In Myanmar schools, there is an integrated triangular symbol that represents the involvement of teachers, parents and students. The intention is that students, parents and teachers all need to equally work together to create a quality education system.
Collaboration plays such an important role in helping teachers understand their students, including their family, what they do, and how they live. It provides us teachers the local context to plan lessons that are relevant to our students' interests and experiences.
When we taught at Rathedaung Township, we very often had meetings with the parents and discussed about the student's progress and what we needed to work on. This usually happened every night, as one of our students would invite us for dinner at their house. Therefore, we have been to every student's house and been able to build trust with the parents. Whenever we saw them, we friendly greeted each other. Having a strong parent-teacher relationship, we understood each other's expectations and found ways to work together.
We are now in a village on Man Aung Island and so far have not seen as much parent participation, but hope this will increase over time. I've told the local leader that I wanted to meet the parents and discuss about their children's progress. Some of our students are also teaching in the government schools or providing paid tuition classes at home. Thus, they are busy and we just meet during our class time.
I actually think the lifestyle here is more similar to a big city. The roads are better and it's not very far from the town either. People do not interact with each other like in rural areas. For instance, people may not know if one of their neighbors died.
The local leader is the only strong activist in his community who strives to create educational change for the youth. He wants to coax the local people to be involved, and I think the parents should work together with him to educate their children.
NEH Local Teacher Trainee
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