Dear Supporters,Since our Unified Learning Center reopened in June 2012 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 couple...
May 2012 to April 2013 (Education Activities)
Education team had a meeting on the 4th of June with teachers and drivers to discuss transportation, to make the timetable, to make sure each teacher is in charge of their class, to make sure for monthly learning content for grade 5 to 7.
FED reopened the Unified Learning Centers and Kuraburi learning Center on June 5th for 2012-2013 Academic Year. The Education department supported the stationary, teaching materials and other sports equipment to all learning centers with the help of Act Now and Child Dream.
On June 11th, the education department organized a curriculum workshop for teachers of the Unified Learning Center on this month. At this training, we discussed child-centered teaching methods, teacher’s areas of responsibility, classroom management and reviewed their methods of teaching for the 2011-2012 academic years.
Every two weeks on Friday from 14:30 PM to 15:15 PM, we review the teaching methodology and student progress for all grades with teachers.
The Nutrition program has been operating in the nursery to enrich the health and nutrition of the children. The activities of medical knowledge and health protection have been emphasized two days per month in the Unified Learning Center for hygiene, self health guidance, and to dispense the general knowledge about good health to the people.
From the 18th of June, Two English volunteers have been teaching sport and playing learning games in every grade according to the timetable. They are also teaching English in Grade 1 and Kindergarten with pronunciation, phonics, and conversation every day.
Every Saturday, Burmese language lessons for integration students commenced. To support the mother language development of Burmese children attending Thai schools, a Burmese teaching program has begun to be implemented. Burmese children studying at Parkweek and Khuk Khak Thai Schools have Burmese language class every Saturday at unified learning center.
On 24th July, we held the meeting with all teachers about the 1st chapter end test for next month. We also decided the date for the 1st chapter end test on the first week of August from 6th to 10th for 2012-2013 Academic years.
On 16th July, we started the computer class for Grades 3 to 7 with the introduction of the computer to the Burmese migrant students. This is the first exposure to computers for most students. We taught a computer basics course, the typing method and plan to teach painting for the new students. For Grade 7, we teach the practical use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Photoshop CS2 and basic internet.
Unified Learning Center students under 12 years old were selected in tryouts from all grades to participate in preparation for the annual Queen’s Cup football tournament for the commemoration of the Queen’s birthday on August 1st in Takuapa district with all Thai government schools at Khuk Khak Thai School. They prepared for the tournament in a football camp on school grounds for two weeks. They played three matches with Thai government school and won one match. They left from the group stage for the commemoration of the Queen’s Birthday.
On 17th September, we held the meeting with all teachers about the 2nd chapter end test for next month. We also decided the date for the 2nd chapter end test on the second week of October from 8th to 12th for 2012-2013 Academic years.
Unified Learning Center close from the 15th to 31st of October for school holidays. The school reopens on 1st November for second semester in 2012-2013 academic years.
On December 6th, Unified Learning students and FED health team joined World AIDS day with Thai local government health clinic staff, local people and other NGOs for protection and prevention of HIV.
On January 28th,2013 Youth Outreach students (16) participated with Wicked Diving to preserve the environment cleaning at Turtle hatchery village on Thaplamu village, Lam Kaen sub district of Thai Maung district.
On January 7th to 11 , Feb 20th, 21th, 22nd, 26th and 27th ,both learning centers completed the third and final chapter end test for the 2012-2013 Academic years, the FED’s standardized subject exams
67th Birthday of Aung San Su Kyi
We celebrated the 67th Birthday of Aung San Su Kyi at unified learning center on 19th June with students, staff, Teachers and volunteers. On that day, the Education coordinator/ headmaster gave a speech about National League for Democracy leader and explained about the Noble Peace Prize the sacrifice she has made for the Burmese people for human rights. And also explained about the biography of Aung San Su Kyi. After that we showed a short video about Aung San Suu Kyi delivering her Nobel Lecture on the 16th of June, 2012, in Oslo City Hall, Norway. Then, we also conducted questions and answers among the students about the Aung San Su Kyi biography and Noble Peace Prize.
