Our Second Workshop

December 24th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Class photo for second workshop outside of Yangon

Yesterday was the last day for our three day Yangon workshop. Sue expressed some concern after the first day. The participants were different, more sophisticated than those in Bogalay. Most spoke passable English so that translation was sometimes needed and sometimes not. There was some confusion about the time of the workshop and a few had to leave early. All this was corrected by the second day and now Gayle, Sue, John and Thant all agree it was very effective and a great success.

Classroom scene from second workshop

We held it at the Zabu Oak Shaung Convent School about 45 minutes out of Yangon. Thant found out about it through a library we supply in that area. Being close to Yangon and its international schools we had a lot of volunteer assistance from three students as well as Thant’s ninth grade daughter and two of her friends. All spoke good English. Since most of the translation is from English into their mother tongue it went very well, just as it did in Bogalay.

With all that help Keith and I were not needed in the classroom. Keith just sat outside on a bench to relax. He’s a big guy and his beard can be a little scary at first to kids in a country where men usually don’t get hair on their chin. Kids really like Keith, however, and after a few minutes he was surrounded. It’s no different than our Indian slum schools where Keith is like the Pied Piper.

Keith and the girls outside our classroom

The head nun Daw Wimalasaryi and a number of her teachers participated on our workshop as well as some other teachers from surrounding government and private schools. The English level of our teachers was unexpected. These were just general elementary school teachers , but they understood most of what was said before translation. This was not at all the case in Bogalay.

The headmaster of the local government school stopped by and was very excited about our program, asking if we could not return soon and hold more workshops. We have had a lot of interest from various people at different levels of the educational establishment here. We’ll have to think of how to proceed from here. Everyone we have encountered here is very receptive. We are planning to follow up next year to see if we are really having the effect we want.

Classroom scene from second workshop

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