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MONTHLY EDUCATION PULLOUT - JUNE 2017

“A system of education is not one thing, nor does it have a single
definite object, nor is it a mere matter of schools. Education is
that whole system of human training, within and without
the school house walls, which molds and develops humans.”
W.E.B. Du Bois
American Writer, 1868-1963
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International Relations -- comp
According to experts, anyone who has national interests at heart need to master international rel

TAZAR BHONE MYINT
tazarbhonemyint7@gmail.com

E
VERYONE would agree with
the statement that a country’s
internal and external politics
is the most important factor for
its development. Only with a good
political system and international
relations would a nation’s economy
be strong, resulting in a developed
nation with happy and contented
citizens.
Citizens, on their part, also
need to take part in politics, looking
out for ways and means to benefit
their society and the country as a
whole. To this end, citizens need to
understand politics and have a good
grasp of what international relations
is all about.
One English translation of a well-
known quote by French diplomat and
philosopher Joseph de Maistre (1753-
1821) reads, “Every nation gets the
government it deserves.” Obviously,
it means that the higher the political
knowledge level of the people is,
there would be better chances of
electing a good government.
Accordingly, students or anyone
interested in politics and nation-
building should pursue International
Relations (IR) as a compulsory
course.

Potential IR students
Let’s see what it takes to study
IR. There is no minimum marks
requirement to take the IR course in
Myanmar universities. However, in Students or anyone interested in politics and nation-building should pursue International Relations (IR) as a compulsory course.  Photo: Shutterstock
contrast with those pursuing other
major subjects, potential IR students Yadanabon University in Mandalay, time four-year study will earn one a world’s nations. Once these subjects who wish to participate in nation
are screened out in an interview. Monywa University and East Yangon B.A. (IR) degree, and an additional are learnt, a student would have a building tasks. They can either
“The interview is a psychological University. Later, it was extended to year a B.A. (Hons) (IR) degree. grasp of global political affairs and join international organizations
test. During the interview, one’s University of Foreign Languages. Diploma courses in IR are also international relations. and NGOs or public relations
intelligence, memory, social dealings In the beginning, there were offered in Yangon and Mandalay “What are the roles of the departments at various government
and language skills are tested,” only a few hundred students but the universities. government and the governed in ministries in Myanmar.
according to an IR second-year number gradually increased year building up a nation? What are Many ministries have their
student, who wishes to remain after year, according to IR tutors. Comprehending global political the consequences of establishing own public/international relations
anonymous and be known only as And with the dawn of democracy in affairs relations among nations, such as department. According to
Sithu. Myanmar, the country is witnessing Subjects taught in IR course include Myanmar-US relations, Myanmar- government employees, there is
International Relations, as a the largest number of IR students international history, universal law China relations or US-China a need in employing IR graduates
course, has been taught in Myanmar ever. and treatises, global economy and relations regarding Myanmar? We who would understand the terms
universities since 1984. It was first The IR course comprises six geopolitics. Besides, students have coach students in such complicated of agreement for commercial
launched in Dagon University, major and two minor subjects. A full- to study various constitutions of the topics,” U Sai Khaing Myo Tun, contracts between the government
lecturer from Yangon University IR departments and international
Department, explained. organizations.
Students are also taught to be IR graduates could also work
able to distinguish between positive at peace building institutions, or
and adverse effects of relationship even take up one’s own interest in
between international organizations business and administration.
and Myanmar, he pointed out. IR and political science courses
What kind of influences non- are inter-related, and so when one
governmental organizations (NGO) is studying IR they would have to
exert on the Myanmar government learn political science as well. It’s
and the country, which is still a no wonder that the IR Department
developing nation and having to at Yangon University also teaches
deal with camps for internally political science to its students.
displaced persons? How does IR graduates are considered most
Myanmar accept assistance offered suitable for the Ministry of Foreign
by these organizations without Affairs (MOFA) and its embassies
becoming liable to their unnecessary abroad, and it wouldn’t be a surprise
influence? These are the topics to see many IR graduates being
that are being raised at the IR employed at MOFA.
departments.
Somewhat prepared for MOFA
No scarcity of jobs According to a former MOFA official
The former Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) complex in Dagon township, Yangon. In the mid-1990s, MOFA favored hiring only Regarding job opportunities, there’s who is now employed with a media
IR graduates.  Photo: Staff no scarcity of jobs for IR graduates company, IR is relevant for both
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pulsory for nation building
lations and political science