On July 18th, The Foundation for Education and Development (FED) hosted a signature cultural event at Unified Learning Center. Dr. Ashin Nyanissara gave the five precepts and preach for us on that day. After that we donated the food for lunch to the monks. The venerable Dr. Ashin Nyanissara, one of Burma’s most respected senior abbots, spoke to nearly one thousand people (including students) from migrant communities about respect for tradition, culture and Thai laws. Also known as Sitagu Sayadaw, the venerated monk said, “All migrants living and working in Thailand must respect the laws, rules and regulations of the Thai Royal government. We strive to live in harmony, regardless of our different nationalities or religious beliefs.”
65th Anniversary of Burma’s Martyr Day
We celebrated the 65th Anniversary of Burma’s Martyr Day at unified learning center on 19th July with students and Teachers. On that day, the Education coordinator/headmaster gave a speech about several of Burma’s independence leaders were gunned down by a group of armed men in uniform while they were holding a cabinet meeting at the Ministers’ Building/Secretariat in downtown Yangon. The assassinations were planned by a rival political group, and the leader and alleged master-mind of that group Galon U Saw. Ms Sein Aye explained about the biography of General Aung San. Then, we also conducted questions and answers among the students about the Burma’s Martyr Day and their history.
Queen’s Birthday or Mother Day
August 12th is a very special day for the people of Thailand, as it is the birthday of their beloved queen, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. In commemoration of Her Majesty, this day is also recognized as National Mother's Day. Her Majesty, together His Royal Highness King Bhumibol Adulyadej, command the love, reverence and loyal among all Thai people. On that day, we also invited the student’s parents (only mother) to celebrate the Mother’s Day at the Unified Learning Center with the students. Our students make merit in the morning and then they sing the songs in praise of her.
Teacher - Parent Meeting
On August 25th, we had meetings with students’ parents to talk about their children’s learning situation. According the parents meeting, to improve their children’s education for the long term, funding is needed by the help of students’ parents. The teachers and education staff shared education-related information for 2012-2013 Academic Years. On that day, we established a teacher parents association for the 2012-2013 Academic Year.
On October 16th to 19th, 20 student’s and 3 teachers from the American school of The Hague visited Youth Outreach and Kuraburi Nursery for one week. They did learning and cultural activities and shared their experiences with youth outreach students at Unified Learning Center. They also did activities with nursery students and gave clothing for nursery. On October 18th, they divided into four groups and visited to the Youth Outreach student home in the afternoon because they wanted to know how Burmese migrants status in their work site.
Education department organized teacher training from 17th to 22nd October for all teachers at unified learning center. At this training we discussed child-centered teaching methods, teachers sector, and classrooms management and reviewed their methods of teaching in 2012-2013 Academic Years. On this training, we focused on RWCT (Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking) and ERR teaching methods among our teachers for them.
Medical Treatment and Nutrition
Providing food for lunch and Nutrition program was implemented in 2 nurseries schools to enrich the health and nutrition of the children. We are providing the food for lunch for about 150 students in two nurseries and one learning Center (Unified Learning Center and Kuraburi Learning Center) with the help of Act Now and ASH. The activities of medical knowledge and health protection have been emphasized two days per month in all the learning centers for hygiene, self health guidance, and to dispense the general knowledge about health to the people.
Transportation of the students to and from the Learning Centers was required, as 95% of the students live far from the Unified Learning Centers. Most of them are from the rubber plantations, construction sites, fisheries, and various kinds of worksites. We had Five cars picking up the students (Unified learning Center and Kuraburi learning center), which is about 400 students including integration students, from Thaplamu, KhaoLak, Ban Naing, Htonkhamin, Parkweep, Ban Sak, Nam Kheam and BanMuang and bring them safely to the Unified Learning Center and Kuraburi learning center except weekends. Convenience of the transportation, prevention of crimes against children, and safety are the benefits of the program.
Some students who are living in Thaplamu, KhaoLak and Ban Naing have to wake up early to catch the school bus because separate school buses have to pick them up two times. The school bus is crowded with students both times. Some students were carsick and didn’t come to school every day.
