The Unified Learning Center (ULC) completed its 2014-2015 academic year. Prior to the closing of school, students received an English Resources packet, which includes a comprehensive list of common English words and phrases as well as websites for English speaking practice. The students have an opportunity to attend an optional English class held at the FED office during the school holidays. With the resources at hand, the ULC students can continue studying English whether they return to school or enter the workforce. The students are encouraged to maintain their same study habits both inside and outside the classroom in order to improve their English and find more sustainable employment.
Meet some of our students who unfortunately due to family circumstances might not return to the ULC for the next school year
This is sixteen-year-old Nay. He recently completed grade 8 at the Unified Learning Center. He is from Mon State, Myanmar and has been in Thailand since 2012. He has a fourteen-year-old sister and four-year-old brother. His father works on a rubber plantation while his mother works at a restaurant.
As the eldest son, Nay assists his father in his work, collecting rubber liquid in the early mornings at around 2 am. When he finishes, he comes to school, where he is the top of his class and the student body leader. During the school holidays, he works at a construction site, washes dishes at a restaurant, and performs general work anywhere necessary.
He has been playing football for about eight years. He has won several football awards, both in Myanmar and in Thailand. He dreams of meeting Cristiano Ronaldo one day. He wants to continue playing football every day in hopes of becoming a professional football coach. He is also extremely interested in photography, specifically with athletes. He enjoys capturing action shots during football games. He participated in a school program, called, Children on the Move, where he learned to use film and photography as a tool to promote awareness of human rights violations in his community. He also enjoys mathematics and has expressed interest in pursuing engineering classes as a way to help his community.
As one of the top students, he excels tremendously in English class. He assisted Sophie in creating subtitles for a video documentary about Burmese migrants. His favorite unit in English class was the human rights unit, where the students discussed human rights activists, such as Mala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela. They compared sexism vs. racism, equality vs. inequality, human rights vs. human rights violations.
When asked to discuss problems concerning human rights in the community, Nay was the first to voice his concerns. He spoke about the mistreatment of Burmese migrants by Thai employers and about the lower wages Burmese migrants receive. He is passionate about fighting against discrimination in the Burmese migrant community. When asked what he would do if he was the leader of a country, he said that he would strive to provide everyone with a mode of transportation. Whether it be a bicycle, motorbike, or car, he believes that everyone deserves to have transportation as it creates opportunity and easier access to work.
Unfortunately, Nay's mother wants him to quit school and work as a waiter. She has found him a job at a local restaurant, where he has already started training. He cannot work and go to school at the same time, so this means he must drop out of school. He wants to continue studying, but his family needs his financial support immediately. As an influential leader among the students, Nay goes above and beyond, both inside and outside the classroom. His genuine heart and passion to lead others has inspired his peers and elders, who all see great potential in him. We hope that Nay will continue to develop and inspire others around him.
CherryCherry, sixteen years old, recently completed grade 8 at the Unified Learning Center. She is from Yangon, Myanmar and arrived in Thailand in 2010. She has a younger sister and older brother. Her parents are gardeners at the golf club in Khuk Khak. While enrolled in school, Cherry also worked at a local restaurant to help her family earn a little more income. She wants to continue her education in hopes to attend graduate school in the future. Her parents said if they find a better job, they will let her continue to study. However, if they are unable to find good employment, she must stop her studies and find a full-time job.
Cherry is a natural performer. She loves acting, singing, and dancing. Every time there is a celebration, Cherry jumps at the opportunity to perform her traditional Myanmar dance for the ceremony. She played the part of Little Red Riding Hood in her English class and was the star of the show.
She desires to further her education and become a teacher. She dreams of teaching at underprivileged schools where she can offer her skills to those in need. She is passionate about working with charities and providing education to those who do not have the opportunity to learn.“I love helping people who live in difficult, impoverished areas.”
Cherry is seen as an older sister for many of the ULC students. She inspires others to learn around her. When there were no grade 8 classes available at the school, Cherry stayed at home and continued to study on her own. She returned to school the following year when grade 8 classes commenced, where she advanced as one of the top students.
Her English has progressed quite rapidly. She has gained confidence in speaking English and even volunteered to give an introduction for the student presentation to over 20 American students. After the presentation, an American teacher who comes every year said that one year ago, Cherry was too timid to speak any English. Now, in just one year, she has become one of the most competent English speakers in the school. It was encouraging for Cherry and the other students to hear about the progress she has made. Hopefully it will inspire others around her to continue studying English.