public and international relations. other side in negotiations, he said.
Since they are being taught all the “Ours is a country with many
basics regarding international requirements. We need many things
relations, IR graduates are somewhat for our country’s development
prepared to work for MOFA, he said. and rehabilitation. We need a lot
“Since IR graduates already have of professionals. IR is an essential
a basic knowledge relating to MOFA’s subject to pursue, if you wish to
nature of work, they feel comfortable work for public interests. Without
with being employed there. Once having any knowledge of IR, one
they are in service, they should may not even know how to talk to our
further their studies -- as a form neighbors,” Zaganar explained.
of on-job training in their specific Human beings and politics can’t
areas of responsibility -- in order to be separated. Myanmar citizens have
effectively perform their duties,” he been out of touch with politics for
said. a long time. Therefore, the young,
In the mid-1990s, MOFA favored who would one day be leading the
hiring only IR graduates. But, country, should master IR. The more
according to some employees, it has political knowledge the citizens
been some time now that graduates acquire, the more effective leaders
in other subjects are being employed they can select.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attends the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting Internationally-acclaimed satirist Zaganar
as well. After all, “Every nation gets the in Yangon in December of last year. As Myanmar is an ASEAN member, subjects such as (U Thura) says veteran Myanmar politicians
“When they join our ministry, government it deserves.” Myanmar’s relationships with other ASEAN nations and internal politics of individual ASEAN are now taking up IR subjects in their free
there are foreign scholarships. Translation by Zaw Nyunt countries are being taught as part of IR course.  Photo: AFP time.  Photo: Staff
They are sent to such countries as
Singapore and Thailand. Of course,
IR graduates find it easier to adapt
to international relations work than
graduates in other subjects. Also,
MOFA’s basic requirements list
hiring IR graduates,” U Myo Myint,
deputy director from ASEAN Affairs
Department, said.
Some other MOFA staff also
expressed the same opinion saying
IR graduates were being facilitated
at work by the subjects they took at
their university course.

Understanding democratic
practices
According to some IR faculty
members, since Myanmar is an
ASEAN member, subjects such as
relationships with other ASEAN
countries with a focus on Myanmar,
internal politics of individual
ASEAN countries, ways and methods
of development in those countries,
and Myanmar relations with super
powers are also being taught.
“At this time of democratic
transition, anyone who wishes to
join the parliamentary proceedings,
lead a political party, become an
MP or an activist should study
IR subjects so as to understand
democratic practices and principles.
Only when a country’s citizens are
educated, would they get an educated
government,” Dr Nyi Nyi Aung,
lecturer from Dagon University IR
Department, said.
Veteran Myanmar politicians are
now taking up IR subjects in their
free time, according to Zaganar
(U Thura), an internationally-
acclaimed satirist.
“IR teaches how to deal in
international relations, how to
negotiate and solve problems and
how to communicate. Thus, it is very
beneficial,” he said.

Negotiating skills
It could be negotiations between
two nations or between two parties
or two organizations, and there are
techniques to be learnt to become
an efficient negotiator. There should
be no one-sided advantage over the
EduCentre

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Affordable and quality education
at Kings International School
With standards and expectations set out by the British National Curriculum, the STEM program
and a trilingual environment, the school prepares its students in becoming top achievers

Programs using play-based learning at Kings International School create lots of fun, interesting activities and experiences for children to
explore.  Photo: Supplied

TIN YADANAR TUN excellent international school with has a direct impact on their overall
yadanar.mcm@gmail.com a moderate price for everyone. development and growth. The

A
Located at 695, Maha Bandoola need to invest in these young
S Myanmar’s economic Street in downtown Yangon’s Latha children is vital as it would shape
situation improves with township, Kings International a child’s future happiness, health,
foreign direct investment School has a pre-school, a primary growth, development and learning
gradually flowing in, international school and an independent achievement at their school, in their
schools catering to kids of high- International General Certificate family and community, and in life
income parents and foreign of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in general.
businessmen have been sprouting school. Neurological research shows
up all over Yangon. These schools, Kings International’s pre-school that the early years of a child play a
where more and more students are is suitable for Pre-Nursery kids key role in their brain development
now enrolled, started to appear (age 2) to Reception (ages 4-5). The and the first three years of life are
after 2012, and now there are over a primary school is for Year 1 (age 5) a period of incredible growth in all
dozen international schools already to Year 7 (age 12) and the standalone areas of a baby’s development.
being opened. IGCSE program is for Year 10 and U Ye Thiha Thant, founder and
Choosing a truly unique Year 11 students wishing to sit for CEO of Kings International School,
school with an affordable price UK’s IGCSE exams. said, “We started opening a pre-
and good facilities is a great nursery class for 2-year-old toddlers
challenge for parents and elders. Vital investment in young and trained them in all necessary
U Ye Thiha Thant, founder and CEO of Kings International School, credits the team To make things easier for them, children skills to make them outstanding and
of dedicated local and foreign teachers at his school for all the skills achieved by the The Myanmar Times has picked The emotional, social and physical
students.  Photo: Zarni Phyo for this month’s EduCentre an development of young children Continued on page 5
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An Explanatory Note

