Freedom to Education for Young People in Myanmar

by Health and Hope UK
Freedom to Education for Young People in Myanmar


Impact of covid-19 and military coup on education in Myanmar

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 and the military coup in 2021, Chin State's education system has been completely shut down due to a public boycott of education, teacher and school staff participation in CDM (Civil Disobedience Movement), and constant fighting between the local defence forces (PDF) and the military regime. In the 2021-2022 academic year, when the military government opened the schools approximately 2,259 students took the matriculation examination. The pass rate was just 26.78%, which was the lowest among all states and divisions. 

Aim of the Freedom to Education Programme

The aim of the Freedom to Education Programme is for students from Chin State to have the opportunity to access educational opportunities which will enable them to have improved career prospects and return to contribute to the socio-economic well-being of their communities.

Learning new skills

English language skills - While many of the students understand English some are still struggling and are finding it difficult to understand their lessons. However, because the students are not in a community where English is widely spoken, they still have a long way to go before they are fully equipped with English skills. To help with this the team will be helping the students with their English skills until the end of the programme.

Leadership - to enable the students to learn leadership skills, the team selects a representative from the boys' and girls' groups. If there is a disagreement, the representative must resolve it between them. Everyone is allowed to lead devotions, small events, or school activities.

Financial management skills - The team provides a monthly allowance to students by dividing it according to items on the budget, which means that the money they receive is to be spent specifically for communication, transportation, stationery, and so on for the intended purpose. The team also allows the students to buy vegetables by giving them cash. They must record all expenditures, which makes them aware of a family's income and expenditures. The team advised the students that money should be spent on basic needs rather than wants if it is to be spent wisely. Many students have found this simple practice to be extremely beneficial, and they have begun to apply it to their daily expenses.


Despite the difficulties they have faced, the students completed their first-term examination in July. The exam was passed by 50% of the students. Two of the FEP students were ranked second and third in the entire school. Only 17 students out of 108 passed all of their subjects. That means that half of the students who passed the exam were from FEP, an amazing result.

Freedom to Education Programme - Other Key Activities

Pastoral care and support

The education team provides pastoral care and support to the students daily. The team ensures that the student's academic performance, critical thinking skills, and spiritual and social well-being improve.

Community Leader Talks

The community leaders' talks play an important role for the students as they all will be taking up some roles in their communities. The team occasionally invites the community leaders such as local church leaders, community activists, school officers, etc. These talks provide crucial opportunities for the students to learn leadership skills, communication skills, the importance of active listening, and working as a team.

Career counselling

Despite the FEP team's career counselling program, many students are unsure of which careers to pursue after graduating from high school. As a result, the team will provide more career counselling to students over the next four months to help them understand what courses they should take after completing Class 12.

When it came to choosing a career, many students follow in the footsteps of their peers. Parents also frequently make career decisions for their children without considering their interests, believing that they know what is best for their children.Themajorityofthe studentshavenoideawhatacareerentails.Therefore,providingacareercounsellingprogrambecomes one of the most important keys to future success.

Plans for the next 6 months

As the time is approaching for writing the final examination, the students need more support academically. Hence, the team will mainly focus on the academic improvement of the students and provide intensive coaching, guidance, and monitoring.

The team will conduct a scholarship information-sharing session and the team will help for applying scholarships for all the students. The career counselling program will be conducted again to provide clear advice about their career, and it will be explained to them in more detail.

The team will search for suitable universities beforehand so that the students do not get confused about where to study and what to study after passing the class 12 examination. The team will also monitor the students in their studies by conducting tests at least once a week.

The students will also perform community activities to relieve stress related to their studies. They have also attended a stress management workshop which has helped them greatly to manage their stress levels. The community talks will be implemented for the students by inviting motivational leaders, church leaders, and counsellors.


I have made huge changes after studying for two years. I become social, making a lot of friends, have full confidence in English speaking… and am more self-reliant as my parents are far from me and I have to make a decision most of the time. My favourite subject is Mathematics. Since I was young I love playing with numbers. I owe a lot to my donors and supporters because I would not make it this far without your support and love… I appreciate your selfless donation and support.

Shein (name changed for security reasons)

Thank you

Thank you so much for your support. Through your giving, you are giving a future and a hope to Myanmar's next generation of young leaders.