Father’s day (or) King Birthday
Father’s Day in Thailand is very special because it is also the King’s birthday. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on Monday December 5th 1927. On the King’s birthday (which is also a national holiday), people are encouraged to wear yellow as a sign of unity and respect. We celebrate the Father’s Day at the Unified Learning Center with the students. Our students make merit in the morning and then they sing the songs in praise of him. You will see many people wearing a yellow polo shirt on this day. December the 5th is for celebrating the King’s birthday who is looked upon as the Father of the nation. It is a perfect day to also acknowledge all the other fathers in the country, making it the national Father’s Day.
On February 7th 2013, 14 students, 2 teachers from the KIS (Knowledge Inspiration and Sprit) international school visited Unified Learning Center. They did learning, Art, Sport, Music, Marine environment activities and shared their experiences with students at Unified Learning Center.
Teacher – Parents meeting
On February 9th, we had meetings with students’ parents to talk about their children’s learning situation. According the parents meeting, to improve their children’s education for the long term, funding is needed by the help of students’ parents. The teachers and education staff shared education-related information for 2012-2013 Academic Years.
All teachers’ meeting
On February 15th, we held teacher meeting about an evaluation and strategic planning at Unified Learning Center. On that day, the education staff discussed strengths and weak points, challenges and opportunities for 2012 – 2013 and formulated a strategic plan for 2013-2014 Academic year.
Union Day and General Aung San Birthday
On February 12th, FED celebrated 66th anniversary of Burma Union Day and 96th anniversary of General Aung San Birthday at Unified Learning Center. At this day, Daw Sein Aye explained the history of union day and General Aung San. 5 students from grade 4 to grade 7 debated about the union day. After that we also conducted questions and answers among the students.
Public Forum and School Fund appeal
On February 28th, FED organized Public Forum and School fund appeal at Unified Learning Center. At this day, school director Min Thein Kyaw gave opening speech and deputy Minister of Phang Nga Thai labor Office explained about the temporary passport and work permit procedures. On that day, some students, student’s parents, education staff and office staff (about 350 people) joined the public forum and School Fund Appeal supported by EU, CCFD, GGP and FED.
Education Participation with J-Fun Youth
From March 4th to 8th, 6 students and 1 staff from the J-Fun Youth (Japanese volunteer organization) visited Unified learning Center for one week. They led activities and shared their experiences with Youth Outreach students. Education staff also participated with J-Fun Youth activities on that day.
On 27th November 2012, the students and teachers from Learning Center joined the Ahshin Zawana sermon. It was organized by Burmese Migrants community.
At the Leaning Center, we have completed three fences at the back of the school building. We didn’t have the fence behind the school and gate. Teachers had witnessed some youths or other local people trespassing into that part of the school grounds in order to use illegal drugs.
During the October school holidays, we didn’t have any security presence at night time (watchman/guard). Some bicycles for nursery students were broken (vandalized) and one gas stove from the kitchen was stolen by local people.
With reforms underway in Burma support of migrant children’s education in Thailand is increasingly important Reform is underway in Burma and Thailand’s Foundation for Education and Development (FED) has often been asked about any significant return migrations of Burmese migrants. However, with regards to Phang Nga Province, there have been no significant or permanent trends indicating returns of Burmese migrant workers to Burma because of Thein Sein’s reforms. Such are the reforms’ influence upon humanitarian aid, as well as political and economic interests around the world, that the FED must reiterate why our education work for migrants is still so important even though we work outside Burma’s political boundaries. Economically, the demand for Burmese labor in Thailand remains high while job opportunities and wages in Burma remain low. Tens of millions of Burmese will continue to migrate; flowing back and forth across borders. Even as Burma develops economically, migrants outside of Burma will continue to be among the poorest and most vulnerable. Any approach to education and development of the Burmese people needs to recognize and act upon these realities and include migration and migrant children in the picture. The aid world must look at the long-term and bigger picture. We must not exclude, delegitimize, dehumanize and alienate migrants to the hidden, silent places of suffering from which we have struggled so hard to liberate them in Thailand. NGOs and other agencies or private entities wanting to fund learning or education of children and youth in Burma should not exclude migration from their interventions. Funders such as NGOs and governments now pass up needy migrant children in Thailand because they can now legally operate with Burmese children in Burma. This is a narrow and short-sighted approach that would be unacceptable to Burmese as their national consciousness and awareness of their human rights develops along with its economy. Funding migrant children outside of Burma