I
N accordance with the education
sector being given top priority by the
present National League for Democ-
racy government, The Myanmar Times, in
collaboration with the British Council, is
honoured to play a part in this most cru-
cial area for the people of this country.
We are devoting four pages of our
resourceful EduCentre pullout for
LearnEnglish Print, a series of high-quality
English-language learning articles and
activities, produced by the British Council.
The English-language levels of these
LearnEnglish Print series follow the
standards of the Common European
Framework of Reference (CEFR) for
languages. According to CEFR, there are six
levels:
• A1 (Breakthrough) – a basic ability
to communicate and exchange
information in a simple way.
• A2 (Waystage) – an ability to deal with
simple, straightforward information
and begin to express oneself in familiar
contexts.
• B1 (Threshold) – the ability to express
oneself in a limited way in familiar
situations and to deal in a general way
with non-routine information.
• B2 (Vantage) – the capacity to achieve
most goals and express oneself on a
range of topics.
• C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency)
– the ability to communicate with the
emphasis on how well it is done, in
terms of appropriacy, sensitivity and the
capacity to deal with unfamiliar topics.
• C2 (Mastery) – the capacity to deal
with material which is academic or
cognitively demanding, and to use
language to good effect at a level of
performance which may in certain
respects be more advanced than that of
an average native speaker.
The Kids Stories series (with activities)
football gifts
on Page A are for primary kids. Each story
features a QR code in the bottom right-
hand corner that will enable readers with
smart phones to watch the videos of the
stories on their mobile device.
The Teens Skills series on Page B are
suitable for teenagers at CEFR A1 and
A2 levels. Some items are for practicing
reading skills and the others are for
writing. Each item includes simple practice
a. He ______be very good at pretending. had to / didn’t have to
activities based on visual prompts.
b. He ______cheer when his team scored. could / couldn’t The General English series on Page C are
appropriate for CEFR B1 level and cover a
c. He ______go to the bathroom to celebrate. had to / didn’t have to
broad range of topics. Each is accompanied
d. He ______be sad when Boxton Town scored. could / couldn’t by a vocabulary comprehension task and
e. He ______have Boxton Rover’s posters when he was alone. could / couldn’t features cartoons, fun word searches and
language jokes.
f. He ______change his room when someone came. didn’t have to / had to
The Professionals series on Page D are
g. He ______have a secret wardrobe. had to / couldn’t pitched at CEFR B2 and C1 levels and
h. He ______hide his favourite team’s clothes. had to / couldn’t aimed at professional people who may use
English in the workplace. Topics covered
i. He ______be sad with Boxton Town football gifts. had to / couldn’t
include knowledge management, business
ethics and change management.
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Building bridges
by Linda Baxter
‘Being old is when you know all the relations, families that have moved away, and
answers but nobody asks you the smaller flats with no room for grandparents. But the
result is the same – increasing numbers of children
questions.’ without grandparents and old people who have no
(Anonymous) contact with children. And more old people who
are lonely and feel useless, along with more and
Six months before she died, my grandmother more families with young children who desperately
moved into an old people’s home and I visited need more support. It’s a major problem in many
her there when I was in Britain. She was sitting societies.
in the living room with about 15 other residents,
That’s why intergenerational programmes, designed
mostly women, half of them asleep. The room
to bring the old and the young together, are
was clean and warm, with flowers and pictures,
growing in popularity all over the world, supported
and the care assistants were kind and cheerful. A
by UNESCO and other local and international
general knowledge quiz show was on the television
organisations. There are examples of successful
(‘to keep their brains active’ one of the assistants
initiatives all over the world. Using young people
said), and the only other sounds were snoring and
to teach IT skills to older people is one obvious
embarrassing digestive noises. People moved only
example. Using old people as volunteer assistants
when they needed to be helped to the bathroom. It Exercise 1
in schools is another, perhaps reading with children
was depressing. Gran talked a lot about how much Match the words with their definitions.
who need extra attention. There are schemes
she missed seeing her grandchildren (my nieces
that involve older people visiting families who are 1 snoring
aged seven and five), but I knew from my sister
having problems, maybe looking after the children 2 cuddle
that they hated going to visit her there and, to be
for a while to give the tired mother a break. Or 3 lap
perfectly honest, I couldn’t wait to get away myself.
‘adopt a grandparent’ schemes in which children 4 breakdown
So I was interested to read a newspaper article write letters or visit a lonely old person in their 5 scheme
about a new concept in old people’s homes in area. There are even holiday companies that
France. The idea is simple, but revolutionary – specialise in holidays for children and grandparents a. put your arms around someone to comfort or
combining a residential home for the elderly with together. show love
a crèche/nursery school in the same building. The b. breathing noisily while sleeping
One successful scheme in London pairs young c. when a relationship or a system stops
children and the residents eat lunch together and
volunteers with old people who are losing their working
share activities such as music, painting, gardening
sight. The young people help with practical things d. plans which are made to help a group of
and caring for the pets, which the residents
such as writing letters, reading bank statements people
are encouraged to keep. In the afternoons, the
and helping with shopping, and the older people e. front portion of the body from the waist to
residents enjoy reading or telling stories to the
can pass on their knowledge and experience to the knees of a person seated
children, and if a child is feeling sad or tired, there
their young visitors. For example, a retired judge
is always a kind lap to sit on and a cuddle. There
may be paired with a teenager who wants to study Exercise 2
are trips out and birthday parties too.
law. Lasting friendships often develop. Now use the five words to fill the gaps in the
The advantages are enormous for everyone
But it isn’t only the individuals concerned who gain sentences below.
concerned. The children are happy, because they
from intergenerational activities. The advantages
get a lot more individual attention, and respond 1. The cat sat on my ……… while I watched
to society are enormous too. If older people can
well because someone has time for them. They television.
understand and accept the youth of today, and vice
also learn that old people are not ‘different’ or 2. There has been a ……… in marriage in Western
versa, there will be less conflict in a community.
frightening in any way. And of course, they see Europe over the last 30 years.
In a world where the number of old people is
illness and death and learn to accept them. The
increasing, we need as much understanding and 3. She had to sleep in another room because he
residents are happy because they feel useful and
tolerance as possible. Modern Western society has couldn’t stop ……….
needed. They are more active and more interested
isolated people into age groups and now we need 4. She likes to ……… her teddy bear before going
in life when the children are around and they take
to rediscover what ‘community’ really means. And to sleep.
more interest in their appearance too. And the staff
we can use the strengths of one generation to help
are happy because they see an improvement in the 5. There is a special ……… to help people who
another. Then perhaps getting old won’t be such a
physical and psychological health of the residents have been unemployed for a long time.
depressing prospect after all.
and have an army of assistants to help with the
children. Exercise 3
Nowadays there is less and less contact between For each question choose the best answer.
the old and the young in an increasing number 1 What was wrong with the home that the
of countries. There are many reasons for this, writer’s grandmother was in?
including the breakdown of the extended family, a The old people weren’t looked after properly.
working parents with no time to care for ageing b Children weren’t allowed to visit.
c The residents had no stimulation.
2 What was the new concept that the writer
Joke teacher read about in the newspaper?
a old people being allowed to keep pets
Question: What’s the longest word in the English language? b a nursery school inside an old people’s home
Answer: ‘Smiles’, because it’s got ‘miles’ in it. c children visiting old people for lunch and
birthdays
This English joke works because of words within words. There are lots of jokes
like this in English. For example: 3 Who benefits from this new type of old
people’s home?
Question: What animal is good at opening locked doors? a the staff
Answer: A turkey. b the staff and the old people
Can you think of other animals that have a ‘key’ in their name? c the staff, the old people and the children
4 What does the writer think is a major problem
in many societies today?
a the breakdown of the extended family
b There isn’t much contact between the old
and the young.
5a 5 scheme 5d c Old people are lonely.
4b 4 cuddle 4c 5 Why are intergenerational activities important
3c 3 snoring 3e these days?
2b 2 breakdown 2a
a There will be more old people in future.
1c 1 lap 1b
b Western communities are isolated.
Ex 3 Ex 2 Ex 1 Answers c Old people don’t like young people.

