A successful pathway of a Local Ta’ang Trainer from Northern Shan State

30 August 2016

My name is Mai Kaung Seng and I am from (Nan Aw village, Manton Township , Northern Shan State. I worked as a community teacher in my village from 2007-2011. When I was a teacher in the community, I had limited knowledge about teaching methodologies and local resources at teaching. I always tried to find a way where I could get more training to upgrade my teaching skills and knowledge.

Through the connection of my mother organization (Ta’ang Student and Youth Union – TSYU), I had an opportunity to attend a 10-month a pre-service teacher-training course in Mae Sot in 2012, which allowed me to grow my teaching experience with theoretical teaching concepts. There, I had learned various and still relevant teaching methodologies and other soft skills such as computer, leadership and management at Teacher Preparation Center (TPC).

Having graduated from this teacher-training course with previous teaching experience, my mother organization nominated me as Mobile Teacher Trainer (MTT) to support local teachers in my areas who needed training like myself a 10-month ago. Being a mobile teacher trainer, I have had an opportunity to visit many schools in remote Ta’ang areas, including conflict and non-conflict affected areas and provide professional trainings to teachers, meet with School Management Committee (SMC) and Parent and Teacher Association (PTA) training.

I also have provided longer and intensive trainings to teachers who I met during the school year in the summer time. I have visited 92 schools and met with 415 teachers, provided training and feedback to 182 of them and provided SMC/PTA training to 746 people since 2012 till 2015.

Throughout my MTT’s experience for 4 years, I am consistently trained by various trainers through EBCS on around general teaching, subject methodologies and community organizing skills and shared current education updates at national and state level so that I am able to bring back those valuable skills set, knowledge and experience back to my communities.

Although there is limited access to those valuable resources for community members due to remoteness and inaccessibility to those resources, the model of Mobile Teacher Trainers helps to bridge the communities and the trainers like myself to exchange resources and help to grow each other.

At the same time, I am given an opportunity to transcend this knowledge, experience and local connections to junior MTTs to be able to reach out more communities in Ta’ang areas. In addition, I can share teaching experience and best practices with not only with mother organization, junior trainers as well as to other MTTs from different ethnic groups. Mai Kaung Seng said,

I know my job is hard, because I need to sometimes walk through mountains especially in rainy seasons. But when community teachers share the usefulness of my contribution to them and ability to see their improvements during teaching really helps me to continue my role within my community, organization and Eastern Burma Community Schooling (EBCS) Network.”

Credit: Karen Teacher Working Group (KTWG)