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Over the 2021-22 academic year, we were delighted that 20 further young people from across Chin State, Myanmar, were granted the opportunity to reignite their dream to study, which gives them hope for a better future. All of our students have friends who have left their homes and families in order to join the People’s Defence Force (PDF). Some were forced to flee their homes and have been hiding in the jungle as Internally Displaced People (IDPs). Others were living as refugees over the border in India. Due to the unprecedented security concerns and covid restrictions there were many logistical and communication difficulties in the region.

On arrival, our partner, Prospect Burma, conducted a scholarship information-sharing event. Students were given an in-depth introduction about what to expect and what opportunities would be available for them beyond their college course. The students were really excited to learn about these opportunities, and felt even more motivated in their studies as a result of looking to the future.

Mizo is the most commonly spoken language in Mizoram State and is a compulsory subject for many students. In addition, many educational facilities teach in English. Students were given language lessons in both Mizo and English alongside their course study, greatly boosting their confidence. India has achieved a world-standard education system that encourages students to develop critical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills. In contrast, the education system in Myanmar enforces a system of memorising information by repetition. After four months of attending the intensive English language course, the students grew in confidence, developing critical thinking skills and effectively communicating with local friends.

Physical, emotional, spiritual and academic support are essential aspects of our role as facilitators of the students’ education. Regular social events provide opportunities for students to meet members of the community. Church leaders give talksthat offer moral support, motivation and encouragement. The students are excelling academically as well as in growing in their characters and overall well-being.

Celebrating Success

We now have 40 students studying at Year 11 & 12 level. In Year 12, all of the science students passed in the first division, which means all the students scored 60% in their final exam. We are extremely proud of their achievements despite facing such adversity.


My name is Dedan (name has been changed) and I am 19 years old from Chin State, Myanmar. Currently I am studying in Year 11 in the Arts stream. I have three sisters and three brothers. My father was a primary school headmaster but recently left his job and joined the Civil Disobedience Movement, and my mother is a farmer. In Myanmar, a school teacher’s salary is very low and it was never enough for our family to live on. I studied primary and middle school in my village and continued my high school at Matupi Basic Education High School. With the help of generous donors, I passed my matriculation exams whilst attending the Health & Hope, Education For All project after having failed to graduate for the previous two years.      

Due to the military coup and covid-19, all colleges and universities have been closed and the country's education system has been completely ruined. My dream of studying on a business course and becoming someone useful for the community was broken.      

But Health & Hope and all the donors have given me a golden opportunity to study in India. You gave me hope when I was hopeless. In the future, I would like to become a skilled businessman. Chin State needs great improvement in the economy. Most of the people are poor farmers with very low incomes. I would like to create business opportunities for farmers to sell their farm products.      

Lastly I would like to convey my deepest gratitude to you for supporting me to continue my education abroad. I strongly believe that one day I will become a helpful person for my people.

Thank you so much for your support of our Freedom to Education Programme.

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What is the Freedom to Education programme? 

The Freedom to Education Project (FEP) provides scholarships and support to individuals who have passed their year 10 exams (post 16 years). This support enables young people to continue their education and go on to university or employment.

We believe that education is crucial in building long-term sustainable development in Myanmar. Better education serves to raise levels of social awareness and cultivates leaders who can be catalysts for bringing about a fairer society.

The need for education has never been greater than since the military coup in February 2021 and subsequent near collapse of the education system in Myanmar. Thousands of families have been displaced from their homes, and students have had to leave their university courses, leaving a generation facing a broken education.

 Latest news

Our students have been working hard since their admission to college in September 2021, working hard to adjust to a new culture, new ways of working and studying, and being far from home. In addition to normal school studies, our students have also had additional language tuition in both English and Mizo, the local language in Mizoram state. 

All the students have adapted well however, and with the pastoral care and support of the Health & Hope Education team have done extremely well in their academic studies. In February, students took their end of year exams. Three of the FEP art students came top of the class with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place out of a total of 82 students. We are absolutely delighted with their results and so proud of them for overcoming such adversity to achieve such great results. Similarly, all the science students passed in the highest class, demonstrating their determination to succeed.

In addition to their academic and language studies, students also take part in community activities through serving in community activities. This is helping to build confidence, communication and leadership skills and problem solving. The Health & Hope Education team also put on a sporting event for all students and HHM staff in December – including Tug of War! (We won’t say who won!)

The future 

Our current students are continuing in Year 12 from this month, and we are recruiting a new intake of 20 more students to comence their Year 11 studies this summer.

So many young people have lost their opportunity to study due to Covid-19 and the military coup, and we are prioritising this project as a means of rebuilding long term sustainable development in Myanmar. 

Thank you again for your ongoing support of our work. It makes such a difference and we are so grateful. 

