46.4% progress
$12,551 raised
Goal $27,023

The Challenge

Saint Joseph School in Mae Remat, Thailand, has requested a qualified English teacher to provide support to staff and students in developing their proficiency in speaking and teaching English.

Mae Remat is a rural subdistrict on the Thai-Burma border. The opportunities for a quality and comprehensive education are limited in the border region and this role will support the school in providing a varied curriculum that enables students to pursue higher education and employment opportunities.

Creating educational opportunities that will improve livelihood skills/prospects, helps to prepare them for either one day returning to Myanmar or remaining in Thailand.

Many international organisations and donors have withdrawn funding for community organisations along the border as priorities have shifted towards repatriation of the Karen to Myanmar.  Activists from the border region have argued that the prioritisation of repatriation places ethnic minorities at risk as domestic peace talks fail to protect these communities.  A Voluntary Repatriation Centre (VRC) opened in Mae La refugee camp in November 2018. Of the 36,000 people currently resident at the camp, it is reported just 18 presented at the Centre for an interview in order to return to Myanmar.

“Since 2014, education, health, and social aids including food supplies and aids for camp management have been significantly reduced for the refugees living in nine Burmese refugee camps along Thai-Burma border. International aids have also been cut for the local IDPs since 2017, according to the people who have been assisting the refugees and IDPs.” – Karennews.org

This social and political situation is exacerbated by occasional natural disasters affecting the border region, including landslides and flooding.

How We’re Helping

To meet this challenge and address the project objectives, the staff at Saint Joseph’s have requested a qualified and experienced English teacher. Palms has recruited Christine Bennett to join the staff in Mae Remat to assist local Thai teachers in developing English basic proficiency (phonics, grammar and conversation), global citizenship awareness through teaching, and specific outdoor activities (scouts and English camps). These objectives will be achievable through coordination with available teachers every semester.

In addition, teachers will develop improved self-confidence in their English language proficiency, self-motivation, openness to new ideas and education methodologies, and classroom responsibility.

Featured image: Students at St Joseph’s in Mae Remat.

Is the Project Sustainable?

This project will offer two years of professional development assistance to Thai teachers. The extended project cycle enables Christine and her colleagues to assess the strengths of the faculty, the resources available, and the challenges faced by Saint Joseph’s school, and to implement informed and long-lasting strategies for improvement.

This is one of several teacher training projects being implemented by Palms on the Thai-Burma border. Opportunities for collaboration and mutual development will strengthen long-term sustainability of education development in each school.

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