St Johns Second Building

On track to heal a nation through education

With your support, St John’s Primary School - located in Hakha, Chin State, in north-western Myanmar - is on track in its work to heal a nation through education.

Since the project commenced in January 2017, thanks to your generosity and prayers, Catholic Mission is excited to report the school has been achieving strong outcomes.

Video update

Father Lucas on St John’s Primary School, Hakha, Myanmar (March 2019)

St John's is located in a region that is home to some of the most isolated and remote communities in the country. Around 26 percent of people in Chin State have received no schooling, and with inadequate facilities, difficult terrain and a lack of critical infrastructure, the barriers to education are substantial.[1] In this context, St John's is helping to meet important and urgent needs.

Stjohns Children In Classroon

Children in one of the St John's classrooms, engaged and learning, thanks to your support

The current academic year (June 2018-19) sees 155 students enrolled and all five existing classrooms occupied. The school currently offers classes from prekindergarten through to the equivalent of third grade, with the aim of opening to enrolments for fourth grade in June 2019.

It has also been incredibly encouraging to see an overwhelmingly positive community response to the school and its teaching program, with demand for places far exceeding current supply. Since opening its doors, 54 students have had to be turned away to date.

With the number of students attending the school growing so quickly, St Johns has had to purchase a second school bus, something that was only possible thanks to your support and commitment to the work of Catholic Mission in Myanmar.

Stjohns Bus 2

Parents and community members at the blessing for the second bus purchased for St John’s School

In another major development, construction commenced on the second building in December 2018 and is now well underway to make sure the school is ready for the new academic year in June 2019.

On completion, the second building will facilitate the school’s eventual expansion to a full primary school with eight new classrooms.

St John's is expecting around 70 new students will join the school in this coming academic year (2019-20) and a further 70 will join in the following academic year (2020-21).

St Johns Christmas Celebration 2

St John's students enjoying the school's 2018 Christmas celebrations

Through this project, we are building the capacity of teachers and parents in the Hakha community and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular 'SDG 4: Ensure quality education for all'.

Some highlights of the project so far include:

  • The first building is complete and fully furnished, with all teaching supplies purchased for five classrooms. This means that 155 children have access to an engaging and holistic education.
  • Student enrolments exceeding expectation, indicating a good awareness of and positive attitude toward the school among the community.
  • A second school bus means safe access for more students, as well as making education accessible to children who live further away from the school.
  • Enrolment of six children with disabilities, who otherwise would not be able to attend school.
  • Employment of 12 fully qualified teachers, meaning students at St John's are offered a high quality education.
  • Successful parent engagement - 107 out of a total 138 parents attended a parent workshop run by the school to help parents engage in their child's education. The remaining 31 parents received the same training through mini-workshops in their homes, run by teachers from the school. This development activity was well-received by parents, many of whom have reported a marked improvement in their child's behaviour and wellbeing.
  • Construction of an offsite piggery. The piggery houses ten pigs, and forms part of the school's sustainability plan. By raising and selling pigs, St John's will be better able to support itself into the future.

[1] Myanmar Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, ‘The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census: Thematic Report on Education’