The Foundation, in partnership with the Child’s Dream Association, has supported the setup of a computer classroom in the Zin Nya Kan Baw Za Monastic School (ZNKBZ) in Myanmar. Through this initiative, we helped improve the insulation in the classroom, installed one air conditioner unit and provided the lab with 30 computers and one printer. We further covered the one-year course fees for four teachers to become computer trainers as well as maintenance and running costs for the first year.
We aim to assist these students gain first-hand computer and technological knowledge through our efforts. Having these skills are critical in this day and age and will increase their chances in obtaining jobs in the future. In Myanmar, monastic education exists alongside the state-run education system. In fact, the traditional system of education was at monasteries. State-run education systems were introduced under British colonialism and further strengthened under the independent Myanmar governments through the 1980s. However, only in the past years, as government education support for the masses of the population decreased, regulations have been slowly lifted on monastic education. Monasteries are allowed to operate secular schools, which are funded by the monastery itself; state education remains costly by comparison to monastic schools.
Most parents choose to send their children to the ZNKBZ school since it is supported financially by the monastery, yet uses the government curriculum as in any government school; but unlike the government-run schools, it is free, or nearly free of charge. In general, schools supported by temples tend to have better teacher support, more modern teaching methods and lower or free tuition. All levels of schooling at monastic schools are fully accredited by the government and count towards the high school matriculation certificate at the end of high school. Most monastic schools are not yet authorised by the Myanmar government to teach through the final year of high school, but this is changing as the government relaxes its grip on education for monasteries.
We hope that with the opening of this computer lab, we will improve the quality of education in ZNKBZ.