will accelerate Burma’s regional importance regarding human rights. As Burma develops democratically and economically, the nation will be looking more and more outside its own borders at its people, influence and rights abroad. There is a real reason why Aung San Suu Kyi’s first visit outside of Burma in decades was to visit migrant workers in Thailand during the World Economic Forum in May. The existence of Burmese institutions abroad, such as the FED and its Learning Centres, will increase in importance. The Burmese peoples’ consciousness of their own rights expands and they come to expect more from nations that have customarily exploited their poorest and least educated. The Burmese people themselves will be expecting better treatment of their daughters and sons abroad while they have increasingly recognized the importance of Learning Centers for their children as well as other critical services like health care access and health education.FED’s chairman, Kraisak Choonhavan, a leading human rights advocate and politician in Thailand, once said his role within in the foundation can be likened to a benevolent “spectre” on watch within the consciences of would-be human rights violators. In a similar way, FED’s Learning Centres and education projects are little strongholds or embassies for Burmese children’s rights in S. Thailand. The Learning Centres’ presence in the community has symbolic importance with powerful human rights implications. All along, the presence of our Learning Centers has exacted greater integrity for and humanization of the Burmese people in Thailand by putting children first. The rights of the downtrodden have never been awarded; they have been won through the demands of the oppressed. The LCs have been the absolute at the heart of this declaration of dignity; the children and extremely dedicated teachers, its ambassadors. As such, the support of just a few hundred Burmese migrant children has social repercussions that far exceed conventional education outputs.In supporting the FED’s education work in Thailand, an agency or individual promotes safety and health for Burma’s most vulnerable people; its migrant children. Not only do the Learning Centres offer regular health education for children who otherwise wouldn’t get it, but the FED also facilitates these children’ access to health care when they are ill or injured. Reaching these isolated people is possible only by bringing them together at the Learning Centres. The LCs have been a powerful antidote to the heartbreak of child labour, indentured servitude, modern forms of slavery and other abuses, which were completely unchecked here in Phang Nga Province before Burmese children had a safe place to be. Diverse accounts attest that child labour and exploitation has decreased and been less passively accepted as the status quo by Thai communities here.The LCs are an advocate and promoter of education reform in Thailand. It was no mystery why Thai govt. schools in the area began finally accepting migrant children only after our learning centers paved the way; showing that the will and unity of the Burmese community was strong and organized. It was the presence of the LCs full of children demanding their rights! Now, more than ever, the education of Burmese migrant children has repercussions for the entire region and our collective humanity. With this being said, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to all of you, who have generously contributed to our education program. We, as well as the Burmese children recipients of these fundamental gifts, are immensely thankful for the contributions you have made to this cause. While education, especially for youth, is of the utmost importance and beyond the confines of a price or monetary value, these are projects that FED will continue to provide thanks to the community of support we are fortunate enough to have made with you. As we maintain communication with our valued supporters, please do continue to look out for ways you can support the Burmese migrant community through the work that FED is doing and through our future Global Giving campaigns. Thank you again for your support and compassion.
On behalf of FED and the local Burmese migrant community, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to those who have generously contributed to the Global Giving project aimed at providing education for Burmese children. We, as well as the Burmese children recipients of these fundamental gifts, are immensely thankful for the responses, the support, and the time you have given in pursuit of this cause. While education, especially for youth, is of the utmost importance and beyond the confines of a price or monetary value, these are projects that FED will continue to provide thanks to the community of support we are fortunate enough to have made with you. As we maintain communication with our valued supporters, please do continue to look out for ways you can support the Burmese migrant community through the work that FED is doing and through our future Global Giving campaigns. Thank you again for your support and compassion.
Since our Learning Centers reopened 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 couple....
Currently in Unified Learning Center, we teach Burmese, English, Thai, Mathematics, Social Studies (history, Science, Geography) and Art for Burmese migrant students. We started the second chapter end test from 8th to 12th (Myanmar, Thai, English, Math, and Integrated) of October for 2012-2013 Academic Years.
The Nutrition program has been operating in the nursery to enrich the health and nutrition of the children.
