Help 200 Students From Burma Study for University

by Thabyay Education Network
Result of EPOP
Result of EPOP's brainstorming session

Dear EPOP Supporter,

We at EPOP would like to say thank you for your contribution to our 5-year-old program.

During these 5 years EPOP served more than one thousand young change-makers in order to help them to reach their goals and to be prepared for applying to an international university.

Now EPOP is stepping into a new phase in its life as we are planning to extend our scope in terms of target groups and courses. This is the moment where EPOP needs you to make these changes happen.

The future of EPOP

The EPOP Strategic Meeting was held in November to deeply develop future action plans and solve the ongoing issues in which the program are facing and in need to be solved. Interestingly, the outcomes of the meeting were very collaborative, fruitful, and lots of agreements and plans have been made for future EPOP.

EPOP Team aims to serve people who are in need assistances to engage themselves to higher education as well as personal and community professional development for their future career. EPOP commits to provide its invaluable services where everyone can access even if they are marginalized groups from their community, society and the country by blended platform. EPOP is planning to develop more exciting and interesting projects for all positive change makers in the near future.

How can you help this development?

Microsoft’s YouthSpark #GivingTuesday campaign on December 2, 2014 is a great opportunity for us to raise fund for EPOP’s new developments in order to match your donation to Microsoft's matching fund. This 24-hour day of giving starts on December 2 at 03:00:01 EST (Find this time in your city) and ends on December 3 at 02:59:59 EST (Find this time in your city).

We look forward to welcoming you on our GlobalGiving’s donation page during the above mentioned period: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-200-students-from-burma-study-for-university/

On behalf of our students and the project team, we would like to thank everyone who supports us.

If you have any questions about the projector about our work, please do get in touch with EPOP.

With our best wishes,

EPOP

EPOP Team
EPOP Team's strategic planning
EPOP students sit the Final Diagnostic Test
EPOP students sit the Final Diagnostic Test

The last two months were very exciting for EPOP, due to the fact that our recent semester has just finished in August and we started the new one in September. 66 students completed our course between February and August (you can see the different locations on the map below); we received 150 new applications for the second semester in August and started it with 183 participants from Myanmar, from along the Thai-Burma border and from Cambodia on 15th of September.

In August we gave more than 200 Diagnostic Tests in order to measure the improvement of EPOP’s students and the level of English of the new applicants. We were also curious to know our students' opinion and feedback regarding our work, hence we made a survey at the end of the semester among the students who studied with us from February to August. We are very proud to be reviewed by beneficiaries of your support, let us share some comments with you.

"EPOP provides effective help in the improvement of English skills especially in terms of TOEFL score, so I found that it is very useful and effective for the learners who are eager to attempt it in order to apply to the international university or for those who simply try to improve their English level."

"EPOP is the most effective online course I've ever learnt with and it is very easy to join it. EPOP helps me to improve my English Skills and to discover many opportunities. EPOP shows me the way to my dream. EPOP is the best online course ever."

We would like to say thank you for the feedback and also for your support that made the EPOP program possible.

 

Successful change-makers in 2014

Until now two EPOP students dream came true in 2014 winning scholarships to the university in Hong Kong. One of them is a committed teacher from Kayin State who is going to study Social Sciences and Public Policy in order to fulfill her plans improving the quality of the English language education in her community, as she said:

"I envision the initiation of two plans in my hometown for the betterment of a developed society. Firstly, I would like to establish a better English language center providing scholarships to poor-talented students in order to learn proper English language skills at the English center that I am hoping to open. Secondly, I would like to open an accessible local library intending to support students with affordable materials and better learning methods, because in my belief the only way out from the poverty and misfortune of my community is standard education."

The second successful scholarship winner is from Mon State, she is most interested in environmental education, and thanks to her engagement and enthusiasm she will have the chance to study Education and Social Science. We wish her all the best to achieve her goals in the close future.

"My ambition is to build an education center, where students can learn not only English but also about social science, in my home town. I want to empower the students in rural areas to take part actively in environmental conservation programs. Therefore, it is a great support for me not only in my further education but also in my future career if I could choose an environmental education program."

Without your help and support they could not have made these achievements. On behalf of our students and the project team, I would like to thank everyone who supports us.

If you have any questions about the project, or about our work, please do get in touch with EPOP.

With our best wishes,

Matyas Benedek

EPOP Students
EPOP Students' location, 1st Semester - 2014
EPOP stundents sit the TOEFL ITP exam
EPOP stundents sit the TOEFL ITP exam

We at Thabyay Education Network would like to express our gratitude to those who have supported our Exam Preparation Outreach Program's (EPOP's) project, 'Help 200 students from Burma study for university' on GlobalGiving.

Year 2014 started in a very dynamical way. In March, we launched a new semester with 189 students from Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia providing online academic English and exam preparation services to help civil society activists gain qualifications in order to support their work and pursue further studies.

Based on the progress of the students, EPOP had the chance to organize a Diagnostic Test for more than 100 students in order to track their development and to provide TOEFL ITP exam for students who reached their target scores. Despite the fact that we were in the middle of the semester, so far 13 talented EPOP students got selected to sit the TOEFL ITP exam in order to apply for scholarship in universities abroad, like it happened with 18 EPOP students in 2013.

