Conflict and poverty mean children in Rakhine State struggle to access quality education. The project works through a consortium of faith-based development agencies, and is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) and the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
Caring for children in crisis
In Myanmar, your work focuses on supporting children with disabilities to go to school, making sure no child is excluded from education, and safeguarding children from danger.
Showkat lives in a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Myanmar.
She came here with her family when conflict drove Rohingya people like them from their homes in Rakhine State in Myanmar.
The camp where they are forced to live now is severely over-crowded. Sanitation is basic. COVID-19 is a real risk.
Before help from agencies like ALWS, there was little chance for any of the 30,000 children here to go to school.
Showkat has never had the chance to go to school.
The 15 year old has a disability that means she cannot speak, can barely walk, and has difficulty using her hands. Showkat’s mum Arefa explains:
“We tried Showkat once in kindergarten, but the teachers couldn’t care for her,
as they have to watch so many children.”
Showkat has seen other children go off to the Temporary Learning Centres supported by ALWS, and finds a way to communicate with her family that she wants to go to school too.
Principal Yunus says he would love to welcome Showkat into school – along with the 14 other children in this part of the camp who also have disabilities.
“The teacher would like to open a class for them, but does not know where to start. We will need qualified teachers.
It would also be great if we had a proper classroom, together with physical assistance and mental support for them.”
Through ALWS, you make sure children like Showkat are not forgotten.
Partnered by the Australian Government, you support a 3-Step Program to help children with disabilities in the IDP Camps to go to school. You:
- Identify children with special needs
- Map the things that stop these children going to school
- Plan ways to overcome the challenges
What you do for children
Phyu Zin Thet Naing, an Education Officer you support to work in the camp, describes the kinds of help you give children like Showkat:
“These could include physical improvements to Temporary Learning Centres. The provision of assistive devices. Training for teachers on how to identify and support children with disabilities who are already in their classrooms.”
Your ALWS action also includes an Accelerated Learning Program for over-age students who have missed out on school, so they can catch up and integrate into mainstream schools.
When COVID-19 forced the closure of schools last year, your team found new ways to make sure children didn’t miss out on school.
They developed home-based learning materials, which were made disability-inclusive, to help children with disabilities get ready for mainstream school.
The education you support is a precious gift to any child inside these IDP Camps – a gift no-one can ever take away. Thank you!
ALWS acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP).
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- 8,917 Student Kits distributed (exercise books, pencils, eraser, pencil case, crayons, backpack, mini solar lamp, umbrella and raincoat)
- 155 teachers provided with incentive salaries
- 12 Government schools had latrine blocks and pathways constructed
- Furniture including desks, benches, handwashing basins provided to 22 Government schools and 22 Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS)
- 4 Temporary Learning Spaces reconstructed
- 22 Temporary Learning Spaces and 3 Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) repaired including latrine and fence construction
- 22 water purifiers for TLS
- Teaching kits to 22 Government Schools, 48 TLS and 20 CFS
- First Aid kits distributed to 22 Government schools
- Sports equipment supplied to Child Clubs in 48 TLS and 8 Government Schools
- 174 teachers trained in student-centred curriculum
- 96 teachers were trained in new Grade 3 curriculum
- 90 teachers trained in mathematics curriculum.
In 2020, with schools closing due to COVID-19 lockdowns, providing home learning kits was essential to ensure students did not fall behind.
There have been ongoing improvements in the quality of teaching, the government support for education activities and the skills of Parent Teacher Associations.
This is seen in higher pass rates and increased student participation and learning.
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