the school explained, “We still have not been able to find any donors who will support the school for the 2010-11 academic year. Therefore, we plan to close the school for one year and re-open again in the next year.” >>>Back to top
June 03 , 2010
KTWG Annual Meeting
On May 27, 2010, KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) had its annual meeting to evaluate the work of the previous year. Each section of the organization was reviewed with both strengths and weaknesses identified and discussed.
Pre-Service section coordinator Saw That Taw said, “It is very important for every organization to evaluate and look back on its processes. It’s means that we can identify our weaknesses and at the same time share our progress between sections and work to be better for the future.”
For the annual meeting, 30 of the 32 member attended. The aim of the meeting is to evaluate every section’s work and provide the means for them to improve their work in the future.
KTWG has a formal structure for the whole organization including individual structures for each section. For the work processing, the Central Committee meet every 3 months with all members meeting once a year for its annual meeting at the end of May. >>>Back to top
June 01 , 2010
3 Groups of KTTC Studnents Graduate and reunion
On May 13, 2010, 3 groups of KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) students graduated with a Diploma. These Diplomas was presented by the KED (Karen Education Department) Chair person P'doh Lah Say. The graduation of the first group was for those who had finished the first two years of study at KTTC and totaled 15 students, the second group of 23 students where for those who had completed two years of study and two years work in the field, (4 years in all). The final group totaling 14 students were for those who had 6 years teaching experience.
Saw Lah Say, a chair person of KED (Karen Education Department) give encouragement to the graduating students in the opening ceremony and said, " As the other country, when the students are graduated like that they government are keep them very valuable for the top, also we are also keep you very valuable for this graduation ceremony. We also satisfy with this because I 'm sure that you will be very thankful to your self and the work that you have done, and keep them very importantly for your self and be proud of your self as you are a graduate person. And the last things I want to say, as we have got a good chance of doing this by our self and we can still do it, it's make us very useful and grateful to us, we don't really need other nation come and do it for us."
Following next day, there were another event took place, KTTC Reunion, the same as last year and also there are 7 District of Education workers are coming and participating to the reunion. In The other side, The KTTC students who were graduated from the last are coming back even their long journey they come and join to the reunion to share their experiences of the teaching life, sharing the Information when they are in their own field work, moreover, to get to know more skills and General Knowledge's from their friends at the reunion.
MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainer) Coordinator Thara Mu Htee said, " I can feel is good because we are now more active than before also this reunion providing to us such as, to built up the strength and energy to the Karen teachers willing to work more of the future, teachers and students are being with the full confidence in their field work because of seeing the good work of we have done with them as a reunion sharing and more over teachers and students are keep the understanding with town ship and District leader in their field work because in this reunion those leaders are participate and realize the situation." Last Year, there was a graduation and two groups of KTTC students were graduated at the same time there was a KTTC reunion. And this year also KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) already provide this Reunion for two years to evaluate the work and the progress of sharing the experience. >>>Back to top
May 25, 2010
KTTC Entrance Exams Completed
For 3 days, between the 18th and 20th of May, the new students attending KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) took their entrance exams. The students are tested in all subjects, with exams written by specialized teachers.
Deputy Headmaster, Thramu Paw Lu Lu said, "We set the exams to establish their ability and knowledge in each subject, having a baseline from which to teach. We are also able to see which subjects they excel in and which they find more challenging. In year 2, the students are divided into 2 groups, Science and Arts, and this will be partially decided upon from these exams."
The students complete examinations in Science, English, Karen, History, Mathematics, Burmese and Geography. One of the aims of the exams is to give the students an opportunity to recall what they have learnt in the past and to identify which areas they need to focus on. It also shows them the standard expected at KTTC and encourages them to try their best.
Saw Hser Moo, a new Year 1 student, said, "I know I have to try hard in my studies. These exams are a bit difficult for me but it is a good way to start my life at KTTC."
Naw Hser Gay Paw, a new Year 1 student, said, "The most difficult exam for me was the Karen language exam, as in my village we speak Karen and Burmese but I was never taught Karen in my school. I cannot read or write Karen, which is why is was very hard for me."
For the 2010-2011 academic year, there are 10 full-time teachers at KTTC, with 34 new Year 1 students and 31 Year 2 students. The Year 1 students are representatives from 5 districts, Kler Lwee Htu, Taungoo, Doo Tha Htu, Mutraw and Doo Pla Ya, whilst the Year 2 students are representing all 7 districts.>>>Back to top
May 24, 2010
Training of Teacher Trainers
From 19th April until 14th May, the BMWEC (Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee) provided training for both new and experienced teacher trainers. The training took place in Mae Sot, on the Thai-Burma border, with 25 participants, included representatives from KTWG (Karen Teachers Workers Group), KED (Karen Education Department) and other ethnic groups, and 3 trainers.
One participant, Thra U Be Poe, from KED, said, "This training was very good as it reminded me of the different ways we learn and this will help me when I give trainings. It also helped me to identify how to organize lessons and trainings, so I feel very happy I could attend this training."
Trainers from WE (World Education) and BMWEC facilitated the training, which focused on teaching skills, subject techniques and methodologies.
Thra U Be Poe also said, "From the training I received here I have developed my skills and when I return to working in the field, I will be able to teach the teachers and the students better, increasing their understanding of lesson structure and content." >>>Back to top
May 23, 2010
Lost A Leg But Still Want to Be A Teacher
Saw Blut Wah, 21 years old, completed his high school education in an IDP camp, Ee Htu Hta, in Karen State, with hopes of attending KTTC (Karen Teachers Training College). On 10th May he arrived at KTTC, ready to learn how to be an effective teacher for his community, representing the Ee Htu Hta area.
Saw Blut Wah said, "No-one from my own village is able to support my application to attend KTTC, which is why I represent Ee Htu Hta camp. I would like to teach in Ee Htu Hta camp for 2 years when I graduate, and then return to my own village to help my community build their levels of education."
Saw Blut Wah was born on July 17th, 1989 in Hto Poe Moe Der village, Bu Tho Township, Mutraw District. He was 11 years old when he entered Standard 1, and during the school holidays, as he was returning from helping his father, Saw Kya Bow, on their farm, he stepped on a SPDC (State Peace Development Council) landmine and immediately lost a leg.
"Even though I lost a leg, I was not sad as I concentrated on continuing my studies, and trying hard even when I faced difficult situations. My parents always gave me encouragement and have supported my studies. When I was offered a place at KTTC, I felt very happy and strong enough to complete the course. Even when I see my new friends, with 2 legs, I do not feel disheartened; I believe that whatever they can do I can do too. I know I will struggle but I will be honest and try to achieve my goal, which is to be a good teacher for the next generation." He added.
KTTC Headmaster, Thra Tha Taw, said, "I believe he has chosen the right school for him, as even though he has lost a leg, he is full of energy to continue his studies. It makes us very happy that he wanted to attend KTTC. He has shown he is capable of, and has the enthusiasm to become a teacher and he reminds us of how important it is that we continue working for the future education of our people."
" >>>Back to top
May 06, 2010
2 Children and 1 Woman Died Whilst Returning Home
On the 22rd of March, at 4:30 PM, Burma Army troops LIB 369, from MOC 10 entered Kaw Hta village, Ler Doh Township, Kler Lwee Htu District and shot and killed 1 woman and 2 children. The incident occurred while Naw Pah Lah a Ko Lu villager who was traveling back from Ler Taw Lu after visiting her parents. Naw Pah Lah’s daughter, Naw Paw Bo, a 5 year old girl and her friend Naw La Pwey, a 37 year old woman died immediately. Naw Pah Lah was shot in the back as she carried her 5-month-old boy, Saw Hta Pla Htoo; the baby was hit in the thigh. The 5-month-old child did not die immediately, but two and a half hours after the 4:30 p.m. attack. Sourced from a Free Burma Ranger internet report. >>>Back to top
May 04, 2010
Refugee Students drown whilst Searching For Shells
On the 28th April, 2010, Saw Ler Htoo, 20, a Grade 6 student from section 7, Mae La Oon refugee camp, drowned whilst searching for shells. The incident took place in Muay River at 9:40am. Muay River is located 4 kilometers from Mae La Oon refugee camp and often students travel there in search of fish and shells during the summer time.
Saw Kaw Wah, Mae La Oon camp leader, said, “The percentage of students searching for fish and shells during the summer time is higher than any other season. It’s easier to search for fish and shells in this season. In rainy season the rivers always flood, making it very difficult for people to search for their favorite food, and we do not hear of people drowning whilst searching for shells and fish during this season. But in the summer, the water level is low, making it easier to cross; but the refugees do not pay attention to the dangers of the strong current, therefore there are many accidents during this time. A week before this accident, there was another drowning in section 1 in the Mae Sariang River. A father and son, aged 11 years old, drowned searching for fish and shells.”