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Pre-reading task
1 What is knowledge management?
Now read the text and find out if your answer is correct.

Knowledge management
by Alison Driver
Did you know we are living in what is data + context = information. Now, based on my years
commonly termed the ‘information society’? of experience working in the shop and my familiarity
Thanks to advances in computers, modern with my customers, I can use my knowledge to decide
whether I should order more of the same product or not.
means of communication and the Internet,
Perhaps a rival product has been launched recently and
information has become easier to obtain this accounts for a drop in sales, but my insight tells me
and it is now much more significant in that after a while my customers will go back to buying
our daily lives. Organisations believe that product X. Whatever the situation, I use my knowledge,
having better information leads to better and not just the information I receive, to decide on
decision making. However, with greater the best course of action. So knowledge can be Exercise 1
access to information comes the problem of defined as the know-how that comes from experience Match the first halves of each sentence (1-8)
information overload. Too much information and understanding of a situation. For the time being, with the second halves (a-h).
makes it difficult to decide which pieces of only humans, and not computers, can provide an
1 An asset is …
organisation with the knowledge it needs to succeed,
information are useful in making the best 2 An expert has …
and the combined knowledge that the employees of 3 All companies seek competitive advantage
decisions and which are not. Selecting an organisation possess is often termed its ‘intellectual because …
and obtaining the right information and capital’. 4 A person who has insight …
using it well can give an organisation a 5 Information overload is the result of …
competitive advantage. This is how the field KM therefore can be divided into two parts. The first is 6 The capital of a business …
the activity of obtaining the best information. This often 7 Data is …
of ‘knowledge management’, or KM, arose, 8 If words are taken out of context, you …
and it is being adopted by more and more relies on technology, such as powerful computers, to
filter or store information. It also relies on good networks a. don’t pay attention to the setting – why the
businesses today. words were spoken or to whom – you focus
of communication so that knowledge can flow easily
through the organisation. The other part is the more only on the words.
In order to understand what knowledge management
b. facts and figures (numbers).
is, it is necessary to define it. In fact, we need to human side, which focuses on employees exploiting the
c. having too much information to be able to
distinguish between data, information and knowledge, information in order to create competitive advantage for deal with.
and some concrete examples can help. Looking at the the organisation. d. can see and understand how things should
daily transactions of a shop, I may see that 12 units be done.
Companies that adopt KM strategies believe that they e. it means that they can do better in the
of product X have been sold this month – that is an
will achieve better results because they harness the market place than their competitors.
interesting piece of data but I cannot make a decision
potential of both modern technological advances and f. is the money it has available.
based on it because it lacks context. I can change g. a lot of know-how. He/She knows how to do
good old-fashioned experience.
this data into valuable information if I know that 20 things.
units of product X were sold the previous month – this h. something that has value.
informs me that sales in that item have dropped. So,

