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PSIE: Teacher training update

Project Code: MMPT-1100686 | Project Location: Yangon, Myanmar

About the project

The Pyinya Sanyae Institute of Education (PSIE) aims to enhance educational opportunities in Myanmar,
where conflict and unrest has limited such opportunities for decades. By building the capacity of teachers,
this project will help to improve the quality of education available.

This three-year project began in 2017 and at its conclusion, thanks to adherence to the budget and
thoughtful spending, had a good portion of funds leftover. It was decided to extend the project by seven
months.

“In January 2020, we received candidates for Batch 12, there were nineteen students. They join the Batch 10 and 11 trainees, who have returned from their 4-month practicum. This equals to 51 trainees studying at PSIE daily. In the field, 24 teacher trainees who graduated from the diploma course are assigned to teach approximately 880 students from Grade 1 – Grade 9. They are teaching with 7 trainees from Batch 9, who are serving in these same centres.” Fr Noel Saw Naw Aye, Director of PSIE

PSIE - Facts and Figures

  1. percent of the population in Myanmar are illiterate.
    10
  2. students from grade one to nine are receiving quality education thanks to PSIE teacher training.
    880
  3. trainees are studying at PSIE on a daily basis.
    51

Making organic hand soaps

Students learning how to make organic hand-made soaps.

Important Updates

The diploma graduates were posted to schools and training centres in November 2019. This was in time for the final semester of the academic year. Teachers in the field contributed greatly to the learning atmosphere of the school, introducing many new child-centred teaching and learning experiences. Some examples include, an end of year school exhibition at Pyay, a Christmas arts and craft fair at Yenanchaung, and a Christmas concert at the Nazareth Bush School.

Environment modules on eco-friendly practices and skills were offered to pre-diploma trainees. Activities included making organic soaps and fertilisers, and practicing permaculture. This training has raised community awareness of ecological issues, taking small steps towards a more sustainable future.

Creative development, together with self-awareness and personal formation, are important for students’ mental health. In some boarding houses and schools, activities such as Art for Healing are regularly scheduled into the timetable. At the Boys Remand Centre in Hgnet Aw San, it has been integrated on a term-by-term basis. Unfortunately, it is slowly being implemented, due mainly to a lack of understanding of the value of mental health awareness.

In March, two students from Japan and two from India, returned to join the staff of the PSIE, after successfully completing their postgraduate studies. This is integral to the future of PSIE, building the capacity of local teachers who can teach and lead at PSIE.

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Hand washing station to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19

  • All summer programs were prohibited, therefore PSIE could not conduct any camps. As a result, our
    trainees returned home to their villages but were able to conduct and assist in COVID-19 support in
    the community.
  • All trainees had to return to their home villages and remain there. To help keep the trainees meaningful
    engaged, while scattered all over the country, the PSIE reached out, launching online classes.
  • Online learning has meant PSIE can continue providing necessary training. The centre has begun
    conversations around online collective leadership training, which will further assist PSIE’s capacity to
    reach trainees and students.
  • By collaborating with HELP University (Malaysia) PSIE is looking to run two courses: English Preparatory
    (2020) and Diploma in Education (2021).

Stories from the ground

“When I first came to PSIE in 2018, I have no confidence at all to speak in English or to meet with people those speak English because I can’t communicate with them. However, I have grown a lot in many areas like self-awareness, speaking in English, using computers and my faith in God. Because of self-awareness class I am more aware of myself and accept others as they are. The teachers are very supportive, helpful and role models for me. They are patient and willing to help. They give hopes and courage to me to continue my journey.” Mary Moe, PSIE Graduate

Mary moe in pink jacket

Mary Moe (in pink jacket) with other PSIE trainees.

Plans for the future

Education is a key priority for the country. As a result, there is an increasing need for skilling, well-trained
teachers.

“The Pinya Sanyae Institute could be the leading teacher training College in the country.” Cardinal Charles Muang Bo S.D.B

PSIE is looking to expand its facilities in order to cater to the rising demand for more teachers. Currently the school is located in a small rented building, and students reside in other rented buildings off-site, both of which are at full capacity. The Archdiocese is giving PSIE land near Bago for the building of a new campus with plans for classrooms, dormitories, a hall, and sporting facilities. This new campus is still in planning and will be built in stages to accommodate for steady growth of enrolments.

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