Section 4 Security member, Saw Htay Soe, said, “Many people search for fish during the summer time. We take responsibility to look after them ensure they return to camp safely. But we can’t control them; they find new secret way to get out of the camp.”
On 29th April, 2010, another incident took place in Section 6A. Saw Law Eh Moo, a 1 year old boy, drowned in a water bucket whilst his mother was collecting their rations and his father was asleep. >>>Back to top
April 28, 2010
Burma Army Shot and wounded Ha Toe Per Teacher
On February 23rd, Burma Army LIB 427 which is under MOC 7 entered See Keh Der village and shot Naw Susanna, 27years old, a primary teacher from Ha Toe Per village wounding her in the thigh while they shot dead Saw Ta Doh Wah, the father of Naw Susanna. The incident occurred when the Burma Army, in a surprise attack, were attempting to force villagers to become potters.
Saw Hsit Poe, who is involved in security for that area said, “The Burma Army shoot everyone if the villagers don’t come to face them. They think that all the villagers who run away are Karen Soldiers. In fact, those men are afraid of carrying ammunition for the Burma Army.
After the Burma Army shot Susanna’s father, they bound his legs with chains and killed outside the village.
See Keh Der and Ha Toe Per villagers are located in Kho Khee track, Htaw T’htu township, Taungoo District.>>>Back to top
April 27, 2010
Institute of Higher Education's (IHE) First Graduation
IHE program, which operates in Mae La, Noh Poe, Umpiumai, Mae La Oon and Mae Ra Moe, celebrated their first graduation during the first and second week of April.
Saw Law Eh Moo, a secretary of IHE said, “There were 74 students, from all 5 refugee camps, who were the first graduates from the lower division.”
IHE program was established in 2008 which provides a variety of courses over 2 years. Saw Law Eh Moo added, “We don’t want to extend the course for another year for those students who did not pass the exam. We provided a supplementary program for those students, who then retook the exam.” >>>Back to top
April 21, 2010
Karen Young Women Leadership Students Returned From Their Field Trip
Naw Ta Mla Saw, A school project coordinator said that Karen Young Women Leadership Students (KYWLS) all arrived back to their school compound early in the 1st week of April.
The field trip takes place every year to let the students learn about community daily life; specifically women and children’s needs, then write a report when they come back.
KYWLS students were divided into 8 groups. 6 groups of the students went to Refugee Camps such as Nu Poe, Umpium, Mae La, Mae Ra Moe, Mae La Oon and Ei Tu Hta and the other 2 groups went to Mu Traw and Du Th’htu Districts in Karen State.
Naw Hser Nay Kaw, who comes from Maguy-Tavoy and participated in the field trip to Du Th’htu District said, “ I’m eager to attend this school because I don’t see any Karen Women participating in a Management role. I will act as an active woman leader when I go back to my district.”
KYWLS which is located in Mae Ra Moe Karen Refugee camp was founded in 2001 and 7 groups have graduated to date. Leadership, Time Management, Office Management, Communication Skill, Proposal and Reporting, Democracy, Human Rights, Women Rights, Child Rights, Gender Awareness, Karen Women Organization (KWO) Constitution, KWO activities basic English are taught at the school. >>>Back to top
April 19, 2010
Wide Horizons Finished Their Learning Process in 2009-2010
Wide Horizons school celebrated closing ceremonies on April 5, 2010 with twenty-two students who graduated in 2009-2010 academic year. Those students are representatives of their organizations and different ethnic groups. Their academic course lasted 10 months. For this celebration, there were more than 60 participants who attended the closing ceremony. Dr Cynthia Maung, a director of Mae Tao Clinic gave a speech, “we are happy to come, and we see all of the students have graduated and come from representative of their organization; if they go back to their field that will be strength for their organization”.
Wide Horizons school was established in 2006, so far four groups of students have graduated, and the future life of the school will carry on. Students who apply for Wide Horizons School have an oral test and an interview as an entrance exam. This school does not accept those who represent third country. Each year it takes in 12 girls and 12 boys as students. When students have finished studying at this school, they have to complete a one-year internship for their community and after that they will graduate with a Diploma.
Naw Esther Thein, a graduate from this school, said, “I am happy because I meet with my friends from different places and different ethnic groups. We learn from each other, share knowledge and ideas and cooperate with each other. Sometimes we misunderstand each other because of different cultures and behavior, but we can solve problems by talking to each other and can understand more. I am really proud of myself, because I can deal with different ethnic groups and know more NGOs and CBOs in Mae Sot. In my learning the most useful thing for me was cross culture training because if we don’t understand other cultures we will misunderstand always, for the future it will be difficult to participate with each other”.
Wide Horizons school is located on the Thai-Burma border in Mae Sot. The school is supported by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) with English, project management and computer teachers for each academic year.>>>Back to top
April 16, 2010
Kaw Mu Der School, Kler Lwee Htu District, Becomes a High School
In March 2010, the Village tract leader, school committee, parents and teachers decided to extend the school level up to standard 10. This will be effective for the next academic year.
The District Education Coordinator, Saw Calvin, said, “This school has been running for over 26 years, and during this time there has been a fluctuation in the standards taught. This fluctuation is due to difficulties in finding teachers and as a result of fighting in the area. At this moment, we believe that we can provide a higher level of education to the students.”
The aim is to encourage them to study in their local area and so not to have to travel to refugee camps to finish their studies. Many students from all over the district will be able to complete their High school education in their own district.
Kaw Mu Der School committee leader, Saw Yo Shu, said, “We will try very hard for the school to provide Standard 10 to the students. Whatever problems arise, we will face them together to find a solution. Students will be able to remain in their village whilst studying, and thus enabling them to help their parents in the fields during the school holidays.”
Saw Calvin added, “We are very happy to have this opportunity to support Kaw Mu Der School in providing Standard 10 to students in the area. This is the only school in the district that provides Standard 10. We are very proud of it. We believe the students, parents and teachers will be satisfied with the support that we are offering.”
During the 2009-10 academic year, there were 14 teachers and 253 students in Kaw Mu Der School which currently ran up to Standard 9.>>>Back to top
April 12, 2010
13 Schools in Ler Doh Township Find Difficulities Collecting Their School Materials
On January 2010 SPDC (State Peace Development Council) troops attacked Ler Doh Township, burning villages and schools, causing more than 2,000 villagers, teachers and students to become IDP (Internally Displace people). This has caused difficulties for villagers to rebuild schools and villages in this area. Mr. Saw Wah Say, Educational Coordinator for Ler Doh Township said "I really upset this year, because we are now hiding in the jungle. Also, students and parents are becoming disconnected with each other. It is difficult to corporate with each other, as they have to struggle for their daily life, so it is impossible to rebuild our schools and a place to stay."
Once a year, during the summer, KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistant Group) provides support for all Kaw Thoo Lei schools, including school materials and equipments to, but the schools in Ler Doh Township have been burnt and have not been rebuilt yet. Therefore they have faced difficulties when collecting their schools' materials and equipments. “Now we are still living in the Jungle and we don’t know how to organize the school materials we received to reach us here. Firstly, we need to find a safe place to stay and find food to live on. That's why right now we are not able to take our schools materials." He added.
Due to the SPDC attacks, some schools were not able to provide end of year examinations, but some students were able to take the exam in the jungle. A teacher from Mu Kee School, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “Some students never pass their exams, but due to the situation if we pass all the students they will be happy but we will not be because if they go to another school and enter the higher Standard, they will not have enough ability and knowledge to cope with the work given. This is a big problem for us.”
Newly displaced people living in Ler Doh Township are struggling to build new houses and organize food provisions before the rainy season. >>>Back to top
April 09, 2010
More Students becoming Landmine Victim During Summer Vacation Time
On March 30th, Saw Yo Poe, a 13 year old student from Du Pa Leh primary school in Hsaw Hti township, Kler Lwee Htoo district,was on his way to harvest rice paddy when he stepped on a landmine. Saw Say Boh from KTWG reported, "it took two days to find medical care after he stepped on the landmine. The student is now receiving treatment and will survive.”
Another more fatal incident, occurred in the second week of February in Ta Au Ni village, Bilin township, Doo Tha Htoo district. Two children, Saw Aung Win and Saw Min Oo, both 15 years old, were out hunting for frogs when they found the landmine. Not knowing what the object was, they picked it up and began playing with it. They were killed instantly.