Exercise 2

Word search Read the article and decide if the following
statements are true or false.
Complete the words below with their missing 1 Our society is called an ‘information society’
N T U C A H B R B X K C Z letters and then see if you can find those because there is too much information in
O V X O Z L Q X S E M O N words in the grid. They can be horizontal, the world.
vertical, diagonal and backwards. 2 To make the right decisions, the more
I O R M C R A W I S O N R
CAPITAL information an organisation can get, the
T X D P W X R R N F B C S better it is.
E_PERT
A D A E E T Q K F L C R Q 3 Information is different from data because it
COM_UNICAT_ON provides a context.
C A O T B H F N O N T E L 4 Knowledge and know-how are very different.
INFORMAT_ON
I T L I Y G Q O R V R T Q 5 Insight can help experts make better
COMPETIT_VE decisions.
N A R T H I U W M Q E E V
INSI_HT 6 The intellectual capital of an organisation
U D E I G S C L A W P W F is the combination of its human and
CONCR_TE technological assets.
M Z V V T N M E T J X Y X
KNOWLE_GE 7 Organisations rely on computers to produce
M E O E Q I R D I H E I G knowledge.
D_TA
O X D D F D V G O U V Q S
OVERL_AD
C A P I T A L E N O T V U

5. True; 6. False; 7. False 5. c; 6. f; 7. b; 8. a
1. False; 2. False; 3. True; 4. False; 1. h; 2. g; 3. e; 4. d;
Ex 2 Ex 1 Answers

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Continued from page 4

successful since their very young regular curriculum.
age. We follow the standards and “By now, they have developed
expectations set out by the British very strong foundation skills in all
National Curriculum and include all the areas of the curriculum as well
subjects from it. as having English and Myanmar as
“Moreover, as a school that is their core languages and Chinese
based in Myanmar, we have a strong as the second language. They would
ethos to educate our students in be reading chapter books at that
Myanmar language up to a high age, which is incredible, and their
level. We have high expectations of Myanmar language ability at age 5+
our local students to be as fluent in is at least one or two years ahead of
Myanmar language as they are in their peer groups,” explained U Ye
English. This is sometimes not the Thiha Thant.
case for many of the local students “One could imagine, if they can
in international schools. do all these skills at such a young
“Furthermore, we also provide age, what they would be doing at
an opportunity for all our students age 10 or 12. At Primary School,
to learn Chinese as a second our focus is very strong on English,
language, as it is increasingly Mathematics and Science. All of
becoming a global language. this is made possible because of our
This immersion in trilingual team of dedicated local and foreign
environment starts from pre- teachers,” he said.
school and continues all the way Kings International has
to the end of primary school. For also launched STEM (Science,
example, in pre-school, we would Technology, Engineering and
have numeracy and literacy classes Mathematics) as an enrichment
in both English and Myanmar.” program beginning this summer.
“As part of this program, we will
Very strong foundation skills be teaching Robotics to our primary
Although the results are not school students. This program is
immediately visible at Pre-Nursery, designed by the world-renowned
they are very encouraging by the Carnegie Mellon University from Kings International School teaches phonics, an unfamiliar topic for many Myanmar parents, in pre-school. Phonics is the foundation for young
time the young students reach the United States for primary and children to learn how to read and develop a love of reading from a young age.  Photo: Supplied
Reception and Year 1 stages. Music, secondary school students, and has
ICT, sports are also part of the 10 different levels that are very well
structured. It is currently taught in
over 10,000 schools in the United
States and we are very happy to
bring this to our students here.
“City College Yangon will
be conducting this program in
conjunction with our school. As the
term STEM goes, we believe that
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: giving students such access will
Myo Lwin really help them develop skills in
this area,” U Ye Thiha Thant added.
Editor:
Clovis Santiago
Developing a love of reading
Staff writers: Kings International teaches
Tazar Bhone Myint, phonics, an unfamiliar topic for
Tin Yadanar Tun, Ei Shwe Phyu, many Myanmar parents, in pre-
Aung Kyaw Nyunt, Kyi Tha Maung school. Phonics is the foundation
for young children to learn how to
Photography: read and develop a love of reading
Zarni Phyo, Naing Wynn Htoon, from a young age.
Shutterstock, AFP, EPA “The pre-school curriculum
Cover photo: is based on UK’s Early Years
Shutterstock Foundation Stage [EYFS]
because Myanmar doesn’t have
Layout design: a comprehensive pre-school
Ko Htway, Khin Zaw curriculum yet. The advantage
For feedback and enquiries, please contact of EYFS is that it is very
c.santiago@mmtimes.com comprehensive, very detailed and
covers systematically many of
the development areas of a child,
and we believe that it is extremely Although located in downtown Yangon, school fees at Kings International School is reasonable for many parents.  Photo: Supplied
important for our young children
Contributors to have solid foundation skills,” he for our children to explore. Our Further study options can to help them achieve this,” U Ye
Welcome! said. classrooms are set up to promote “After IGCSE, most of our students Thiha Thant said.
creativity and curiosity while embark on overseas trips for “If a student wishes to
Do you wish to gain popularity EYFS has seven areas of learning providing them a safe and friendly further study options. This is, attend Myanmar schools via
together with the recently- and development: environment to develop their skills,” sometimes, because there are not Kings International, we make
launched The Myanmar • communication and language, said the founder of the school. many alternatives here that will arrangements for them to sit for
Times EduCentre monthly • physical development, “We have a multi-purpose court enable them to get into the best the government exams. They
• personal, social and emotional that is laid with artificial grass. universities. We have had many of can also sit for the government’s
education pullout? Here’s a
development, It gets used a lot by our students our students enter top universities, matriculation exam and attend the
chance for you. We are inviting
• literacy, and our pre-schoolers also have a such as University of Oxford, Myanmar universities,” he added.
contributors to send in their • mathematics, “School fees for a student will be
large outdoor play, although we are Imperial College London, London
writings and opinion pieces on • understanding the world, and based in downtown Yangon. We School of Economics and Political K3 million to K6 million per year.
education. Writers could also • expressive arts and design. like to think that there is a lot of Science and University College This would be an affordable price
send in their photos to be used creativity happening around Kings London. for many parents, although we have
as a byline. Please email your “Within each of the seven areas, International from pre-school to “We work very closely with opened Kings International at a
contribution to: there are very specific standards primary levels. Our classrooms and Imperial Merit Educational good downtown location,” the school
c.santiago@mmtimes.com set for the development of each the work that our children have Advisory in helping and counseling founder explained.
child and our program has lots done, that is on display around students and their parents on There is also a weekend Young
*Note: Articles should not of experiences and activities for the school, is a testament to the overseas study options. Through Learners Program in which
exceed 1000 words. Publishing our children, in addition to the creativity of our children,” he counseling, we are able to inspire English and Chinese languages
of these articles would be at trilingual environment that they are added. and get students to set high are being taught to students, from
the discretion of the editors. growing up in,” he added. There are 130 students at Kings expectations and standards for public or private schools, who are
“We use play-based learning International School this year with themselves. We would like our seeking to improve their skills
and our program has lots of fun and 30 dedicated local teachers and five students to become very successful and sit for the Cambridge Young
interesting activities and experiences expatriates. and are prepared to do whatever we Learners exam.
EduCentre

