Thabyay Education Network

Thabyay Education Network's mission is to educate, develop, inspire, connect, and empower individuals and organizations who are change-makers in Southeast Asia, with a primary focus on Myanmar. We seek to achieve this through knowledge creation, innovative learning, guided skills expansion and by forging connections to networks, information and opportunities. We are inspired to create far-reaching transformations for the people of Myanmar.
Feb 3, 2016

Help EPOP students at migrant learning center

Exam Preparation Program (EPOP) is the flagship of Thabyay E-learning Platform that provides university and test preparation services for committed, community-minded individuals in Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia who would like to improve their professional and academic knowledge. The students are from different cities of Myanmar, and from refugee camps and migrant learning centers of Thailand-Myanmar border areas.

EPOP is accepting the application for new semester which will begin in Mar 2016. Over the last few months, we made an intensive effort to expand our services outside of major cities in an effort to reach community development workers in Myanmar working in more remote locations where academic English and test preparation services were not available.  We have been able to expand services into states and divisions inside Burma where we previously did not have connections. Furthermore, the discussion and initial collaboration has been taking with our prospective partners of Thai-Myanmar borders Mae Sai, Tachileik and Ranong for the opportunity for further studies of marginalized ethnic migrant youths.

EPOP’s online learning approach offers blended services comprising self-study, distance learning and classroom-based short courses that can be delivered to individuals in any location in Myanmar and Thailand seeking to acquire the qualifications required for entrance to universities in Asia. Every EPOP student is provided a comprehensive packet of learning materials that includes multiple textbooks, accompanying audio CDs, and a student handbook.

The EPOP Online Portal, Moodle based online learning management system, provides students access to their courses online. After logging in, students can view their weekly assignments, take online quizzes and tests, participate in discussion forums, download the answer sheets to their weekly assignments, and access additional learning materials. EPOP’s online study schedule allows students the flexibility to arrange their studies around their work schedule and complete assessments and assignments in multiple formats. The below table shows the regions of the current EPOP students.

In Jan 2016, EPOP administered the 27 TOEFL ITP tests for the students of partner organization and for EPOP students who are in the process of applying for the universities and scholarships.

EPOP is privileged to offer and administer Official TOEFL ITP exams. Students who take the TOEFL ITP are provided official transcripts of their test score that they can use to apply to international universities. EPOP utilizes the TOEFL ITP because of the affordability and flexibility of the test. EPOP is able to offer these tests at multiple times and locations throughout the year. As EPOP is certified to administer tests and can bring the tests to the students instead of asking them to travel to city centers EPOP can serve marginalized, ethnic and remote populations.

 “I  very much appreciate EPOP team's efforts and supports for every candidate. I found the program is very well-designed as I could hardly find one in other private institutions. I think it is very flexible and most effective for students no matter they are working or living in remote areas. So far, I have won Australian Award Scholarship from Australian government. I would say that EPOP has contributed the major proportion of this priceless success. Without taking the English courses with EPOP, I may not be able to stand where I am standing today. EPOP, you are the vehicle that brought me from where I was to where I wanted to be and you are also the one who helped me to open the door of academic life” _ Malis (EPOP graduate )

We thank you once again for your kind support for this important project and look forward to hearing from you if you would like any further information about this project.

 

With our best wishes,
Sandar Lwin


Attachments:
Dec 1, 2015

Support a Business woman to continue her study

Overview

We at Thabyay Education Network’s Arohana Scholarship Fund would like to extend our gratitude to all of you who have donated to our ‘University Scholarships for Students from Burma’ project on GlobalGiving.

 After the deduction of GlobalGiving administrative fees, we have now received a total of approximately US$ 67,752 in disbursements from GlobalGiving for the University Scholarships for Students from Burma project (funds are received over time in Thai Baht at different exchange rates, so USD figures can only be approximately calculated).

 By the 14th September 2015, we had disbursed approximately US$ 65,927 to scholarship awards.

Selection and awards

Since the last report on 14th September, the Arohana Scholarship Fund Committee has made one further awards totalling approximately US$ 595.

 The total funds now raised by the ‘University Scholarships for Students from Burma’ project have therefore supported 61 awards enabling 51 students from marginalised communities across Burma to start or continue their Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD studies at universities across Asia.

 The recipients of these awards comprise 25 women and 26 men, ranging in age from 16 to 51 (average age of approximately 23, representing nine ethnic groups, studying 30 different majors at 18 different universities in 5 countries across Asia).

The award recipient was as follows:

Recipient:

Name: Chaw

Age: 34

Sex: Female

Ethnicity: Karen

Subject Studied: Business Administration

University:University of Thai Chamber Commerce

Award Amount: US$ 595

Award Type: Partial scholarship

N.B. Names of award recipients have been changed to protect their identities.