Landmines are littered across eastern Burma. The Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) has organized Mine Risk Education (MRE) since 2006. However, due to the wide and abundant use of landmines by all military groups, the number of landmine cases continues to increase. Saw Peter, a CIDKP’s Mine Risk Education coordinator, explains, “if there is a intensive fighting in an area, you will see more and more land mines. We educate villagers to mark the place that they see landmines – not to handle them themselves. Villagers are told to inform the village leader or village responsible person. We also give first aid training for dealing with landmine victims to the villagers."
During the summer vacation period, from March to May, students are more mobile outside of the village which increases the risk of them becoming the next landmine victim.>>>Back to top
March 26, 2010
Primary level Preservice Teacher Training Opened in Doo Tha Htoo District
On March 16th 2010, the Karen Education Department opened aprimary level preservice teacher training workshop in Bilin Township, Do0 Tha Htoo district (exact location not named. During the opening ceremony, Saw Lah Say, Chairperson of the Karen Education Department(KED) said, "we are still struggling for our basic rights. We have not reached to our goal yet. For a nation to free and develop they require a strong education level."
Saw Per Nu, the district leader, also gave encourgement speech, "The student will gain correct knowledge if teacher has quality skills. The students will not gain correct knowledge if the teachers has poor teaching skills." This is a 3-month training which includeds 30 trainees.
Also, on March 23rd, KTWG organized one of it Summer Vacation Teacher Training workophs in the district (and all of the other districts as well). was also open yesterday 23.03.10 and there are 130 (approximate) participant in the training. 2 training sites were organized in Doo Tha Htoo district (one in Bilin township and one in Th'Htoo township) in which over 130 participants joined. The KTWG workshops focused on Lesson Presentation at the Bilin site and on Parent Education and Karen Language at the Th'Htoo site. KTWG workshops will run for 3 weeks. >>>Back to top
February 26, 2010
KNFEP closes this week after 13 years
Karen Northern Further Education Program (KNFEP), which was formed in 1997 at Mae Kah Khee (Mae Kong Kah) Karen refugee camp, closed their school on 24.02.2010 .
Saw Lah Htoo, Mae La Oon Education Head, who was also a former student of KNFEP, said " Our school which was 13 years old and produced 12 graduation classes, closes this year."
Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity (KRCEE) has re-organized all the post-ten schools in Karen Refugee camps along Thai-Burma Border so that they are able to monitor school curriculum and management. Teachers and administrators of KNFEP will continue to work for the new school under IHE's(Institute of Higher Education) supervision.
KNFEP school was run for 6 years at Mae Kah Khee and then moved to Pway Baw Lu (Mae La Oon) in 2004, when the refugee camp was relocated. >>>Back to top
February 24, 2010
Burma Army Discharge Mortars into School, Students Killed and Injured
A source from the District Office in Mutraw, Burma Army Tactical Operation Command(TOC) #2, Military Operation Command(MOC) #21 and Light Infantry Battalion(LIB) #387 encamped on T'ro Kyoe mountain fired mortars into T'yu Khee IDP(Internally Displaced People) village on the 19th February at 09:47 minutes, mortars hit the school. 1 student was killed and 2 students were injured.
Saw Robin Htoo, 15 years old was killed instantly while Saw Hsar P'trer Htoo, 8 years old and Saw Eh Kaw Taw, 8 years old suffered an injured arm and leg.
P'doh Pah Gaw, a minister of forest ministry said, "Burma Army encamped their troops near IDP villages and they discharge mortars once or twice everyday."
T'yu Khee is a primary school which has 37 students and 4 teachers.>>>Back to top
February 24, 2010
KTTC First year students finish 3rd Semester
The Karen Teacher Training College's (KTTC) first year students finished their 3rd semester final exams on 19.02.2010.
In the KTTC 2009-10 school year, there are 48 students. 32 students, of which 22 are female and 10 are male, are first year students. The remaining 16 students, of which 11 are female and 5 male, are currently completing their second year.
Thera Htoo K'Blar Baw, geography and computer lecture said that, “We arranged exams for first year students earlier than the second years because first year students have to join summer teacher training in March.”
KTTC school is locating in Mutraw District, Karen State and specializes in producing teachers for schools in Kawthoolei.
February 23, 2010
DARE Organized Ultimate Frisbee Tournament For Refugees Students
Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education (DARE) Network organized an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Mae Ra Moe refugee camp on the 20th February. More than 100 students from Mae Ra Moe and Mae La Oon camps participated in this tournament.
Saw Law La Say, DARE coordinator said, "This is the second time now we’ve organized the tournament. We also had a tournament last January. The slogan for the tournament, 'Reducing Drug, Alcohol and Violence', was chosen by refugee students."
DARE youth from Mae Ra Moe Section 7-A won 1st prize, while DARE youth from Mae La Oon took 2nd prize in the tournament.
Frisbee tournaments will also be organized in different Karen Refugee camps, such as Dong Yan, Noe Poe, Umpiam Mai and Mae La in the second and third week of March.
DARE Network is a grassroots national NGO. DARE provides culturally appropriate, non-medical treatment and prevention education to reduce substance abuse and associated social problems within the communities of the displaced ethnic people from Burma, along the Thai/Burma border. >>>Back to top
February 19, 2010
133 IDP Students Flee Attacks but Still Sit Exams in the Jungle
133 students whofrom Htee Nya Lee Day middle and Htee Baw Hta nursery school who were forced to flee Burma Army attacks in early February joined together to finish their school year and sit their final exams under the trees in the jungle.
Saw Baw Boe, from the Free Burma Rangers (FBR), said, "This is exam season, even though teachers and students are hiding in the jungle, they still manage to sit their exams. Perhaps, they will finish today (02-18-2010)."
He went onto to explain, "LIB (Light Infantry Battalion) 362, 363, 366, 367 and 368, which are under MOC #10, have been attacking Kwee Lah and Keh Der village tracts since early February. 11 schools with more than 500 students have become displaced and most of the schools won't be able to sit their exams." >>>Back to top
February 18, 2010
417 Refugees Return to Burma
Karen refugees who have been living in Au Thu Hta temporary refugee camp have been returning to Burma since the beginning of February. There are 1,460 refugees living in Au Thu Hta camp of which 417 have returned to Burma.
A local leader, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, "It was the refugees own decision to return to Burma but they received pressure from the Thai authorities. The authorities did not allow them to leave the camp in search of vegetables, which is their second main food source after rice. Therefore how can you stay where you are unable to gather food for your families."
He added, "Over half the refugee who returned to Burma were students and children.">>>Back to top
February 18, 2010
FPC will use IHE curriculum
A source from the DHE (Department of Higher Education) said, FPC (Future Preparatory Course) which is based in Htam Hin Karen Refugee Camp, will begin using the IHE (Institute of Higher Education) curriculum at the start of the new academic year, 2010-2011.
Saw Law Eh Moo, secretary of DHE said, "We are happy FPC will be using the IHE curriculum as it will help towards providing a standardize Post-10 education for all refugees in the camps. It will also assist KRCEE (Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity) in monitoring the schools throughout the refugee camps."
"Over half the post-ten schools in the camps are not following the IHE framework and curriculum. Due to this high percentage we will organize a meeting in April with post-ten school principals and discuss how we can cooperate better in the future with those who are not using the IHE curriculum." Added Saw Law Eh Moo.
The IHE curriculum contains General English, Reading and Writing, Social Studies, Science, Math, Karen (compulsory), Thai or Burmese, Orientation for Higher Education, Philosophy of Education, Physical Education and Computer skills. >>>Back to top
February 16, 2010
COPE traning for KTTC year 1 students
From February 8th to 11th, 1st year students from KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) were given the opportunity to study 'Creating Opportunities for Psychosocial Enhancement'. Naw Ku Htee Paw, from Dooplaya District said, "I have never heard of this topic before and I never knew the importance of "creating opportunities for psychosocial enhancement'. I know that pre-service teachers learn about teaching skills, but with additional topics such as this I believe we will be better prepared when we graduate.”
One topic taught within the COPE training is Human needs, which is divided into three sub-topics; materials, relationships and psychosocial. Naw Ku Htee Paw added, "I learned about what humans need and what we have to do to take care of our students, parents and even our teachers so that the entire community has a better understanding of what is necessary to promote education."
"This is the second time that I have taught at KTTC. Last year, I taught 'Creating Opportunities for Psychosocial Enhancement' fro the first time, and I was also developing my understanding of the students’ behaviour. This has helped me improve my teaching this year. If there is a chance, I would really like to come back to KTTC again.” Said, Th'ramu Naw Kelly. She added, "All the students were very eager to learn and listened carefully. It was wonderful as we had many discussions focusing on different educational issues during the evenings.” >>>Back to top
February 10, 2010
Forced Refugee Families Traveled Back
"3 Karen refugee families, who were forced back to Burma at the beginning of February, returned to Thailand on the 9th February." said, Naw Tamla Saw, vice-secretary of KWO (Karen Women Organisation).
