Although Myanmar is now enjoying rapid economic growth, its education standards are lagging far behind. To grow strong as a nation, empowerment must be given to the younger generations through a more comprehensive and accessible education system starting with the youngest among them, the preschoolers. This presentation introduces a project to establish a nursery school in a less privileged district of Yangon, Myanmar, lacking education opportunities and with many young children left by working parents playing in the streets. The process of setting up the nursery school started when an educator in Japan contacted the local office of an NGO in Myanmar and proposed such a small-scale project. A dedicated group of residents, who had recently built a church in the same area, demonstrated their enthusiastic commitment to the project by the volunteering of needed time and resources. Accordingly, together with the NGO’s local staff, a plan was formulated for the realization of school facilities and an innovative curriculum designed by a curriculum specialist. Teachers were hired and trained in the new curriculum. The school opened in 2013 with 20 students from 4 to 6 years of age. This year, 2014, the first graduation was successfully held. In order to ensure sustainability of the project, local community residents have formed a volunteer committee that cooperates closely with the teachers and students and their families in the management of the project.
Marshall TS Smith, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Japan
Stream: Education for sustainable development
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