JUNE 2017
6 LEARNING WITH

Sayadaw U Nayaka, principal of Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education High School in Mandalay Region. The Sayadaw says it is needless to have a preconception that it takes a long time to change the education system.  Photo: Ei Shwe Phyu

Turning into doctors, engineers just
by rote learning: Sayadaw U Nayaka
The Myanmar Times EduCentre talks with the principal of Phaung Daw Oo Monastic
Education High School in Mandalay Region about the predicament the current
education system faces and his views of transforming it
EI SHWE PHYU consistently monitor how the approach is explain to them that only about 30 percent of syllabus. Instead of waiting six years to
eishwephyummtime@gmail.com being utilized. students who sit for the Grade 10 matriculation change the primary level and four years to
Furthermore, for years now, Myanmar exam in our country would pass it. They change the middle, why can’t the primary,
Sayadaw U Nayaka’s opinion on the present education system is accustomed to rote wanted to know what plans the government middle and high levels begin to be changed
situation of the education system: learning. This is also prevalent in monastic had for the remaining students who failed. I simultaneously? We don’t need to have a
There have been some changes in Myanmar’s education. Even Grade 10 students are told them that there were no plans at that time, preconception that it takes a long time to
education system but it’s still not satisfactory. learning each and every word from their but maybe, there would be something when the change the education system. With all-out
There are things that need to be done for textbooks by heart. Students pass their Grade next government comes in. efforts from all sides, it could be done in a
transformation of the system. Although 10 [matriculation] high school government No one passes or fails Year 12 in Australia, short time.
child-centered approach [CCA] is being used exam with distinctions in all six subjects but instead, all complete Year 12, they told To succeed, more young teachers should
now as a teaching method, it is necessary to through rote learning. Since their total marks me. They can go to universities of their be trained. People who teach in my monastery
provide more efficient training for teachers on give them an opportunity to enter medical or choice based on a combination of external are mostly youths. When they pass their
how to use CCA effectively. engineering universities, they do so without exam record and test records issued by their matriculation exam, I train them and give
The training system itself needs to be thinking twice, no matter whether they are teachers at school. Also, their universities them a class to teach. There is more than 75pc
overhauled. Right now, teachers from the interested in these careers or not. Their have autonomy and freedom in checking and success. I mentioned about this when I met
central level give some training to regional parents also pressure them into becoming accepting students into their institutions. with the Minister of Education in Nay Pyi Taw
level teachers who, in turn, train whatever doctors or engineers. This is the present Here, universities are told which students on March 6.
they have learnt to township level teachers. status of the education system. can be accepted based on their matriculation
In the end, some parts of the training get lost I had a chance to study about the education marks gained through rote learning. His take on the system of Grades 1 to 9
during the process, and the township teachers system in Australia when I was there in They [the Ministry of Education] have students being passed -- based not only on
would not have learnt everything that they 2015. Their high school year ends with Year started to change the syllabus in kindergarten their final exam result but also on their
should have. The government should, instead, 12, not like ours with Grade 10. They didn’t [KG] last year and in Grade 1 this year. As monthly and mid-term exam records:
form a team of professional trainers who understand when I asked them whether there the new system is KG+5+4+3, it is going to People say our education system is in trouble
would be located in states and regions to were students who failed Year 12, and I had to take 13 years to change the whole school because every student passes their grade
EduCentre