She said, "Yesterday morning at 08:00am, 3 households containing 13 people, traveled back safely to the Thai side."
Today, KWO secretary office announced that the 3 returning households, with 9 children, received a warm welcome from the local communities.
A local leader, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, "As the Thai authority doesn't allow people to return, we have to find an alternative way to help the returning refugees. At the moment, we face a large problem to provide food for these refugees, and I am continuing to contact possible supporters."
He added, "3 of the children were studying when they were forced back across the border and at the present time are unable to continue their studies." >>>Back to top
February 10, 2010
Burma Army continues to Attack Ler Doh Villagers, 12 Schools Forced to Close
Burma Army, MOC (Military of Commander) #10 with 200 forces attacked Htee Nya P'tay Khee, Htee Mu Hta and K'dee Mu Der villages, in Ler Doh Township, for 4 days, beginning on the 3rd February, burning down 53 houses, including 12 schools.
Sonya, Partner Relief and Development Coordinator said, "Our staff, who are in the area, confirmed this morning that 80 households, estimating 15,000 people, are hiding in the jungle."
She added, "The Burma Army is still active in that area."
The Burma Army attacked Keh Der village track during the third week of January and have now extended their territory to Khei Kar Kho and Kwee Lah village tracks.
According to KORD's (Karen Office for Relief and Development) 2009 annual population report, there are 2000 people in Ler Doh Township.>>>Back to top
February 9, 2010
SVA Organised Children Culture Festival in Refugee Camps
SVA (Shanti Volunteer Association) organized a Children Culture Festival in Mae La, Umphium and Noh Poe refugee camps during the first week of February. Mae La was the first refugee camp to participate in the festival, with Umphium and Noh Poe following in subsequent days. During the day, where the slogan was 'Peace', games and drawing took place, with a culture show in the evening.
Ms. Jiraporn, SVA project Manger, said, "SVA conducted an Asian Children Festival in many countries over the past few years, including Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. When the festival was organized in Thailand children from refugee camps were not able to participate as the Thai authorities did not give them permission. Therefore, we organized the event in the refugee camps for these children."
She added, "In the future, we hope to organize a Refugee Children’s Culture Festival where they can be proud of their backgrounds and learn ways of preserving their traditions and cultures. It will also give them an opportunity to respect other ethnic groups within the refugee camps.”>>>Back to top
February 3, 2010
MTT Completed Computer Training
From January 25th to 30th, MTTs (Mobile Teacher Trainers) studied one week basic computer training. As this was the first time for many of them, the training dealt with how to turn on/off the computer, developing typing skills and how to used Microsoft Office
Th'ramu Sarah Paw, a MTT from Duplaya District said, "We studied once in 2004 but because we don't really use computers all of our skills were gone. But from now on, we will have training every time when we come back to MTT's center office so that we can use these skills when we write our reports.”
Due to problems with the generator, MTT were only able to practice for 1 or 2 hours although the training was meant to be the hole day.
Th'ra Wai Htoo, MTT Paan District said, " That was a good opportunity for us that we had 1 week computer training before we go back to our area. I hope that we will have a chance to learn for the entire day so to improve our computer skills next time we come back.”>>>Back to top
February 1, 2010
ZOA said ADRA Will Takeover VT Projects
Saw Kelly, the Program Manager for ZOA Thailand, said ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) will begin taking over the VT (Vocational Training) in camps in June 2010. The process of handing over the projects started last year with the developing and signing of a Partnership Agreement Framework and followed with series of meetings between the two organizations. He said, "In June we will start working together, with ZOA acting as the advisors of the projects and ADRA taking the management and implementation roles. We will work together until 2012 and if ADRA are able to, they will take over all aspects of VT by the end of 2011."
Since starting VT programme in 2003 with camp communities, ZOA has organised training in sewing, hair cutting and hair dressing, stove making, cooking and baking, clothes weaving, basket weaving, auto mechanics, radio mechanics, black smith, tin smith, carpentry, agricultural and animals raising, computer training, music, and elderly and child care, to over 18,000 refugees.
Th'ra Saw Eh Htoo, Coordinator of Cooking, Bakery and Child -Elderly care said, "We started Vocational Training in October, 2007 and I have trained over 1,000 refugees in the skills of cooking, bakery and Elderly and Child Care. But most of the trainees have resettled to a third country. Therefore, I have to train new people (ToT) again and again."
He added, "In the past, we gave the people who completed the training only a certificate which was provided by ZOA and Camp VT Committee. But during the past 2 years, we have been able to provide the graduates with certificates from Thai VT Colleges, which means they have graduated at an international standard, giving then recognition for their studies."
Saw Lah Hay, Assistant Coordinator for ADRA, said, "We are still in the process of collecting information. We enter the camps together with ZOA staff and interview VT trainers, trainees and some refugees to discover what ADRA can do to improve the Vocational Trainings to make it more beneficial for them. When ADRA officially take over from ZOA, all funding and VT courses will be organised by our staff." >>>Back to top
January 29, 2010
KTTC students Complete Teaching Practicum
After completing their first observational practicum in September, 2009, Year 2 students at KTTC are in the process of undertaking their second practical practicum, from 18th January until 12th February in Mae Nu Hta, Ma Han Lu, Hko Ka, Paw Ka Der, Wam Klo and Ee Htu Hta schools. Those students who are confident in their subject knowledge are able to choose the subject taught. Saw Nay Hla, a Year 2 student, said, “I have chosen to teach mathematics as I enjoy the subject. When I set the homework, all the students are able to complete it, which make me feel satisfied I have taught well. Before we arrived at our schools, we had to practice our chosen subject with our friends, to ensure we had the relevant knowledge and understanding of the subject ready to teach.”
The aims of the second practicum are to compare the theory learnt in the college with the real situation; to develop the relationship of the students with the community and school students; to increase the students’ confidence before becoming a qualified teacher and to raise the students’ awareness of the real situation in the villages.
KTTC Advisor, Thara Htaw Lwei Moo, said, “This is part of the 2 year teacher training course and they will be graded on their performance. This grade will be included in their final year grade, so they have to work hard.”
During the practicum, KTTC staff visit the students to observe them teaching their specialised subjects. Mathematics teacher Tharamu Paw Lu Lu, said, “When I observe the students, I realised they can teach and where lesson plans need to be improved we work together to do so. I noticed some students have problems with classroom management, building a relationship with the students, writing a relevant lesson plan and choosing appropriate teaching methods. We are able to offer them support and help to develop these skills.”
Naw Eh K’Myee, who chose to teach English, said, “When my teacher came to observe me I felt nervous and embarrassed. I believe the observations are beneficial to us as we can learn from them as when we go back to our areas, there will be little support for developing our skills.”
KTTC Headmaster, Thara Tha taw said, "Every year, Year 2 students participate in the practicum, to build their knowledge and experience before they teach in their districts. “Now and in the future, all Year 2 students will participate in their practicum to prepare them for their future.” >>>Back to top
January 27, 2010
KTWG Quarterly Meeting
On the 21st January, 2010, KTWG (Karen Teacher Working Group) held their quarterly meeting where all project coordinators reported their last 3 months' activities and they planned their activities for the coming 3 months. As each project was reviewed, only a few activities were identified as not successful. All project coordinators agreed to improve the quality of their activities for the coming 3 months. To be able to work more effectively, MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainers) will recruit more field staff and an Assistant Project Coordinator. KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) will find a full time teacher for Math's, Science, Burmese and Geography, to ensure the high quality of teaching continues. KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistance Group) will develop how the Education Leaders, at District, Township and Village Tract level, work together during distribution. All Center Committee members have agreed there needs to be a minimum of 3 news articles uploaded to KTWG's website a week, to encourage readers and new donors.>>>Back to top
January 25, 2010
Golbal Border Studies in Noh Poe Refugee Camp
A source from IHE (Institute of Higher Education) said in June 2010 there will be a new post ten school in Noh Poe refugee camp.
Saw Law Eh Moo, a secretary of IHE, said, "In February, the students from every refugee camp, will sit the GBS entrance exam and only 15-20 student will be accepted. There will be no race discrimination but the students must have graduated from 10th standard or a post ten course." The students who graduate from the school are required to serve in their community for at least 1 year. There will be foreign teachers in the school and 6 subjects are taught in the first year; Human Rights/ Human Wrongs, Human Development & Culture, People & Power, History of Equality, Global Geography and a First year Research Project. During the second year the students will learn about Peace & Justice: Restorative Approaches, International History of the 20th Century Borders, Citizenship, Multi Ethnic Societies: Western approaches to the Problem, Social Identity and a Final Year Research Project.