Cherry's favorite part of English class is singing English songs, especially “Let It Go.” She translated, memorized, and performed the song for her fellow peers. She is passionate about teaching and spends a lot of her time tutoring younger students in English. When asked what she would do if she won the lottery, she said that she would give all the money to the ULC so the students have an opportunity to receive a quality education.
Along with Nay, Cherry assisted the english teacher in developing English subtitles for the Burmese video documentary. It was special for Cherry because she translated her father’s words as he was one of the interviewees. Her favorite subject is English because she enjoys learning an internationally-recognized language. By knowing English, doors of opportunity will open for Cherry. Whether she attends university or not, she wants to continue studying English. She has high hopes for the students at the ULC and her future.
Our students have been busy bees, here is what they have been up to in the past months... Since the month of September our learning center has a full time native English teacher to work with the higher grades (6,7,8). The English classes are based on the Myanmar Basic Education Curriculum, which primarily focuses on reading and writing skills. These students have been exposed to a fair amount of reading and writing, however, their listening and speaking skills are lacking. Sophie (their new teacher) has introduced a new English curriculum based on the textbook, English Made Easy: Learning English through Pictures. This textbook exposes students to basic conversational scenarios through illustrations. Sophie has been using the Myanmar Basic Education Curriculum as a foundation, incorporating the English Made Easy textbook to give students practical conversational scenarios.
Music has also been incorporated into the English curriculum. Basic rhythms and music theory are taught to the kids. Students also attend optional dance and keyboard lessons during lunchtime, where they learn through English instruction.There are constantly opportunities for the students to converse with their English teacher outside of class. The students have welcomed Sophie into their community by inviting her to football tournaments, weddings, and field trips. They initiate English conversations with her and are proud to show her around Thailand. All in all, the first month of teaching has revealed the students’ desire to learn and speak English proficiently, opening doors of opportunity for their future.
The students at the Unified Learning Center (ULC) spent the first week of October preparing for their subject exams. After writing their exams from October 9th – 15th, the school was closed for a two week holiday. During the holiday, a Civic Education training session was held at the ULC for three days. Teachers from Phang Nga and Ranong participated in the event. Trainers from Mae Sot taught about the importance of teaching civic education, which equips and empowers the students to act as good citizens and participate in their community.
A presentation was given by the English teacher, Sophie, who taught about the contrasting civic education system in South Africa vs. the United States. This gave the Burmese teachers a global perspective on citizens’ rights and how differing countries incorporate civics into their education systems. The teachers at the ULC will be implementing civic education into their lessons, including the English classes. Students will gain a basic understanding of their rights and will be able to identify when their rights are being violated. They will also learn about the importance of being a good citizen and how they can influence their community on a daily basis.
During the month of November, all students were assigned additional English classes during lunch. These classes include English instruction through singing, dancing, and storytelling. The students enjoyed the extra English classes and took advantage of the opportunity to learn English through music.
During December, several volunteers came to visit the students at the learning center. Students were interviewed by the volunteers in English and discussed their goals for the future. Each of the students shared their dream to pursue a higher education. Nay, grade 8, dreams of going to medical school and becoming a doctor. Khin Mo, grade 7, shares her dream of attending fashion design school in London. Zin, grade 6, wants to study education and become an English teacher. With the support of the FED donors, ULC teachers, and other contributors, these dreams will hopefully become a reality in the near future.
Grades 6, 7, and 8 have been preparing for their spelling bee, which will take place in February. The students have each found their own English storybook novel from the learning center library and write 5 – 10 new vocabulary words a day, practicing the spelling of each word. The students also anticipate the arrival of new volunteers in February, where they can perform their English songs in front of a large audience.
We are pleased to present to you our 2013 Annual Report http://www.ghrefed.org/reports/fed_annualreport_2013.pdf, hoping that it gives you a greater sense of the work and the accomplishments of the Foundation for Education and Development (FED) in the past year. These results could have not been achieved without your support . On behalf of the Board of Directors, our staff and the Burmese community we would like to thank our supporters who have enable us to achieve so much this last year.
FED enjoyed its 13th year of successfully serving the Burmese Migrant community living and working in Thailand while working towards greater relations and understanding between Thai and Burmese people. FED programs strived to meet the needs of migrants in the areas of healthcare, labor and human rights advocacy, and education as well as aiding minority groups such as the Moken.
Highlights of FED’s campaigns included the start-up of projects inside Burma including the opening of an office in Yangon in addition to FED’s Director and Deputy Director making campaigning and fundraising trips to Australia and France respectively to advocate for and build awareness of the difficulties faced by Burmese Migrants and the work of FED.
