Myanmar education: Shall we leave in the hands of fate?
I’ve been thinking of it for ages, well years! But I never got around to it to open my heart. I’ve been seeing, hearing and feeling it every day.
What a poor child I was before! That’s the first thought coming to me whenever I see my kids at school. And “how lucky they are”, that’s the next thought following. Being a teacher of an international school, everyday life of mine is spent with kids who are bright, smart and well-exposed with well-planned education. They are quite lucky to be here at such an international school.
Having no idea how life is difficult, everything goes smooth in their thoughts. They think everyone is as happy as they are. Life is that easy because things are ready when they ask for it. Each family has at least 3 or 5 luxurious cars. They take trips abroad every holiday of an academic year. Their birthday parties are colorfully held at pricy hotels and parks. They complain when things are not the way they want. Well, they can afford to buy an effective learning environment.
What I envy about them is their education. It’s not how rich they are! Then why was I thinking of their wealth? Well, today’s education becomes or already became sort of investing money, maybe especially in my country, even though it’s happening throughout the world. If you pay well, you will get better education.
As I went to government schools for years, plus, I’m tutoring some kids from government schools, I know how much it is different between government schooling and private schooling. In government schools, what children do every school day is Listen and Nod. Their opinions on subjects are restricted, no new opinions apart from teachers’ are allowed in the class. Kids learn (not necessarily learn, just read by heart) what they hear from the teacher, but not from what other classmates think of the topic. Then how could they ever become students who are smarter than their teachers? They may know as far as the teacher knows. That’s how I, myself, grew up, with that kind of education. Here I am not blaming the teachers who let kids down. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not because they want to do it, but because they are supposed to do it. They got to cover the syllabus (part of it seems useless to me) within a school year.
Then shall I put blames on the government education system? I know I cannot make any difference to it. Sometimes, I feel like neglecting it. I’m paid well enough at my job and no need to take it into consideration since I will not change the government education system. But I have rights to express my views, right? What I, personally, want to change is the approach, as long as they are using “teacher-centered approach”, the product, our future generations, will be as same as or as dull as their teachers. Doors are closed to release their thoughts and share them with others. I am sure kids are much brighter than adults. They learn new things quicker. They see what we did not see. Sometimes, I gasped as they come up with amazing creativity and talents. As we provide Learner-centered approach at all international schools, students can agree or disagree on the topic. They express how they feel about it, what they think may seem right, wrong, unnatural or unacceptable. In this way, they share thoughts and learn new things from each other. They do lots of projects on their own. They go field trips as an exposure to the real world.
Then why don’t the government-schooled kids get those chances? It’s because they are not provided. They need money to buy that education like kids from my school. What more can I say?
Every time I think about kids from government school, something feels slightly wrong.
Shall we leave it in the hands of fate? I wish we were no longer poor. I want them to have a good education of their own. I want to see today kids being much brighter than us, teachers. They are the future leaders of our country, not the followers of adults. They must know more than we do. However, what they are seeking it still in the hands of fate…
Written by Mingalapar forum team teacher