Saw Law Eh Moo said," It is good that the students have the opportunity to learn higher education and develop their understanding about international education. It is also an opportunity to connect all post ten schools in the refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border, as in the past there was none. For example, the students will get the same certificate as students who are studying management in other camps."
World Education will fund the school and the curriculum, from Dundalk University in Ireland, will be adapted to fit the needs of the students.>>>Back to top
January 24, 2010
Taungoo District Selected an Additional Education Leader
Taungoo, a district in southern Kaw Thoo Lei, has been greatly affected by SPDC (State Peace Development Council) attacks since 2006, and as a result most of the Districts departments have collapsed, including the Education Department. As SPDC continues to attack most departments have still not been rebuilt.
“To find a new Education Leader is very difficult as they need experience, ability and commitment.” Thra Eh Wah said, the Coordinator of Internally Displaced People in Taungoo District. He added, “Our current Education Leader is becoming old and is not able to work full-time; therefore all leaders from Taungoo District have agreed to rebuild our Management system and we have selected an additional Education Leader, who will work alongside our existing Education Leader."
Saw Way Htoo, who graduated Standard 10 in Taungoo District, then completed a Post-10 course in Mae La Oon Refugee camp and taught in the camp for over a year, was selected as the additional Taungoo Education Leader on 15th December.
School profile forms, collected by KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistance Group), show there are currently 20 schools with 33 teachers and 640 students.
Thra Eh Wah said, “These schools are all in Htaw T’Htu Township, but we also have schools in Daw Pa Kho Township but no-one collected their school profile forms to register with KSEAG. Now we have an additional Education leader hopefully he will be able to collect the forms and submit them for the 2010-2011 academic year.”>>>Back to top
January 22, 2010
SPDC burn village, Includes School and dormitory
On the night of Sunday January 17, 2010, the Burma Army's Military of Command #10 (MOC) attacked Hkeh Der village which is in Hkeh Der village tract in Kler Lwee Htoo district. Fortunately, Karen authorities were able to warn parents, teachers and students who were able to flee into jungle night before the attack. The Burma Army burnt all the houses including the school dormitory.
Saw Steve, secretary of the Committee for Internally Displaces Karen People (CIDKP) said, "SPDC (Burma Army) troops are still currently active in nearby villages. Villagers, teachers and students throughout Hkeh Der village tract are still hiding in the jungle."
This latest Burma Army attack has left more than 1000 people from Rgeh Der village tract internally displaced in the region. >>>Back to top
January 21, 2010
KTTC Students Participate in their First Fieldtrip
Every year First year students at KTTC (Karen Teacher Training College) participate in a fieldtrip. This year 30 Year 1 students and 5 teachers began their fieldtrip, which would last for 3 weeks. They traveled to Yaw Mu Plaw and Tay Mu Der Village tract, in Lu Thaw Township, and Pa Het Village tract in Bu Tho Township, visiting Htee Haw Lay Kho Middle School in Ya Mu Pler Village tract, Th’Dah Der Middle School in Tay Mu Der Village tract and Toe Thay Der Middle School in Pa Het Village tract. When the students arrived at the schools, they were able to exchange their experiences with the students. When planning the trip, Village tract leaders were contacted to ensure parents, teachers, students and leaders were aware of the KTTC students' arrival and met them.
KTTC Head teacher, Thra Tha Taw said, “This year I am so happy with the fieldtrip, even though I have walked so far to get there, I am not tired as I am able to see the students and local community, students, teachers, parents and local leaders, enthusiasm for the program. Everyone was cooperating and interested in what was being learnt. Therefore I am very happy with this trip and know we have helped to make a positive impact on the Education for the Future.”
The purpose of the fieldtrip is to build stronger relationships with local schools and communities, compare the theory learnt with the practical, learn different processes throughout the fieldtrip and exchange experiences with local communities.
Saw Tun Oo, a first year student, said, “I have learnt so many things from the students, teachers, parents and local authorities. They have given me encouragement, shared experiences with me and told me of the real situation they face. This has really benefited my life as I have seen the real situation in schools and communities.”
During the fieldtrip, teachers and students bring small gifts for the schools, students, teachers and communities they visit. It was a fantastic opportunity to exchange skills and expertise.>>>Back to top
January 7, 2010
Mutraw District Education Department Will Distribute Student Health Provisions for the 2010-11 School Year
Mutraw district education leaders have agreed to provide health provisions to the 14,885 students in their district for the 2010-2011 academic year. Of the 3 townships in Mutraw District, Lu Thaw and Dweh Lo townships will start to provide school health directly to their schools, but, in Bu Tho township, where schools are near existing clinics, medics from those clinics will continue to take responsibility for the students.
In November 2007, the Karen State Education Assistance Group supported by the Karen Department Welfare and Health department began providing basic health provisions, such vitamins A and B and deworming medicine, to students throughout Karen State. While this process started off smoothly in other areas, education leaders in Mutraw district were hesitant to distribute health materials directly to students for risk of overstepping their mandate. P'doh Dee Gay Jr., the Mutraw district education leader, explained:
"At first we thought that health can be provided only by health workers but during the District quarterly meeting, the District Department Health coordinator explained a variety of health issues to us. We realized that the majority of children who need health care are students, therefore we now recognize the role teachers can play in providing this care."
Saw Gyi Gyi, the Karen Health and Welfare Department secretary, said:
"The student health program provides de-worming and vitamin A tablets to all children. The medicine is distributed at the beginning of the academic year, where teachers are in a position to oversee the distribution to ensure all children receive the correct dosage. We (KHWD) only have a few members who are able to visit and distribute these medicines to every school. Therefore our plan is to provide primary health care, not treatment, through KSEAG and facilitate 2 day workshops to the teachers to enable them to manage and hand out the medicine appropriately."
During Karen State Education Assistance Group workshops in October and November 2009, health workers provided basic health training to district, township and village tract education leaders. The health workers will also provide training directly to Karen State teachers during the summer vacation teacher training workshops in March and April 2010.>>>Back to top
December 3 , 2009
KSEAG Completes Distribution of Annual Subsidies to 2955 Karen State teachers
KSEAG (Karen State Education Assistant Group) began distributing teacher subsidies in mid October until the end of November. At this time 2,955 teachers, from 7 districts, received support from KSEAG. All teachers supported by KSEAG received 2,500 Baht for the 2009-2010 academic year.
The process of distribution is divided into two steps. The first step was providing a workshop to clarifying teacher statistics with district, township and village tract education leaders. During the three day workshop additional training was provided, and the teachers' subsidies were given to the education leaders. During the second step, education leaders distributed teachers' subsidies to every teacher in Karen State.
Saw Kaw Kee Lar, Dwe Loh township education leader said," This year we are very satisfied because all education leaders participated in this workshop. In the past, only districts and townships leaders met with KSEAG staff so we had a small problem with community education members as they did not fully understand the distribution processes. This year village tracks education leaders participated in this discussion, so they now have a clear understanding about work activities. We believe that in the future the cooperation will getting better and improve."
MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainer) and ATT(Area Teacher Trainer) are also involved in the second step of distribution and monitoring. To distribute teachers' subsidies to each teacher in Karen State, Area Education Leaders work with MTT's and ATT's, who monitor and evaluate the distribution process.
There are 3,981 teachers in Karen State, of which 2,955 receive support from KSEAG. The remaining 1,026 teachers receive support from other organizations and individuals.
Saw Ko Lo Htoo, KSEAG Assistant Director, said, "The second step of distribution includes checking the teachers statistics to make sure all teachers are supported, either by KSEAG or other organizations and individuals. If teachers receive assistance from other organizations which is more than KSEAG support we will provide no additional support, but if they receive less than KSEAG support we will provide them with additional assistance."
KSEAG distribution members will return in December, with up-to-date information. This information will be used to prepare schools materials for distribution in February. Any extra teachers who require additional support and assistance will receive this during the school material distribution.>>>Back to top
School Numbers Soar in Karen State Despite Political Deterioration
KTWG and the Karen State Education Assitance Group (KSEAG) have noticed a significant jump in the number of teachers, students and schools from the 2008-9 school year to the current one. KTWG has seen an average 5% increase each year since they began providing teacher training and education assistance throughout Karen State in 2001. However, KTWG's Education Assistance leader says that "the dramatic increase in school statistics this year was a surprise to all of us, especially given the increased presence and military activities of the DKBA and Burma Army which led to tha fall of Pa.an district and increased displacement throughout most of Karen Sate."
