This project was launched in June 2019 which provided a targeted year of education, to significantly improve the Grade 10 matriculation rate and future life opportunities for up to 100 students from 30 remote villages.
Children in Chin State live in a neglected and impoverished region of Myanmar and face a myriad of challenges in their attempts to seek a basic education. The education system in Myanmar currently excludes rural, poor, ethnic minority children due to language barriers, location, poverty, and curriculum content. Pre-school coverage in Chin State is severely limited and the levels of supervision and quality of teaching vary widely. Children often receive no teaching in their ethnic language. These problems continue into primary school and beyond, which, combined with high levels of household poverty, contribute to extremely high drop out rates. As a result, less than 5.5% of youths in Chin State will make it through school to pass their critical Grade 10 exams.
The Education for All project was launched in June 2019, and provided full-time education for 96 students, with the aim of significantly increasing the Grade 10 matriculation rate. The project provided:
Nine months of full-time schooling in all subject areas to Grade 10 repeater students from low income families, including provision of key educational resources, trained tutors, and a safe place to study;
Supplementary food to undernourished and malnourished students to aid their studies;
An accessible library of educational materials to support studies;
An education campaign to promote the importance and value of education and encourage families to support their children to complete high school;
Training and development of HHM teaching staff, including one month’s mentoring an educational consultant on teaching techniques and formation of the teaching curriculum.
The project was piloted in 2018, supporting 202 students part-time, who were studying in two schools in Lailenpi town. The team focused on providing additional tutoring in English, Maths, Physics and Biology.
As a result of the pilot project, 24% of students passed their exams compared to under 10% in 2018.
The 2019 result meant that an additional 21 students passed the Year 10 exam in comparison to 2018 at a cost of £182 per student.
Whilst the pass rate in Chin State continued to be the lowest for the whole country, students in Lailenpi achieved a 4% higher pass rate than the state average (20%), with the highest state in the country achieving 37%. For a remote rural town, this is a significant achievement, almost matching the pass rate of students from the state capital, Hakha.
Incredible first results...
National Grade 10 exam results in Myanmar were released on 9th August 2020 with Education for All students achieving a 31% pass rate with 27 out of 87 students passing their exams.
To put this into context, the national average showed that 32% of students passed their exams. Mon State, the leading state for many years in Grade 10 results, dropped from a 37% pass rate in 2019 to only 34% in 2020. Yangon, representing by far the most urban areas of the country, was consistent with the prior year scoring 32.8%.
Chin State as a whole scored 21.2% in 2020, slightly higher than last year, but in Lailenpi, the small town where the project is based, the pass rate was only 14.2% (38 out of 266 students). The government school that year only achieved 10% and only 10 out of 112 students from the rural villages attending the examination centre passed (9%).
Without Education for All, only 9% of students coming from remote villages would have passed their exams based on the performance of the examination centre. Achieving 31%, a pass rate consistent with major urban areas, and almost 10% higher than the local private school (which has been operating for almost a decade) was a major accomplishment.
Very sadly, since the military coup in February 2021, this relatively new programme has had to close as the security situation in Chin State made the programme untenable. Our vision for education in Chin State remains though, and we have focused our resources on the numbers of students supported by our Freedom to Education programme. One day we hope to return to Chin state and re-instate this programme as the potential in the young people desperate for education is enormous and we would love to see this released across the country.