If you would like any information about our FEP programme please contact us at

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FEP students
FEP students

Dear Friends

Thank you for your ongoing support of our Freedom to Education programme. As you will be aware from our last update in October, sadly the crisis in Myanmar is deepening, and conflict intensifying. As a result, the numbers of people displaced from their homes fleeing the conflict has been increasing rapidly. Health and education systems have virtually collapsed, and it is reported that only 10% of students registered for education after the coup in February 2021. This will create a short and long term crisis for Myanmar as young people are not attending school, but also being encouraged to join local resistance groups and fight the Myanmar army.

Yet hope remains. The opportunity presented through the Freedom to Education programme from your generous support is therefore literally a lifeline for our students. Our programme currently sponsors 27 students in India and China. 

The 20 new students in India have settled well after their arduous journey on foot in September. The first six months of their education has been very challenging, with significant hurdles to overcome with language learning (lessons are delivered in Mizo and English), the new environment and keeping up with a new education system. We are able to provide additional language classes for our students, regular mentoring and pastoral support which has helped greatly through this initial period.  They have also been able to receive Covid-19 vaccinations. 

One very recent piece of news to celebrate is that one of our students, studying science in Class 11, came top in the mid term exams out of 102 students! What a wonderful achievement despite all the challenges being faced. 

Currently, the students are all engaged in preparation for their next set of exams in Feb/March. After the exams the students will have some holiday time during which they will undertake careers counselling, further language tuition and basic computer skills.

Here are some quotes from a student, parent and teacher:

Student: "My name is Miss D***. I am 17 years old. I was born in a very remote village where there is no proper education, basic primary health care, no communication and difficult transportation. I felt so hopeless and helpless about my future until I heard the news about the scholarship programme with Health & Hope. My mother and I were so pleased when I was selected to be one of their students. I am extremely grateful for this scholarship."

Parent: "I am the father of Mr M***, one of the FEP students. I am very grateful for all your love and support for my son. I am very thankful to you for supporting his education but also for saving his life with all his friends of the same age joining the CDF [local defence force] to join the fight against the military. I do send my gratitude and prayer to all of you."

Teacher: "I am a mathematics teacher in *** school. It’s been a long time since I have seen such obedient and disciplined students and also a willingess to study hard. I understand that they will face many challenges in their studies because I saw English as the biggest obstacle for these students, however, I have seen their improvements within these few months. I can see they will be someone in the future."

We are so grateful for your continued partnership which is enabling us to provide this much-needed support. If you would like to find out more then please get in touch via our website. We'd love to hear from you!

Thank you again for your generous support. 


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Dear supporter, 

Thank you for your ongoing support of our Freedom to Education programme. The situation in Myanmar continues to be very fragile since the military coup took place on the 1st February 2021. Hundreds of civilians have been killed, and thousands arrested. Daily life continues to be very challenging, with increasing costs of food and supplies, difficulty accessing health care and an overall suppression of human rights and freedoms.

The current situation, compounded by the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, has massively impacted the younger generation. Many have been encouraged to join local armed groups to fight against the military, and there have been many anti-coup protests, often ending violently. 

Thankfully, Health & Hope’s staff are safe, but in hiding, with many having fled the country. As a result of all that has taken place, the operational environment for our work has changed significantly, and so we have had to make the difficult decision to put some of our previous work on hold.

However, there is a massive need to support students in Myanmar whose education has been so badly disrupted over the last two years. We are delighted to say despite the challenges of both Covid and coup that our Freedom to Education Project has been able to continue. We have managed to secure places for 20 new students in India who have commenced their studies in October 2021.  This is in addition to seven students who are already studying in India and China. The grants from our generous supporters enables our students to be provided with accommodation, tuition fees, living expenses and pastoral support. 

I am also delighted to report that we have a further seven students graduating in 2021, in subjects ranging from engineering, English, accounting and medical imaging. I am sure you will join me in congratulating them after all their hard work. 

We are so grateful for your continued partnership which is enabling us to provide this much-needed support. Due to the security risk to our staff and those we work with, we are unable to publicly share details or photos at present about the students, but we will ensure we keep you updated as and when we are able to. If you would like to find out more then please get in touch via our website. We'd love to hear from you!

Thank you again for your generous support. 

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Organization Information

Health and Hope UK

Location: Chorleywood - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @_healthandhope
Project Leader:
Miles Jarvis
Chorleywood, United Kingdom
$132,559 raised of $150,000 goal
153 donations
$17,441 to go
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