When asked to explain the increase, he said, "It is complicated, but I believe there are two central reasons. The first is that we have seen the return of schools that had closed over the past couple of years due to SPDC land encroachment, most notably in Taungoo district where 47 scools had been closed in 2007. The second reason is that schools in mixed controlled areas, especially in Dooplaya district, have seen the benefit of training and education assistance that comes from contacting Karen authorities. As such, these schools have registered themselves with the Karen Education Department. It is this second reason which has led to the greatest increase in school statistics for the 2009-10 school year". >>>Back to top
Schools Closed Due to the SPDC Attacks in Mone Township
Since early October, the Burmese Infantry Battalion 39 and Light Infantry Battalion 599 started to attack five village tracts, Kwee Koh Kor, Kyaut Pyar, Thet Baw der, Yor Kee and Htee Ler Baw Hta, in Mone Township, Kler Lwee Htu District. Saw Steve,Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) secretary said, "All of the schools in these areas have closed. However, some schools, which were prepared, were able to keep teaching whilst they are hiding in jungle." According to CIDKP reports, more than 3000 villagers had to flee from their villages to stay in jungle, where they face many difficulties, including illnesses such as colds, diarrhea and malaria. The KNU reports that 207 farms from the 5 village tracts were destroyed during these attacks. >>>Back to top
KTWG Trainers See Increase in Parent Involvement in Education
Mobile Teacher Trainers began their second cycle in the field in June until September. They have returned to Hkoe Hkay area to receive additional skills and prepare for their third cycle, beginning in October. During their time visiting schools, they had observed many more parents willing to be involved in their children's education and cooperation between the teachers and parents has improved since participating in Parental involvement in education training held in March.
A MTT from Doo Tha Htoo, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, "I predicted and planned for 200 parents to attend my Parental involvement in education training, but when I gave the training, at 3 different sites, more than 400 parents attended." More and more parents are becoming interested in participating in the training, which was first organised in 2007, raising the awareness of the parent's responsibilities for their child's education.
During the first MTT cycle, they prepared training materials and delivered trainings, focused on lesson presentation, parental involvement in education, evaluation and COPE (Creating Opportunities for Physiological Enhancement)
Thara Gay Htoo, a mobile teacher trainer from Kler Lwee Htoo District, who provided evaluation training this cycle, said, "I planned for 38 teachers to attend my training and was very happy to see 75 teachers there."
He added, "Before we planned the training topics we asked the teachers if it was possible to give training, because there are many security problems when traveling to the site. They said they wanted the training and as it began, more and more teachers arrived."
Mobile Teacher Trainers year is divided into 3 cycles, February to April, June to September, October to January.>>>Back to top
U Loh and Ger Maw Loh Schools Reopen
U Loh and Ger Maw Loh School are located in Moo Township, Kler Lwee Htoo District and have been closed since SPDC began attacks in Kler Lwee Htoo District in 2006. This year, after 3 years, the school has reopened. The 2 villages are located along the border of Kler Lwee Htoo and Taungoo Districts, and are home to a Sub-Karen group called Moh Nay Pwa, who are traditional Animists.
Thara Nay Kaw, a Mobile Teacher Trainers in Kler Lwee Htoo District, recalls, "When SPDC attacked Toungoo and Kler Lwee Htoo District in 2006, these 2 vilalges had to move and live in other villages along the border, called Ma La Daw, Moh Ken Tha Per Koh, Kanazoe Bin and Tha Byay Nyuit. As they are traditional Animists, they wanted to return to their original villages to celebrate traditional Animist festivals, but were unable to do so. They therefore demonstrated, through Animism, their want to return to their original villages."
As Thara Nay Kaw told Phru Pwgo in 2009, they were able to return to their original villages, as they were unable to live away from them any longer. When they returned, they reopened U Loh and Ger Maw Loh School, where their children are able to learn, once more. >>>Back to top
DKBA Activities in Mutraw (Papun) Keep Schools Closed
Kler Si Kho School is located in Mae Moie tract, Bu Tho Township, Mutraw District. DKBA troops have positioned landmines in the village, every night, for a long time, forcing the school to close. They believe the villagers have regular communications with KNU forces and want to stop information reaching their enemies. A Mobile Teacher Trainer, Thara Klo Wah, told Phgu Pwgo of DKBA's activities in the eastern region of Bu Tho Township, in Bwa Der, Kaw Pu and Pa Hai village tracts. They are concentrating on the eastern region because there are many teak trees, which they will be able to trade and build new business agreements with. This has enforced many villagers to leave their village, escaping to neighbouring village tracts. There are difficulties finding teachers for Kler Si Kho School because many people have left and others are afraid of DKBA and SPDC troops. Thara Klo Wah said, "Now DKBA troops are not laying landmines, but parents face difficulty to find teacher in mid school year resulting in the closure of the school. During 2008-2009 academic year, due to KSEAG database, there were 16 students, a single teachers, teaching to Standard 2.>>>Back to top
Mysterious Illness Closes Mutraw Middle
There is a health alert which has closed the middle
Th'Dah Der village, Mutraw District, because half
of the students came down with an unknown disease
reports the Thra Winston, the health in charge
from the area. The school was closed on September
7th. Over the last 2 weeks, 300 from Th'Dah Der,
Ta Oh Der, Tay Mu Der and Ta Kaw To Baw villages
got running noses, throat pain and fever up to
104 F. Thara Winston said that them tested for
malaria but the results were negative. He also
tested for the flu but also negative. There are
over 200 students at Th'Dah Der middle school,
over half of them have come down with this mysterious
illness. Back Pack health teams have been sent
to assistance. (Report from Naw Bloomingnight,
KWO)>>>Back to top
Student of Migrant Workers Goes To International
In early September, the news spread that "Mong
Thongdee" who was born in Thailand to Burmese
labourers has been chosen to attend the Origami
Airplane contest in Japan.
When his news was abroad to the world, the Interior
Minister Chavarat Charnvirakul refused him an
official certificate to travel overseas as Bangkok
reported. He begged Provincial Administration
Department chief Vongsak Swasdipanich and said,
"Please help me to go to Japan." with
tears from his cheeks he added," I know that
I do not have Thai nationality, so it will cost
me the chance to attend the competition."
Interior Minister Chavarat Charnvirakul confirmed
it was impossible for the government to grant
Thai nationality to the boy. He said," If
Mong wanted to compete in Japan, he had to represent
Burma as a Burmese national." For the simple
reason that, everybody knew about Mong's story
that was published on 4.9.09, prime minister Abhisit
Vajjajiva met with Mong and stepped in to help
Mong to get a temporary passport. Mong said,"
the Prime Minister encouraged me to try my best
in competition and he said that if I got the first
prize I have to come back and meet with him so
in order to get the first prize I'm practising
my hands stronger to be able to play an airplane
that takes a couple minutes in the air.
Mong Thongdee's parent never thought that their
poor son would get a great chance to meet with
Prime Minister like this. Mong's father said,"every
day and night we have to live in worry and we
have no specific place to live in moreover; we
have no house and we just live in our work place."
Last year Mong got the first prize when he competed
in the National Origami Plane Championship in
Bangkok city and the paper airplane that Mong
made flew for 12.5 seconds and gave him this great
opportunity to attend the competition in Japan.
As other children have their own hopes for when
they grow up, Mong also has a very great goal.
"I have folding paper airplanes and competing
with friend the first grade. I'm in interested
in engineering. I like inventions. I want to become
an aeronautical engineer someday," he said.
According to Irrawaddy website, Mong Thongdee
parents first moved to Fang, where they worked
at an orchard that grew lychees and oranges. His
parents, Sai Nyut and Nang Mo, left Kho Lan village
in southern Shan State in 1995 because of poverty
and lack of any possibility to improve their plight.>>>Back to top
30 , 2009
KTTC Reunion & Graduation and KTWG
On May 17-19, 125 people came from across Karen
State to participate in the KTTC reunion. KTTC
is a pre-service teacher education program for
Karen State youth who agree to returj to Karen
State communities as teachers immediately upon
graduation. KTTC reopeoned in 2005 and the first
graduates compoleted their studies in 2007. 30
KTTC alumni returned to join in the festivities.
On May 20 , 14 KTTC alumni and 25 KTTC students
were presented with diplomas by the Karen Eeducation
Department Chairperson, Saw Lahsay. TheKTTC alumni
received diplomas as they have now completed 2
years of teaching in community schools which was
part of the agreement of attending KTTC. The KTTC
students recieved their diploma for their completion
2 years of studies.
The following week on May 27-29, taking the oppportunity
of having all of its members present, KTWG held
an organizational meeting to evaluate all of its
activities. While noting a number of strengths,
all members agreed that there were still opportunities
to improve. Currently, at the time of writing
this article, there is real fear that the Burma
Army plans an attack on the area in which KTTC
is based. Students and teachers are preparing
themselves. >>>Back to top
Maw Poe Der (Mae Kyaw) school has closed.
