Development and Trends
It is a very exciting time for our university and exam preparation program. We begin a new semester on September 10th, and have over 140 new students studying with us and over 200 continuing students. Over the last few months, we made a concerted effort to expand our services outside of major cities in an effort to reach community development workers in Burma working in more remote locations where academic English and test preparation services were not available. Due to the hard work of our staff and the strength of our networks, we have been able to expand services into states and divisions inside Burma where we previously did not have a presence.
As an online and distance education program, our program is continually looking for new tools and technologies to improve our systems and create an active learning community to support our students. We have started started using Edmodo http://www.edmodo.com/ (a social learning network) as a way for staff to communicate with students and for students to communicate with each other. On Edmodo, students can post questions about their assignments that can be answered by other students or staff members. Sending a notification to an entire class is as easy as posting on Facebook. We are also continue to improve our module based learning management system (LMS) http://portal.epopasia.org/ to provide a more user-friendly environment.
Due to the widespread reach of the program, more students are gaining the academic qualifications necessary for university study than the number of scholarships available in a given year. Our Academic English courses not only build high level English reading, writing, and listening skills but also facilitate opportunities for critical thinking. For many NGO workers, being able to effectively communicate in English is necessary for work in advocacy or regional engagement. We have recently heard back from five students who just started new jobs at INGOs in Burma. They directly relate the academic English skills they learned in our program to getting their new jobs. We are continuing to improve our courses with the aim that university preparation also equals professional development.
We also love hearing back from students who are now studying at university:
"I am writing this letter to inform you all that I have received a scholarship and am now studying at Rangsit University in Bangkok majoring in international relations and development. Studying with EPOP has really helped me improve my English skills and has made it easier for me to complete my studies here. Thank you so much to you all for your kind help.If you get a chance to visit Bangkok, please stop by as well. "
Na Daw LawTOEFL ITP class student
Thank you for your support!
We would sincerely like to thank everyone who has supported us over the past year. We faced serious budget cuts over the summer and support from donors on GlobalGiving helped us make it through these cuts without cutting our core services. A little bit goes a long way in our program and every donation helps.
If you would like more information about our program please don't hesitate to contact me and visit our website at http://epopasia.org/.
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