Recognition for Burmese monastic school

15.06.2017 - 10:55 | Melanie Sutter

In May 2016, the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation completed a project in Myanmar/Burma. Together with its partner organisation, the Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education High School, the Foundation has trained teachers at five different schools.

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Sayadaw U Nayaka is the director of the Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education High School. U Nayaka received the Citizen of Burma Award for his work before, during and after the end of the Foundation’s project. The prize is awarded by Burmese citizens living in America. The official award ceremony took place on 4 June 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar/Burma.

Teachers lack training

The teachers at the schools being supported did not have any training. The lessons were always the same: the teacher read aloud and the children repeated what they said, or the teacher wrote something on the board and the children copied it down. The children had no opportunity to ask questions or to give their own opinions on the topics.

Improving teachers’ skills

The Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation-financed project aimed to change this. Over the course of nine years, the Foundation trained trainers who then passed on their knowledge to teachers in the schools. These ‘Senior Professionals’ demonstrated participative teaching methods to teachers at the monastic schools. The goal was to create child-oriented lessons, in which the children contribute their own opinions on topics and participate actively in lessons.

One project inspires another

A new Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation project will begin in July 2017. This will involve trainers at the Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education High School passing on their knowledge to teachers at other schools. This project will be carried out at 10 different schools in Myanmar/Burma.

Guide for teachers developed

Along with its child-oriented approach, the Foundation also aims to promote environmental protection. The Foundation has collaborated with the Burmese environmental department to create a teaching guidebook on the topic of environmental protection and sustainability. It offers teachers help with introducing environmental topics to their students in a participative, child-oriented manner. For example, waste management systems are introduced and children plant trees, becoming more aware of the environment in the process.

Other articles by Melanie Sutter

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