Myanmar education actor Q&A: Conversation with Daw Dipa, a teacher at a nursery school in Lashio, Shan State

2 December 2014

In Myanmar, many do not learn to read and write before primary school, making the transition to school tougher, especially if they do not learn Myanmar language at home. ECCD centers also support the development of social skills, good hygiene behavior and train parents and grandparents to prepare nutritious food for their children.
MEC funded ECCD programs help to ensure that young children get the best possible support during the most crucial first few years of their lives so that they are physically and emotionally healthy and intellectually curious while school readiness programs prepare children to transition to school. This includes delivering training for ECCD centre teachers.
Daw Dipa, a teacher at the MEC supported Nhaingmae Metta Nursery School in Lashio, told us about her role as an ECCD teacher.

How long have you been teaching at the Anhaingmae Metta Nursery School?
I have been working here for four years already. When we set up the school, there were only seven children and we had only eight staff and two nuns to manage the school. Now we have 85 children aged two to five attending the school.
What do you teach at the school?
We teach Myanmar language, poems and English vocabulary. Although we started our school we are now in the process of developing our our teaching methods and increasing the number of students who attend.
How has being a partner of MEC made a difference to the school?
The ECCD care giver training delivered by MEC really helped me to improve my teaching skills. I participated in the training for one month, and I learnt many things with regards to teaching methods, children’s poems and care taking. As a result of the training I was more aware of how to take care of children; the way I communicate with them and my teaching methods have really improved. I used to think teaching a lot of things was good for the children, but now I realize that children can’t take in a lot at their age. So I’ve changed my technique to make sure they are happy first and foremost, and then I teach them little by little.
The training also taught me how to mobilize parents and local communities in the child development process, and we now organize Parent Education on Child Development events twice a year.
What do you enjoy about teaching at the ECCD center?
If there is problem in my life, I forget it when I’m with the children here. Seeing their smiles heals my sadness. I love children, so working with them is not a hardship for me. I’m happy when they are happy so I try to create a happy environment for them and share knowledge with them.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to continue teaching here and become a skilled teacher so I can help the children and improve the school. I hope all the children I teach here are successful one day and that we can continue to run the school to help even more children in the future.