Maw Poe Der village is located in Daw Pa Koh
township, Taw Oo (Taungoo) district (Latitude
96.90 and 18.96 Longitude). Thara Eh Wah, District
IDP Leader, explained the school had to close
due to the students' parents being unable to provide
food for their families. In this area, the people
planted Beetle Nut and Cardamom trees to sell
in exchange for rice, but the SPDC are not allowing
them to travel along the car road, which is their
main route. This has caused a direct impact on
their ability to sell and buy food for their families.
The villagers have been facing food problem since
2006. They are unable to support their children
and have sent them to live with relatives in other
villages. For this reason there are few students
in the village, consequently the school has closed.>>>Back to top
Over 40 teachers arrive in P'Rai Lo Bridge
sent back by SPDC
Schools started in July and teachers from the
Delta region tried to return to their schools,
in IDP areas. As they passed through the gateway
to P'Rai Lo Bridge (sitdaw Tada), SPDC soldiers
sent them back, after questioning them, believing
they were on their way to cross the border and
seek asylum in the refugee camps.
Every year the teachers travel to their schools
in the IDP area, and return to their families
in the summer holidays. But since the Nagis Cyclone
hit the Delta region, the SPDC have started to
inspect anyone who passes through the gateway
A member of the Education Department in Bu Tho
Township, Saw Kyaw Swa said to P'hru P'wgo "In
Bu Tho Township, the school committees were faced
with a problem, due to the teachers not arriving
and they have had to find new teachers quickly."
"To fill the quota of teachers needed for
the schools, the school committee had to find
and choose new teachers who are suitable to their
situation. But some teachers are still students
or new teachers who have never received training.
"During the 2009 – 2010 academic year,
the teachers who are students will continue to
study, after teaching for a year. When the students
return to their studying, the school committee
will have to find another teacher for their school.
For the new teachers who will continue to teach,
we will invite them to attend the Summer Vacation
Training." Added Saw Jaw Swa.>>>Back to top
9 , 2008
The first Parent Education training in
Kaw Htoo Lei
Every year KTWG and the MTT (Mobile Teacher Trainers)
travel and visit every school in Kaw Htoo Lei
three times a year.
In the first week of June, 20 MTT members, from
seven districts, began their second visit to their
schools and started collecting the schools information/data.
At the same time they gave training to teachers
and parents about Parent Education. Over 2000
teachers and parents attended this training.
MTT coordinator, Saw Mu Htee, said "The
MTTs were unable to visit all villages in their
district due to SPDC activities. The teachers
and parents from those villages requested that
the MTT return to give the training to their village
in the future."
He added that "The parents now understand
about the importance of sending the children to
school and recognise it is not only the teachers'
responsibility to educate them. Parents also have
responsibility to take care of their children
when their children are in school or even at home."
During March and April, KTWG and MTT members
visit the schools for the first time and provide
Summer Vacation Training. Their second visit occurs
from June to September, with a final visit during
October to December.>>>Back to top
26 , 2008
entered and burnt down Tay Mu Der Village
Tay Mu Der School remains unopened
On 3rd June 2008 Burmese battalion (No 16) fired
mortars toward Tay Mu Der, Tha Dah Der and Ta
Kaw Hto Baw villages. They then proceeded to burn
down the houses, rice stores and churches. The
Burmese military that entered the village of Tay
Mu Der, burnt down Saw Kaw Soe, Saw Gweh Lay Moo
and Saw Gay Hoos' tents and all their farming
They also burnt down 3 rice stores, which contained
300 tins of rice, killed goats, chicken and 3
buffaloes, for their food.
"When they attacked, it had been raining
constantly for over a week. This made it very
difficult for the young children and old people
to escape from the SPDC" said Saw Mu Htee,
a representative of Karen Teacher Working Group,
who remained in the village whilst the attack
was taking place.
Saw Mu Htee added, "The SPDC took all of
the school material, which was kept in the school
office, so the school still remains closed.">>>Back to top
21 , 2008
is Part of the Program for Aspiring Teachers Studying
in the Mountains of Karen State
The Karen Teacher Training College is located
in the war affected areas of Karen State. Its
teachers and students come from internally displaced
communities throughout the Karen homeland. KTTC
graduates return to their community schools immediately
following graduation. On May 20th, hours after
their graduation ceremony, 2008 KTTC graduates
immediately began their long journeys back to
their homes (sometimes up to 3 week perilous walk)
to begin preparing for the upcoming schoo year.
The 2008-9 1st and 2nd year students are already
immersed in this year's studies. 1st year students
are doing an intensive subject updgrade. 2nd year
students are currently studying pedagogy. They
will then focus on primary level teaching methodology
before specializing in either Arts or Science
teaching methodology for the high school level.
the evenings, when the generator is running between
6pm and 9pm, KTTC students work on the 10 laptops
that make up the 'KTTC Computer Room'. They learn
type in Karen, Burmese and English while developing
competency in using computers. These computers
also will be used as resources in their studies
- electronic encyclopedias and language courses
are just two examples.
The political situation continues to worsen throughout
Karen State, and funding for KTWG programs continues
to be cut due to the weakening $USD amongst and
a lack of support for cross-border work inside
the ethnic States of Burma. Basic food stuffs
and learning materials are regularly being reduced
at KTTC in face of these cuts. Yet, KTTC students
and teachers continue to be in good spirits and
to focus on the improvement of schools throughout
Kawthoolei (Karen State).>>>Back to top
May 4 , 2008
Off Support Routes to Schools in Dooplaya District
Cyclone Nargis has destroyed homes, roads and
bridges throughout Dooplaya district in Karen
State. The cyclone hit as district education leaders
planned for school materials to be send to the
remaining 161 schools in their district (school
materials were delivered to the other 163 schools
in March). Because of the destruction to roads
and bridges, and because the rainy season is almost
upon us, it has been decided that these school
materials will have to be delivered after the
rainy season is over - in October.>>>Back to top
Workshops Completed in the Forests Throughout
Throughout March and early April, KTWG organized
eight concurrent teacher training workshops. KTWG
has been running what are known as 'Summer Vacation
Training' workshops (they are held during the
summer break of the Karen school year) since 1997.
Often these workshops are organized in the forest
so not to be detected by the Burma Army. In Doo
Tha Htoo district, 92 teachers (and some parents)
constructed a small bamboo stage and leaf roof
shelter which doubled as temporary classroom and
dormintory. Saw Mu Htee, KTWG's in-service
teacher training coordinator, reported that
local teachers were extremely active in the workshop.
He said it was the best workshop yet to be held
in the district.
Over 300 teachers participated in workshops throughout
Karen State. Workshops focused upon general
teaching skills as well as specific subject
methodology. The content of the training was defined
by participants - based on what they perceive
their needs are for their classrooms. Each teacher
was asked to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire
which exmaines various issues facing Karen State
schools. These questionnaires will be compiled
and analyzed in an upcoming report.>>>Back to top
Department Sets Guidelines for Education Assistance
to Karen State Schools
The KED Annual Meeting was held in Mae Ra Ma
Luang refugee camp last week. Education leaders
from all refugee camps and all Karen State districts/townships
were present. On April 24th, the issue of support
to Karen State schools was discussed at length.
Karen State schools suffer the same fate as their
communities - poverty and displacement are rampant.
Over the past years, a number of local and foreign
organizations have provided support to Karen State
schools. In 2005, the Karen State Education Assistance
Group was established. KSEAG provides basic education
support to all schools unless the school receives
support from another individual or group. While
KSEAG support is provided through the KED structure,
often other supporters provide assistance directly
to Karen State schools through personal connections.
This means that often education leaders are not
informed about assistance provided by groups outside
of KSEAG making it difficult to manage these schools.
Furthermore, non-KSEAG support is often significantly
higher than what KSEAG is able to support. This
disparity can create conflic and jealousy between
KED decided that individuals/groups who want
to support Karen State education assistance should
provide their support through the Karen State
Education Assistance Group. Where this is not
acceptable to the donor, the donor can provide
their support directly through the district education
leader. Each district has the right to develop
their criteria for education assistance for their
district. At the meeting, districts agreed that
teacher subsidies should be capped at 5000 Baht
per year (approximately $170 USD).>>>Back to top
Education Buildings in Htam Hin Refugee Camp
On February 3rd, according to the Kwekalu
website, the office of the sports education
to Play' in Htam Hin refugee camp was destroyed
by fire. The cause is unknown. Also, a vocational
training centre and the IOM's
(International Organizaton for Migration) centre
in camp were also destroyed. Material losses included
motorcycles, and a generator but luckily nobody
was injured. To read the article in Karen and/or
view photos and video of the fire, click
here. >>>Back to top
14 , 2007
Lack of Support
for IDP Schools in Eastern Burma
Communities and schools throughout Karen State
suffer from ongoing Burma Army attacks and the
associated poverty and displacement. Over the
past years, KTWG and its partners have attempted
to alleviate this suffering by providing basic
material support to these schools. In 2006-7,
we were able to provide 1300 Baht($40 USD)/year
to all Karen State teachers and 3 notebooks, 2
pencils and a pen to all students. Even this success
was not able to meet the needs of Karen State
The situation of schooling in other ethnic States
is just as dire. KTWG recently met with education
leaders from Mon and Shan areas as well as agencies
supporting other areas to discuss the realities
and the strategies undertaken in those areas.