The health education activities have been provided two days per month in the unified learning center for hygiene, self health guidance, and to educate on general knowledge about good health.
This period, one English speaking volunteer has been supporting English in Grade 4 to Grade 7 with pronunciation, phonetics, and conversation. In addition we have started the computer class for Grades 3 to 7 with the introduction of the computer to the Burmese migrant students. This is the first exposure to computers for most students except the chapter end test from October 8th to 12th. We taught a computer basics course, the typing method and plan to teach painting for the new students. For Grade 7, we taught the practical use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Photoshop CS2, basic internet and web development class.
Burmese language lessons for integration students began to support the development of the native language of Burmese children attending Thai schools, a Burmese teaching program has begun to be implemented. Burmese children studying at Parkweek and Khuk Khak Thai Schools have Burmese language class every Saturday at The Unified Learning Center.
Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Thailand:
On June 18 I visited Foundation for Education and Development/Grassroots Human Rights Education and Development in southern Thailand - a place called Khao Lak.
I saw and sat in on activities from preschool to the young adult youth outreach program. The older children receive traditional schooling in addition to democracy and human rights training. In Thailand the problem is that to integrate migrant students into public schools, money and language-fluency in Thai is required, which many children of Burmese migrants don’t have. Additionally, transportation to these schools is not easy therefore students are provided transportation via the FED/GHRE truck from certain areas to the FED/GHRE school.
One FED/GHRE staff member I met had joined this organization at age 12 and continued through the program. She is now 19 and a translator for the organization. She said without FED/GHRE she probably would not have any opportunity and have to marry young or work in a plantation like many of her peers. I was able to also speak with a FED/GHRE recipient who has been integrated to a Thai school. He said he has both Thai and Burmese friends there and enjoys playing football as well as art class because he loves to draw mountains and landscapes.
Before I left, I was able to stop in one last time and observe a school celebration of Aung Suu Kyi’s birthday. The students were quizzed on historical events, the life of Aung Suu Kyi, and then watched a short documentary. Although there have been public changes within (Burma) Myanmar, there is an increase in new students arriving everyday to this school. This group of multilingual Burmese youth in Thailand will grow up not only with math and language skills, but a with a global mindset trained in democracy and human rights.
To read more about my site visit JacquelineInTheField's Blog.
Congratulations GlobalGiving! Your support and donors’ gifts have been instrumental in helping FED reach the goal of serving migrant children from Burma with quality education and safe and healthy environments in which to learn.
FED is pleased to announce the opening of two new learning centers within just the past month. The New Unified Learning Center in Khao Lak and the Mulberry-FED Learning Center in Kuraburi will educate approximately 470 students, ages 3-17 in Thailand’s Phang Nga Province.
The Unified Learning Center in Khao Lak celebrated its opening May 9 and began classes on June 5. Currently, 320 students are enrolled for courses in English literacy, math, science, Thai and Burmese language as well as computer science. Five learning centers have been consolidated into one Unified Learning Center, with core funding from Japan’s Umenohana restaurant group. The former learning centers operated on rented land, many experiencing annual flooding of facilities which necessitated moving locations often during the school year to hold classes. To maximize efficiencies in operations and provide a more quality education, the new Unified Learning Center was conceived and built. Other major donors and partners include Annika Linden Foundation, Khao Lak Community Appeal, Child’s Dream and Act Now Children’s Fund.
A collaborative education program alongside Andaman Discoveries, the Mulberry-FED learning center in Kuraburi has 6 classrooms for 150 students ages 3 to 14. Six teachers, Burmese and Thai, will serve as core educators. The Learning Center also includes a nursery for younger children and grades K-6. Other major funding comes from Mulberry Public Relations and Act Now Children’s Fund. The opening ceremony on June 5 was celebrated with student performances of traditional dance and attended by students, parents, community leaders, staff and volunteers. Andaman Discoveries is a leader in sustainable travel and development in Thailand, enabling visitors and volunteers to support a community education, among other programs.
Thanks again to GlobalGiving for your support. Every gift helps sustain and grow a migrant child’s education.
Visit the 2 links below to view some pictures and a very short video of the first day of school.
1st Day of School ULC
Nursery Students 1st Day of School
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