JUNE 2017
LEARNING WITH 7

Microsoft certification – a plus
for job application
Microsoft technical certifications are classified according to their different levels --
MTA, MCSA and MCSE -- of which MCSE would be the most prestigious
KYI THA MAUNG, AUNG KYAW NYUNT MCSA Certification covers
kyithamg@gmail.com troubleshooting and finding solutions,
aungkyawnyunt28@gmail.com and one needs entry level technical skills

I
and knowledge in these subjects. MCSA is
T is generally known that having a acquired by those intending to join the IT
Microsoft certification in hand is industry as beginners, although they would
an advantage in applying for jobs in not be IT experts yet.
Myanmar, where Microsoft Windows and MCSE Certification concerns with
Microsoft Office Applications are widely used. expertise in problem solving and finding
It is true that having an ability to use solutions to glitches related to the computer
applications software is vital for an office and the system that’s running it. MCSE
environment. It is also true that certificates is the most distinguished and prestigious
can partially endorse one’s computer certificate among the three levels.
knowledge in one’s job resume, and they are It would be wise to try for MCSE
a proof that you have attended and passed Certification, only when one has received
such and such relevant computer classes. the MTA and MCSA certificates. But many
Nevertheless, whether one is really in this country try to beat the odds and
skilful or not in using a software is more attempt at MCSE, without trying to sit for
important than just having some certificates MTA or MCSA examinations.
in hand. Worse still could be someone who MCSE Certification would indeed carry
neither has skills nor certificates to show. weight in one’s resume, but it is only valid
The most pursued certification in for three years. Once the duration is over,
The Microsoft logo outside the software company's German headquarters in Unterschleissheim, Germany.
Myanmar is Microsoft Office Specialist one needs to take the MCSE Certification
 Photo: EPA
(MOS). MOS certificate can be received exam again.
when one becomes an expertise in Microsoft depending on respective job requirements. MTA Certification requires fundamental Examinations for Microsoft Office
Office Suite. MOS has a variation now called Microsoft technical certifications are knowledge of Information Technology (IT), Applications or for certifications in
Microsoft Office 365 Certification, which classified according to their different and it is suitable for those who want to pursue solutions and related fields can be taken
qualifies one to be able to understand mobile levels -- Microsoft Technology Associate a basic career in Microsoft technologies. It at local training schools. As mentioned,
applications. (MTA) Certification, Microsoft Certified covers a number of basic IT fields. although these certificates do not directly
There are other specific Microsoft Solutions Associate (MCSA) Certification In Myanmar, it is found that many represent one’s skills, they can certainly be
certifications, like Mobility, Cloud Computing, and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert people, after taking MTA Certification, an advantage in securing a job.
Productivity, Data, App Builder and Business, (MCSE) Certification. move on to receive other certifications. Translation by Zaw Nyunt

exams. I can respond to this statement based has to find out who is speaking the truth.
on the present education system used in I told the minister that he alone has
Myanmar. In the past, there was even an the authority to change the Grade 10 exam
exam board for Grade 3. Grades 4 and 8 used system. Just because they want their kids
to have government exam system. At that to pass Grade 10, parents from rural areas
time, the Grade 10 passing rate was less than spend K2 million or K2.5 million by putting
15pc and only two got six distinctions. Now, up whatever they own, like their farmland
with the present system, why are there so and cattle, for sale. This is a trend across
many students who get six distinctions? If the the country. How many students among
students did not have a good foundation from the 70pc who fail the exam sit again for the
KG to Grade 10, how come they are passing matriculation exam? At our school, about a
with distinctions in all six subjects? thousand students take the matriculation
We have to focus on teaching instead of exam with only about 300 students [30pc]
focusing on exams in this country. Without passing it. I do not have an idea what happens
emphasizing on teaching, nothing will be to the remaining 700 students who failed the
changed. In other countries, there is no exam. Even in Grade 8, we cannot call back
rote learning. They pass students up to Year students who failed to come and attend their
12. After Year 12, students can even wait classes again. Some students go searching for
for some time before joining a university. jobs and only a handful of them come back
Another drawback of failing students is to classes. This is the main reason why the
that parents have to bear up the additional number of dropouts is always on the rise.
expenses for these dropouts. By focusing on Students leave Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education High School when classes are over for the day.
exams, children just do their rote learning On the minister’s response to his  Photo: pdoeducation.org (Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education website)
without any effort to try to understand the suggestions:
lesson or build up their critical thinking. The The minister told me that changes have already that the education system is free of charge: any marks by attending outside tuitions. The
government should practice a continuous been initiated at the primary level. I urged him The reason is, again, because of a lack of a assessments at school turn out to be more
assessment system. Universities should also to take a look at the Grade 10 situation where completion system. As simple as that. Students valuable. They do not wish to miss the classes
be given autonomy, according to the National parents are sacrificing all that they have for wish to only pass their exam and go to places anymore, because their marks would be
Education Law. their kids to pass the exam. I told him that he where they can achieve it, regardless of the reduced if they do not perform their school
can help these parents and kids by changing expenses involved. Students from Phaung Daw activities, and they start to attend school more
His opinion on why universities are not the Grade 10 exam system into a completion Oo usually cannot afford to attend tuitions. regularly.
given autonomy: system. Giving autonomy to the universities and When the authorities announced that Grade 4 Some do not appreciate the completion
When I asked the National Education changing Grade 10 into a completion system will have a government exam, those students system because they do not understand it
Policy Commission, it said that individual must go hand in hand. The teaching system went after private tuitions. This year, they well. In this kind of a system, teachers teach
universities cannot thoroughly write their must be effectively transformed. gave completion for all students in Grade 4. So, their classes well and continuously watch and
own university constitutions. From the students would not go for tuitions anymore, assess their students. Students, in turn, try
universities’ side, they said they can write On why parents still have to spend a lot as their class achievement has become more their best because they know that whatever
it. Even if they find it hard, they can call in of money and lose their fields and cattle important to them. They become more they do is worth the effort.
foreign experts to assist them, they said. One despite the government’s proclamation appreciative of their school as they won’t get Translation by Win Thaw Tar and Khine Thazin Han
EduCentre