Students are busy now with the weekly assignments focusing on academic reading, writing, and listening skills. They will get feedback on a previous essay submission and submit a forum assignment.

On behalf of our students and the project team, I would like to thank everyone who supports us.

If you have any questions about the project, or about our work, please do get in touch with EPOP.

 

With our best wishes,

Matyas Benedek

Khine & Ma utilizing computers for research
Khine & Ma utilizing computers for research

The following is a postcard from Charissa Murphy, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Southeast Asia, about her recent visit to Thabyay Education Network in Myanmar.

Preparing future leaders of Burma, the Exam Preparation Outreach Program (EPOP) helps to get students of Burma ready to study at an international and university level. After spending some time visiting organizations throughout Burma such as Thabyay, the need for programs such as the EPOP is evident. The education system in the country focuses on memorization rather than on critical thinking and research. It is disheartening to pass schools and even homes where students are outside reciting over and over lines that they have to memorize for an upcoming exam. The deafening trance forced upon these students by the standard curriculum limits the people here from true development, thus limiting community advancement and reform.

Many of the students who complete the EPOP progress onto the full time residential Kant Kaw course in Yangon, which is taught in English, thus further preparing them for both 1)international university education abroad for some of the most passionate, underprivileged students and 2)a strong background in modern community development.

I met with some of the Thabyay staff at the Kant Kaw Education Center in Yangon. Organized and full of energy, the students of the Kant Kaw Education Center under the Thabyay Education Network are evidently excited about being a part of such a change-making and empowering organization. The Kant Kaw Education Center walls are lined with photos of smiling, enthusiastic, and motivated individuals and groups of students. As I study each photo, I feel excited about the future of these leaders. It is apparent that the focus here is both on individual, as well as group and community development.

Before meeting with the program leaders, I chatted with two young ladies, Khine and Ma, who were using the computer and printer resources. One of the girls, an almuni, still seems dedicated to the Foundation and active in its continued success as she utilized its resources and shared research tips with a current student. Their pride in being part of the inspiring and life-building knowledge gained through the programming beamed through their smiles when I asked, "How have you liked being a part of Thabyay?"

Classes weren't in session when I arrived at the center. The students had class in the morning, and in the afternoon they attended an Education Fair being held in Yangon. Providing opportunities inside and outside of the classroom for learning and growth is part of the culture Thabyay provides, and the EPOP is really a starting point for the students of Burma to develop their education and to help strengthen their communities.

As the Myanmar government is undergoing changes in many areas, including education reform, Thabyay desires to continue its reach, and seems to serve as an organization of strong respect and model-setting for alternative forms of education and leadership programming. The fully dedicated and enthusiastic staff wants nothing more than to be able to continue inspiring and opening opportunities for the youth of Myanmar. From all different ethnic and religious backgrounds, the students are learning to work together to build opportunities for themselves and others after many years of conflict and restriction. Not only are they learning to work together, but they're actually doing it! After my meeting at Thabyay, I met with three other alumni of the EPOP and Kant Kaw Education Center who are now teaching English at Parliament and really enjoy the opportunity to teach and help build their country together.

Links:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -- Eleanor Roosevelt

2013 was a terrific year for our students and we are looking forward to an exceptional 2014.  In the last year we were able to provide course services to 354 students studying from 18 different locations in Burma including Yangon Division, Mandalay Division, Kachin State, Chin State, Shan State, Mon State, and Arakan State, as well as all along the Thai-Burma Border.  We administered over 700 English diagnostic tests both paper-based and online and 133 Official TOEFL ITP exams of which students received official transcripts usable for university entrance.   Over 70 of our students achieved a high enough score for university entrance on an official TOEFL test and have received or are now applying for scholarships.  We could not have made these achievements without your help and we are deeply thankful for your donations.   

"I would like to thank you so much for your help in helping me improve my English and get a TOEFL certificate. I received a scholarship and am now studying for my master's in public health.  My dreams are coming true and I could not have done this without your help.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!" -May Thet 

This is the last month of our current semester which will end on February 10th.  During that short time, students will be very busy. They will be completing their weekly assignments focusing on academic reading, writing, and listening skills.  They will get feedback on a previous essay submission and submit a forum assignment.  They will take two online vocabulary quizzes, a major review quiz, and a final exam.  Most of our students are working full time for their communities so this takes great commitment and motivation. Hard work does not go unnoticed. Students who pass their course will be invited to take a final practice TOEFL exam and if they score close to their target score, they will take an official TOEFL ITP exam and receive a score report that they can use for university and scholarship applications.

We are extremely excited for the possibilities of this New Year as we continue to improve and expand our educational services to dynamic young change-makers. On behalf of the project team and our students, I would like to thank you again for your support and look forward to continuing our work together in 2014.

With our best wishes,

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Organization Information

Thabyay Education Network

Location: Chiang Mai - Thailand
Website: http:/​/​www.thabyay.org
Project Leader:
Sandar Lwin
Program Coordinator
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Thailand
$33,879 raised of $40,000 goal
 
107 donations
$6,121 to go
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