On June 20th, 2017, Studer Trust hosted its 4th Abbots Meeting at Zaytawon Monastic Education School in Nyaung Oo. 28 abbots and 59 teachers from our partner schools attended this year’s meeting to share best practices and news about their schools as well as learn more about Studer Trust’s current and future projects and programming.
In the morning, these school leaders met with the Studer Trust Teacher Training Center (TTC) team. TTC team members shared updates on its current and upcoming programming, and the abbots, in turn, had the opportunity to share the many ways that they felt TTC’s training has impacted their students, schools, and community. Studer Trust is happy to report that 96% of abbots stated they felt that teachers who attended TTC training improved their teaching practice and the education of the students in their school.
However, even after the continued support of Studer Trust and its donors, several abbots described two challenges they felt impacted the success of their students and schools. First, they noted that a lack of teaching learning aids and materials negatively impacted their student’s ability to learn important lessons and second, that the challenges that students face in learning English negatively impacted their success in school.
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Wai Yin Association, TTC is happy to report 2 initiatives that will help address these issues. To begin with, TTC will host its 2nd English Teacher Training (ETT), which will start in September 2017. During ETT teachers will participate in over 135 hours of English language instruction while also improving their knowledge of teaching English as a Foreign Language as well. Furthermore, each school that sends a teacher to attend ETT will receive at least 1 teaching material box, which will include supplies for their classrooms and other learning materials, such as English picture dictionaries and story books, in both English and Burmese. TTC is confident that both of these initiatives will, in part, help our partner schools begin to successfully address these challenges.
In the afternoon, Studer Trust operation team informed the attendance on how the team addressed the feedback from the 3rd Abbots meeting. All of the participants at the meeting discussed about the great need for school facilities in many of the monastic schools. Studer Trust shared the 2017 projects plan along with a draft plan for the 2 upcoming years which would support 6-18 new school buildings for the poverty-stricken.
The team educated the abbots that the quality of a school measures not only on the school facility standards but also on its teachings and school management. All of the participants agreed that the school's sustainability involves a great deal of co-operation between the principals, teachers, and parents. The team also explained and discussed about one of Studer Trust's core key points; the Follow-Up Program. With our Follow-Up Program, we will continue our support and hard work with the communities and further build a long-term relationship while emphasizing an important concept of "Helping" over "Giving".
There were panel discussions about solutions to rising teachers turnover rate, the challenges of Monastic schools under the new national education strategic plan and goals, updates from Monastic Education Development Group, how to create a good school campus, etc. Thanks to our moderator, Inn Jell abbot, Zaytawon abbot, Sandar Yar Ma abbot and Taung Ywa Thit abbot for their contributions. We conducted successful Q&A period. All the participant agreed to hold next 5th Abbots Meeting at Inn Jell school to fulfill his kind invitation.
We thanked the abbots whom are dedicated people performing daily tasks that help to solve the needs of the unfortunates.