Balance Activities Report
Dear friends, mingalabar!
Brief report of summer class in the village of Shwe Mynt Thaar
The summer classes ended on 22 April, after sixteen days. Nu-Nu took care of higher grades students while the elders who are waiting for their result for matriculation exam and I have been teaching the others. More or less 25 students came for study. Sometimes, some of them have been absent because they had to help their family in the harvest of the strawberries (you know, this is strawberry season in Shwe Mint Thaar).
Anyway, we’re happy because the villagers are getting a bit of awareness about education and I got plentiful time to speak with them. So not only teaching, but also friendship, discussions, planning and others things happened during our staying.
Nu-Nu said that the higher grades students’ level does not differ much from that of the students of the city. Only they need the encouragement of their parents and teachers. For example, in summer time they must help their family and in the village there is no place or teacher to study regularly. Although parents know this problem, as usual, nobody can take care. So we are trying to fill this gap with our poor capacity. During this summer, we did teaching, organizing, visiting and so on.
And I managed something along with the villagers:
Middle grades students
Whenever the students want to continue in middle and higher grades, they must find a hostel in city. The problem is that It costs much and the students often feel home-sick because they are still only 11 years old. Then parents must spend more money to go and visit them every weekend. On the other hand, the students are assured to study because in the city they have electricity and no family matters interfere.
So, discussing with the villagers, I tried different arrangements. We agreed to try for one year a first step: a “ferry car”, owned by a villager will shuttle between the village and the city; when the students will come back from the city, the principle of the primary school will take care of the lessons that they learned and have to repeat. The primary school that we supported will be the place where they will be welcomed to study and the village leader will manage for the needed light by solar panels. This project will be only for the middle grades students, not for those of higher grades because more subjects to study need more teachers and time.
School plans at the village
In this year, the principle of the village’s primary school asked us to create mobile partitions of the common room and make some new school desks. In addition, the school need to hire one more teacher. At first, a carpenter and I estimated the cost, then we discussed with the village leader and the school committee. Although I want to end and solve the matter during my staying, I couldn’t. So I told them that all these required things should be ready before the beginning of the school season, in June. The villagers promised to do it in time but I am sure I must remind it to them by calling them. Until now, I decided not to donate any budget, because first I want to see what will happen; then, when I’ll go to there in June or July, it depends on needs, I plan to take part of the cost for the furniture and the teaching aids or for part of the salary of the added teacher. I’ll do this only if they bring on and put their intentions into practice (sorry if it looks like using ‘carrot and stick’)
As we know, most villagers have got awareness about education but not about organization. Actually this is a problem that we can see not only in the education sector but also in other sectors. I believe we still need to wait for the new generation…
In the coming year the students are ready to get English intensive class, I think. Before, there were only few students. In conclusion, time by time, little by little, our dedication, our love and our sharing attitude seem to take some visible forms for those look at.
The Shiatsu Center provides actually a good number of guests, members’ income and interest: all this make us pleased, but the situation is not too much different from last two, three years ago. There was a time where there was no center, no members and no incomes. So what is next step? As the first step of the project has been accomplished, now I think it’s time to do something different.
In my opinion, the deaf young people of the Center need now to stay out of their own community and share more with the hearing people, otherwise they will never become really near to them. To do that courage, which dares to leave their community (even not completely), becomes very important. We understand that it is hard.
In the beginning, some of them (only those who are interested in) should take a Shiatsu practice class, English and ICT class out of school, along with some hearing people. By practicing in this way, some opportunities will arise to offer treatments and classes definitely. At that time, more efficient rules and regulations that the center requires can be prepared. The two groups can have sharing experiences each others. This step must be done in order to continue our experience…
Snipped news and personal notes
In the village of Shwe Mynt Thaar three higher grade students will possibly pass the final exam (I hope); then we’ll have only two students who will be regularly supported from Share: they are Htoo-Htoo and a boy, both at the 10th grade. I have this idea: those who will pass the exam can join the shiatsu practice in Yangon. In the education system of Myanmar, the children can study as in “distance education”: it doesn’t need to go to school regularly, just one month before the exam. They may also study English and ITC on their own expenses. For those who will not pass the examinations, Nu-Nu and I will try to prepare them for another test, again in Yangon. This is only an idea of mine, of course they can choose to do as they prefer…
I got one more idea from a parent in the village. As you know, every summer they normally are selling their cultivated strawberries to brokers. Well, if I come to know somebody to sell to in the Yangon market, they can send the strawberries to me and the elder children who don’t want to leave the village, can manage it. Then more parents can be involved. So now we have one more idea “to cook”…
The exam results will be stated on June…
How was your trip to Morocco? I saw only a picture on FB…
I also uploaded on FB some photos about summer class in the village: did you see them?
Than Oo, Share Myanmar.
Ps: Sorry for Roma team.
Pps: I’ve left only a small package of coffee for my moka: what shall I do???