 In her own words “Some people may think business is profit for the boss only. As for me, I think business profits to every consumer, producer, worker or office staff and government. Farmer will produce rice and he will sell the extra rice to get some money. He will spend his money for his other needs.  Merchant will buy farmer’s extra rice and sell again to a company. The company will buy rice and sell it spread over the supermarket or store. While the process was installed, every single person who involved in the process will get benefit as wages. Even government will get tax from the process. Doing business mean not only profit, you are offer convenience to consumer and offer jobs and income for many employee and producer (e.g. Farmer). Without merchant and company doing business the farmer might have to throw away his extra rice because he can’t eat his all rice. He may got sick and die because he don’t have money to buy medicine or get treatment. The employee won’t have any job to do and his income will effect to his family who depend on him. The government may get less money to develop his country either. The power of business can provide convenience to all people who eat the food. Some companies donate some of their benefit to Non-Government Organization to provide education, health and some other needs to poor community”.

Future Plans

 The Arohana Scohlarship Fund remains committed to helping key community actors gain access to appropriate higher education to optimize their positive impact in Burma in key sectors including health care, education, community development, rights and media. The Arohana Scholarship Fund is currently waiting for further funds to be received from GlobalGiving before the Selection Committee meets to decide on further scholarship awards.

 Closing Statement

 We hope that this report shows clearly the potential of these scholarship recipients to become catalysts for incremental social change in Burma, and that you can appreciate the direct link between quality higher education and grassroots development in communities in Burma. We also hope that it demonstrates that even the smallest contribution of US$ 10 can make a difference in terms of keeping a Burmese scholarship student in university education.

 We would like to reiterate our gratitude to all of you who have helped raise funds for this project by making donations and spreading the word. We hope that this report will inspire you to continue to support  us in the future. The beneficiaries of these awards, the students, have individually expressed their gratitude to us for the support they have received. We would like to pass on their thanks to you.

 If you have any questions about this report, or about our work, please do get in touch.

 With our best wishes,

U Soe Lay

Senior Program Manager, Scholarships and Student Support

Thabyay Education Network

Email: usoelay@thabyay.org 

Websites:        www.thabyay.org  

 www.arohanascholarships.org


Attachments:
Nov 24, 2015

Nine students of 2015 EPOP graduates' were awarded

OverView

During 2015, Thabyay e-Learning Platform served 305 students through three EPOP courses -Academic English 1 &2, TOEFL ITP exam preparation- provided 147 certificates for students having completed EPOP courses by the time of reporting. 542 TOEFL diagnostic tests have been given in order to measure the improvement of EPOP’s students and the level of English of the new applicants during the period of January- September. In 2015, EPOP has extended its network and supporting services to Myitkyina and the internal displaced area, Mai Ja Yan.

In 2015 August, TeP increased the support to the students by having the writing tutors. Since most of the students are full time working learners, TeP provides them with tailored study components and study schedule to suit individual needs such as self-study resource package, online study portal with qualified grading tutors and course facilitators.

In the last week of September 2015, EPOP’s new semester, 2/2015, has begun. The new students’ intake and the ending of the previous semester were processed in Myanmar and Thailand during September. The current students from Cambodia continued their studies with EPOP in TOEFL ITP course.

A total of 221 students are eligible to join the EPOP’s 2/2015 semester.  EPOP’s Financial Aid, exemption of course fee and learning materials fee, was provided to 125 students. Altogether 137 new applicants registered for the new semester; 62 from Myanmar, 74 from Thailand and one Myanmar student who is currently studying in Germany.

62 applicants applied from 14 regions of Myanmar: 36 from Yangon, 8 from Mai Ja Yan (IDP), 4 from Nay Pyi Taw PyithuLluttaw,  and 14 from other areas: Belin, Bhamo, Dawei, Hpa-an, Kyaiklat, Kyauk Kyi, Loi Je, Loikaw, Mawlamyine, Muse, Myawaddy.

74 applicants applied from 9 Thai-Myanmar border areas and refugee camps: 50 from Mae Sot, 11 from Chiang Mai and 13 from other areas; Phuket, Ranong, Mae Hong Son, Umphang, Mae Sariang, Sangkhlaburi and Mae La.34 Official TOEFL ITP test have been given in 2015 for 30 EPOP students and 4 non-EPOP students. 77% of the official TOEFL ITP test takers reached their target scores.

Nine students of 2015 EPOP graduates’ were awarded the scholarship and informed to EPOP during the reporting period. One in Korea, 4 in Thailand, one in Canada, and 3 in Hong Kong.

“I have been living in Mae La Refugee Camp for 5 years. Although the students in the camp could access the education, they could hardly continue further studies. However, there are few courses and training that are helping refugees to continue further studies, and EPOP is one of them.”  - Lin (Mae La refugee camp)

“I took a risk to come to Thailand in order to continue the eighth- standard in 2008. I am now very excited to study at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) for my degree in Bachelor of Social Sciences in Global and Environmental Studies.”  - Min (Mae Sot)

 

N.B. Names of award recipients have been changed to protect their identities.


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