Building Schools in Myanmar – Concept Note


Building Schools in Myanmar – Concept Note
Building Schools
in Myanmar
Empowering underprivileged children, youth & communities
in the Mekong Sub-Region to shape their own future
It all begins with building schools
We strongly believe that a safe and secure learning
environment is essential for educational success. Therefore,
we support children and youth in accessing education by
building educational infrastructure. We focus on education
because it is proven to be one of the most important factors
for sustained social and economic development. Education
promotes a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding
and builds the foundation for diversity, human rights and
freedom. Through our Basic Education projects we aim to
promote education and increase children and youth’s participation in school. We believe that education can enhance
their opportunities and empower them to make better
decisions in life.
A typical rural, monastic classroom in
Myanmar with hatched roofs and dirt floors.
Stationery is lacking everywhere.
Challenges in Myanmar
With one of the most diverse population in Asia, Myanmar
has been home to ethnic conflicts and political discords
through every governmental era since independence from
Great Britain in 1948. Under the Thein Sein government,
which assumed office in 2011, a new political system is
emerging and hopes are continuing that the country is set
on the path towards modernity and political reform.
However, many serious tensions remain over political
freedoms and ethnic nationality rights. In particular, despite
ceasefire offers by the government to ethnic opposition
forces, many minority groups have expressed concerns that
their people will be marginalised during another time of
political and economic change. Such perceptions are
especially acute among communities where the impact of
conflict remains.
Against this background, education for many children in
Myanmar, particularly in the poorer areas or from ethnic
minorities, remains problematic. The government does
provide a state-run education system; however it is not free
and the system is not run properly since many teachers are
not motivated and do not show up for classes. Also, it is
becoming more expensive as the government decreases its
support and tries to shape national education policies.
Contact us:
Child’s Dream Foundation
238/3 Wualai Road, T. Haiya, A. Muang
Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
There is a tremendous lack of classroom space
and the absence of partitions between the
classrooms make effective learning difficult.
Often, education is held in the open air.
[email protected]
Tel. +66 (0)53 201 811
Fax +66 (0)53 201 812
An alternative to the state-run system is offered by Buddhist
monasteries, the traditional system of education in
Myanmar prior to British colonialism. The monasteries are
allowed to operate secular schools, use the government
approved curriculum and are free of charge for the students.
All levels of schooling at monastic schools are fully
accredited by the government and count towards the high
school matriculation. They are, however, generally not yet
authorised to teach through to the end of high school.
Building Schools in Myanmar
Our support for school construction in Myanmar comes in
two forms. The first is by cooperating with a local partner on
the ground in Myanmar. We provide financial support to a
main monastery in Mandalay for the construction of new A very typical community school in a rural area
of Myanmar, containing three classrooms.
schools in its network. They have qualified engineers who
There is hardly any separation between the
help us to oversee the construction process to ensure that classrooms, which makes teaching difficult due
our safety and quality standards are met. We meet with the to the high noise level.
local community and monastery before deciding to support
a project and our project managers will make regular visits
during the construction process to check on progress. By
leveraging the benefits of their strong network, we can
ensure that schools we construct also have access to
assistance and capacity development as needed. The second
approach is our indirect support of local community schools.
Some communities have taken the initiative to start and
maintain small schools in their villages but many are
struggling and need additional support in order to continue
to provide an education to their children. Here we partner
with Community Based Organisations (CBOs) who will
identify and implement these projects together with us.
With both methods, the result is a carefully selected community, regularly visited and monitored by our staff.
We provide the funding for construction, while implementing construction directly where possible. In all cases
the communities sustain the schools with their own sources of funding which are clarified and agreed upon
before construction starts, so we know our buildings will continue to be used for decades to come.
Budget & Reporting
Guided by our bottom-up approach, community leaders
and the school committee are engaged in close
collaboration and consultation from the early stages to
develop and construct the facilities. We believe in
fostering good relationships with the communities, as it
enables us to understand their real needs and ensures
the projects sustainability. Through regular follow-up
visits we remain sensitive to their needs even after the
project is completed, enabling us to continue supporting
them in promoting education and increasing children
and youth’s participation in school.
Contact us:
Child’s Dream Foundation
238/3 Wualai Road, T. Haiya, A. Muang
Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Depending on the size of the student population, the
construction of a school building (ranging from one to 12
rooms across various local construction styles) costs
between US$20,000 and US$200,000 and accommodates
from 75 to over 1,000 students. It is also possible to
contribute part of the total cost of a new building (e.g.
20 or 50%). As with all our projects, a detailed final
report will be provided together with a detailed financial
reconciliation, no later than two months after completion of the project.
With less than 7% administration costs, every dollar makes a difference.
[email protected]
Tel. +66 (0)53 201 811
Fax +66 (0)53 201 812

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