JUNE 2017
8 LEARNING WITH

Education
in brief
EI SHWE PHYU
eishwephyummtime@gmail.com

Invitation for ASEAN ICT
Awards 2017
Companies and individuals are being
invited to participate in ASEAN
ICT Awards 2017. Categories to be
awarded are -- The Public Sector,
The Private Sector, Corporate Social
Responsibility, Digital Content,
Start-up Company, and Research
and Development. Entry forms are
available at www.aseanictaward.com
or at mcf.org.mm.
ASEAN ICT Awards have been
held annually since 2012 with
the objective of encouraging new
ICT innovations and inventions
in the ASEAN region. Winners
will receive their awards at
the Telecommunications
and IT Ministers Meeting/
Telecommunications Senior
Officials Meeting (TELMIN/
TELSOM), which will be held at the
end of November 2017 in Cambodia.

Hinrich Global Trade
Leader Scholarships for Six According to Myanmar Computer Federation officials, ASEAN ICT Awards have been held annually since 2012 with the objective of encouraging new ICT innovations and inventions in the
Students ASEAN region.  Photo: Facebook/Myanmar Computer Federation
Hinrich Global Trade Leader
Scholarships 2017 was introduced
on May 13 for students who want
to study postgraduate engineering
course. The full scholarship,
granted to at least six students, will
be jointly sponsored by Hinrich
Foundation, Adidas Group, Lai
Yih Footware Company, Pou Chen
Myanmar, Shyang Jhuo Yue and
TBS Group.
Those who win the scholarship
will have to study for two years at
the Vietnamese-German University
(VGU), where they will have
opportunities for internship during
the duration of the scholarship.
Once their study is completed, they
will also have job opportunities at
Officials from Yangon Region government, regional and township education offices and
the organizations that sponsored principals from basic education schools attend an event to introduce implementation of the
the scholarship. This is the third Those who receive the Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leader Scholarships will have to National Education Strategic Plan at No. 4 Basic Education High School in Ahlone township,
time the scholarship has been study for two years at the Vietnamese-German University.  Photo: Supplied Yangon on May 26.  Photo: Ei Shwe Phyu
offered to Myanmar. Currently,
three Myanmar students who won
the scholarship during the past two
years are studying at VGU.

Third Job Fair at National
Management Degree
College
The National Management Degree
College will be holding its third job
fair on June 24 at its premises. The
fair aims to create job opportunities
for students and to supply qualified
young graduates for job vacancies
at companies, as well as offering
internships to students who have
the necessary potential.
The National Management
Degree College, located at 273/279,
Merchant Street, Botahtaung Parents and students fill admission forms at No. 4 Basic Education High School in Botahtaung Students study digital technology in Loikaw, Kayah State, during this summer.
township, Yangon, was established township, Yangon during the school enrolment week.  Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon  Photo: Supplied
in 2004. It offers Bachelor of
Business Management, Bachelor its process took place at No. 4 Basic Comprehensive Education Sector Text books are also given free to students in far remote ethnic and
of Arts (English for Professional Education High School in Ahlone Review. students. The motto for the school rural areas. The classes were jointly
Purposes), Bachelor of Arts township, Yangon. Officials from enrolment week is “Every School- conducted by Myanmar ICT for
(Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts Yangon Region government, regional School Enrolment Week for Age Children Should Enroll and Development Organization and
(Tourism) degrees. and township education offices and 2017-18 Academic Year All Should Cooperate in Ending Telenor’s Alin Ein from Kayah State
principals from basic education May 25 to 31 has been designated Dropouts.” and Mandalay Region.
National Education Strategic schools were in attendance. as the school enrolment week for One hundred students attended
Plan Rolled Out in Yangon The National Education Strategic the 2017-18 academic year at basic Digital Technology Summer each of the classes opened in two
An event to introduce Plan was initiated in 2012 and was education schools throughout the Classes sessions – from May 2 to 12 and
implementation of the National drafted based on National Education country. Digital technology summer classes from May 15 to 26 – in the capital of
Education Strategic Plan to those Law 2014, National Education Law The Ministry of Education is were opened as part of promoting Loikaw in Kayah State.
who gave suggestions and advice to Amendment 2015 and the Report on providing the basic education free. digital literacy to youths and Translation by Zar Zar Soe