The following report provides a summary of FED’s programs; highlighting the major activities.
Thank you for your support.
The 2013-2014 academic year at our Khok Kloy Learning Center (one of our smaller learning centers) finished in the month of April and as the student prepare to start a new year in late May, we want to share some of our activities with all our supporters from Globalgiving.
The school currently has an enrollment of 42 students and daily average attendance is between 35-40 children ages 5 to 14. The Learning Center has 2 paid teachers teaching kindergarten through the 3rd grade. There is a 6 subject curriculum including: Mathematics, English, Burmese, History, Science, and Geography. The children also receive regular training from the FED Health Team about healthy hygiene and nutritional habits to help avoid illness. The teachers also teach students basic traditional and cultural customs of both Myanmar and Thailand.
Please enjoy the following pictures and stories about Khok Kloy Learning Center students.
My name is Thi Thi. I am 10 years old and I attend grade 1 at Khok Kloy LC. I was born in Dawei, Myanmar. My parents are currently working in the Khok Kloy rubber plantation. I like to study at school and I hope to one day be a teacher for children growing up in rural areas like me. I am trying my best to study hard and would like to get a higher education in the future. I try to inspire my friends to study at Khok Kloy learning center because I see our teachers are working so hard to improve our future. I want to thank my parents for encouraging us to go to school and especially our teachers who teach us tirelessly every day. I hope to continue my studies in grade 2 next year.
My name is Sint Nyo. I am 11 years old and am attending grade 3 at Khok Kloy LC. I was born in Koh Thaung, Myanmar. My parents are working in section 12 of the Khok Kloy rubber plantation. I like to sing and dance with my friends and I often do that in my classes as well. I am so happy to participate in student exchange activities and meet with my friends from other learning centers. Experiences like student exchange are big and exciting changes for us; being from tiny Khok Kloy learning center. If I did not go to school, I may not have such great opportunities. I do not know when or if my parents will go back to Burma, but my family is very poor and I do not think my parents could afford to send me to the school in Burma because enrollment costs are expensive. I want to say “thank you” to my parents and my teachers for supporting me.
My name is Nwal Ni Win and I am 35 years old. I completed high school in Myeik, Myanmar. I taught in Myeik from 2001 to 2008. After I got married, I followed my husband and family to Thailand. I used to work in the Khok Kloy rubber plantation with my husband until I was contacted by people in the community who informed me the local learning center was looking for a teacher. I think teaching is a challenging job because the students have many different behaviors, attitudes, interests, abilities and skills.
Their feelings are very sensitive and they need lots of encouragement from parents, the community, andsociety. It is my pleasure to teach the children here, they are very innocent. They are like a white paper; we can draw or paint anything, any “color” on them. I want to see these children become the ray of hope in our world, especially for Myanmar. The new generation must become educated people to bring peace to our own people and the Thai community.
A Look Ahead at 2014 - 2015 School Year:With your support, FED will continue to build on the success of the Khok Kloy LC in the upcoming year. FED hopes to add grade 4 courses to school curriculum in 2014 as well as hire a native Thai teacher to increase student Thai language skills, an invaluable asset for migrants living in Thailand. In addition, FED is currently working to improve transportation services for students at the learning center as currently there are many children who cannot come to school due to the lack of transportation.
Since our Learning Center reopened in November 2013 both students and teachers alike have been busy bees, keeping themselves thoroughly occupied and entertained with a number of extra curricular activities. Here are a some....
Meet 2 of our Students...
Khin Mar is 13 years old from Long Lone Township, Thanintharyi Region in Burma. Her parents migrated to Thailand 8 years ago in search of safety and improved living conditions. Khin Mar has studied at FED Learning Centers for 7 years. She has loved the experience. She says the teachers are excellent role models and her school friends are great encouragements for her in difficult times.
Without the opportunity to study at FED she would have no basic education knowledge and would likely be caring for her family at home or be a victim of child labor. Now she can read, write, and speak both Thai and Burmese fluently which will help her find work in the future. Khin Mar dreams of being a movie actress in the future.
Toe Tat is 13 years old from Long Lone Township, Thanintharyi Region in Burma. Toe Tat is a participant in the Children on the Move program. Toe Tat says that the Human and Child rights training has changed his life because before he gained this knowledge he used to bully and discriminate other students, now he understands this is not good and he uses his new knowledge to set an example and train his peers.
Toe Tat loves learning photography because it is a way to capture beauty to share with friends. In the future Toe Tat dreams of becoming an Architect so he can use his passion of drawing to design buildings and other things.
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