In all areas, the situation was similar, displacement,
poverty and lack of material support was hampering
the development of local schools. To see a map of the gerenal breakdown (and perhaps not absolutelycomprehensive)
of what education assistance is available across
Eastern Burma, click
here.>>>Back to top
Only 2 Schools
Remain Open in Taungoo District
On the morning of Friday July 18th, one of KTWG's
mobile teacher trainers returned from Taungoo
district. He left over a month ago to visit and
assess schools in his home district. Over the
past year, his district has been devastated by
Burma Army attacks which has left the majority
of villagers internally displaced for forced to
seek refugee in temporary shelters organized by
Karen leaders along the Salween river. A little
over one year ago, there were 61 Karen schools
operating in Taungoo district - now there are
only 2. >>>Back to top
Diplomas and School
Accreditation for Resettled Karen
Many Karen who have resettled to 3rd countries
face problems getting credit for the education
they received in Burma or in the refugee camps.
ZOA and KED have discussed this issue at length
and have come to a decision. They have created
an education report book that every student will
receive that documents their schooling. For those
adults who have already completed their schooling,
they can request KED to provide them with a document
of proof of completion of schooling. Also, for
those people who completed their schooling inside
of Burma but received no accreditation, they can
sit an equivalency exam in camp. For further information,
please contact us .>>>Back to top
5, 2007 - Mae Sod
for Karen State Schools in Geneva/UK
Saw Ywa Hai and other representatives of the
Federal Trade Union of Kawthoolei returned yesterday
after having spent over a month in Geneva and
the UK advocating for the rights of Karen people.
From June 1st to the 14th in Geneva, testimony
was given to the ILO concerning ongoing forced
labour throughout Karen State and furthermore
FTUK encouraged the ILO to push for the Burma
army to be called to the International Criminal
Court. Saw Ywa Hai also met with delegates from
Normay, Sweden, Denmark and China as well as trade
union representatives from numerous countries.
On June 15th, the FTUK delgation left Geneva
for the UK where they met the Burmese community
living there. After attedning the UNISON conference,
they went to London to celebrate Aung San Suu
Kyi's birthday with the Burma Campaign UK group.
Numerous meetings followed including DFID represesentatives,
TV stations and Amnesty International. The issue
of humanitarian aid and funding support for Karen
State was raised with DFID who according to Saw
Ywa Hay responded very favorably. In fact, Saw
Ywa Hai suggested they were interested in education
in Karen State and the potential of supporting
schools there. >>>Back to top
26, 2007 - Ee Htu Hta IDP Camp
New School to be Opened to Respond to Growing
Ee Htu Hta camp, which is on the banks of the
Salween river adjacent from Thailand, was organized
in March 2006 as a shelter for thousands of Karen
who were fleeing from Burma Army attacks. The
camp population has been growing ever since. Basic
living needs are being provided by Karen community
based organizations and some other agencies.
Last week, it was decided that the camp territory
must be expanded to deal with the increasing popluation.
The recent arrival of 184 IDPs from Kler Lwee
Htoo and Taungoo districts meant that a new section
would be set up. All camp members have been asked
to help build houses for the new arrivals. A primary
school will also be built for children in this
new section. One problem is that sufficient amount
of teachers have not yet been identified. There
are a number of people who have recently fled
attacks and are currently on their way to Ee Htu
Hta, some of whom might be teachers.>>>Back to top
Students Perform for World Refugee Day
June 20th, 10 refugee students from Mae Ra Ma
Luang and Ma La Oon refugee camps made the 4 hour
drive into the town of Mae Sariang to join the
World Refugee Day activities sponsored by the
UNHCR at the local high school. In the morning,
refugee agencies put up displays and held workshops
with Thai students. In the afternoon, the refugee
students performed songs and a film depicting
schooling inside Karen State was shown to over
100 Thai students. The purpose of the day was
to foster understanding amongst the Thai community
concerning the plight of refugees. When asked
what they could do to help refugees, one Thai
student said, "We must pray for them",
while another suggested, "We can write letters
in the afternoon, the refugee students visited
the KTWG office for ice cream before visiting
a few sites in Mae Sariang. Their busy and exciting
day was capped with a dinner at a restaurant with
KTWG staff and a few foreign friends. The students
were obviously delighted with their day - for
many of them it had been their first visit to
a town. However, by 9 pm they were visibly exhausted
and returned to the Karen Refugee Committee for
undoubtedly very deep sleeps.>>>Back to top
34 New Prospective
Teachers Join KTTC
A new group of young and energetic students from
across Karen State arrived at KTWG's Karen Teacher
Training College (KTTC) during the last week of
May. The record sized group of 34 quickly got
settled into KTTC life and began their studies.
During their two-year program, they will study
pedagogy, subject methodology, teaching skils,
community schooling and many other subjects.
One student from Mergui-Tavoy who made the very
long and dangerous trip said, "It doesn't
matter to me about how dangerous and difficult
it is, I have wanted to study at KTTC for 2 years
now because KTTC is the one school that is focusing
on Karen State children and education." Other
students had similar stories, having risked Burma
Army attacks while making the 3-15 day walk to
KTTC. >>>Back to top
The Indigenous Knowledge and Peoples (IKAP) network
will be hosting a conference about Indigenous
knowledge transmission in Guizhou, China from
November 16-21. Indigenous knowledge (IK)practitioners
from Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos
and China will examine threats on IK transmission
in their areas and look at prospects for the promotion
of IK. KTWG is an active member in IKAP and helped
form the Burma regional group within IKAP.>>>Back to top
8 , 2007
Reps from Across Karen State Plan for 2007-8
Yesterday, KTWG met with all Karen State education
leaders to discuss plans for teacher training
and educational assistance for Karen State schools.
All Karen State education leaders gathered this
week for the annual Karen Education Deaprtment's
meeting. At the meeting, the 2006-7 distribution
of teacher subsidies and school materials was
acknowledged as being very successful, especially
as it was the first time in Karen history that
all Karen schools were able to receive support.
It was noted that there are still a number of
individuals who continue to provide support to
schools without notifying the Karen Education
Department, however no decision was taken in how
to deal with this issue. Dates and procedures
for the 2007-8 distriubtion of support was agreed
upon by all.>>>Back to top
5 , 2007
Roads and Destroys Schools
Since the beginning of 2007, SPDC has been attempting
to build a new road which passes through many
Karen State villages starting from Ler Mu Plaw
in Lu Thaw Township in northern Mutraw district
to Bu Has Khee in Taungoo district. In order to
build the road, the Burma army has destroyed many
villages such as Ti Bwae Khee, Ti Hsie Khee, Ti
Baw Day, Taw Ku Mu, Bo Na Der, T’May Kie,
Kay Pu, Kaw Ter Der, T' yu Plaw, Eibanaysa, klen
Mu, Ta Ken Der, Baw lay Der, His Day, Ku Mu Der,
and Plo Khee. All schools in these villages were
destroyed by SPDC. Some villages such as Ti Hsi
Khee, Ti Bwae Khee, Taw Ku Mu, and Bo Na Der were
burnt last month. All school materials were also
Saw Lweh Gay, a KTWG mobile Trainer reported that
all villagers in the destroyed villages became
displaced people, and they didn’t have enough
food and medicine. Some schools in k'baw Khee,
Ti His Khee, Ti Bwae Khee, Bo Na Der and Taw Ku
Mu villages were destroyed in July, 2006 and villagers
have not been able to return since. >>>Back to top
in Karen State Education - All Schools Supported
For the first time in Karen
history, all Karen State schools received basic
educational assistance during the 2006-7 academic
year. There were 914 schools with 2,691 teachers
and 61,210 operating this year despite intensified
Burmese military which forced the closure of over
100 schools and the displacement of tens of thousands
KTWG and its partners were
able to provide a 1300 Baht ($35 USD) subsidy
to 2,447 teachers and 3 notebooks, 2 pens and
a pencil to 57,967 students - the outstanding
244 teachers and 3,243students received support
from other sources. Despite intense logistical
and security issues, Karen education leaders successfully
distributed subsidies and materials within the
proposed time. >>>Back to top
here to read school news stories from 2006