Myanmar's Secondary School
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, better known as myanmar or Burma, is located in Southeast Asia and has an area of more than 670,000 km2. Myanmar has a population of more than 53.7 million people and a GDP per capita of almost $1,330 (World Bank, 2018), indicating the low economic and social development in the country. In fact, within Myanmar’s education system, children are only legally obligated to attend primary school. This causes the majority of its children to complete only the basic education requirements. After a comprehensive review of the education system at the national level, the ministry of Education drew up a National Strategic Plan for Education (2016-2021). Among other objects, this plan sought to pass a bill which made access to high quality, upper-level education legal and mandatory.
Despite the reforms and increased investment in public education (from 0.8% to 2% of GDP from 2011-2018), many children and young people still do not have access to education. This is due to the low level of school infrastructure and teacher qualifications that constitute the country’s educational system.
Everything started with a trip to Myanmar in 2016, when Ko Ye, a local guide told us about the problems the children of Ngakhommasan, a small town of Twante in the Province of Ragun, faced regarding their access to education. We learned that only 70% of children from Ragun completed higher education levels, because this was not mandatory in the region (2014 census): this number was even lower in rural areas. This can be specially seen in Ngakhommasan, where many children forgoed their education due to the long distances they had to travel in order to attend school. The town only had one primary school, which was composed of approximately 140 enrolled students. The school was organized in only six classes, composed of children ranging from 3 to 9 years old. Through Ko Ye we learned that the school would be able to offer high school classes if an additional building was constructed. Therefore, we made the decision to lead this initiative in order to contribute to the education and well being of the children from Ngakhommasan.
In July 2017 and thanks to the support of our different volunteers, we started the construction project. Through a collaborative and participative construction approach, we were able to work closely with the different families from Ngakhommasan, who actively contributed to the project as well. In order to maximize the available resources, we used local materials and human capital, coordinating a supervising the project from Madrid.
In the following link you will be able to find more details about the development and construction of this project: Twante Ngakhommasan School Construction
In order to continue supporting the children’s education, at the end of 2019 we contributed to the creation of a school library: donating the necessary furniture in order to make the place amicable for the children. We are sure that this space will positively contribute to the children’s education.
From the Fundación Oceáno Solidario we always work to maximize the reach of all of our actions. Far beyond promoting the educational development of children and young adults, we always look for ways in which we can sustainably contribute to the growth of the local economy. Due to this, we locally bought and sourced all the materials necessary for the construction of the library reducing the number of intermediaries and creating a bigger, more sustainable impact.