What is ‘Post-10’?
Burma has a ten year primary and secondary schooling system, rather than the more common twelve years implemented in most other countries. Students graduate from high school after tenth standard. Many educators and students feel that this is insufficient to prepare students for their futures – further study and/or work. Because of this ‘Post-10’ programmes have been set up along Burma’s borders.
Who runs the Post-10s?
They are created by community groups; local education departments, women’s organisations, youth groups and camp education committees.
How many are there?
On the Thailand-Burma border there are over 50 Post-10 and adult education programmes. The majority of these are located in Karen and Karenni refugee camps, though the number of programmes outside camp is increasing. As well as camp-based schools, CP also works with 4 schools based inside Burma’s borders in IDP areas, and 16 schools and organisations based in urban centres of Thailand.
What do they teach?
This depends on the aims of the school. Some schools are academic in focus, teaching English, maths, social studies and science. Some specialise in engineering, economics, teacher training or agriculture. Some have a specific focus such as women’s empowerment, or youth leadership skills.
Which other groups does Curriculum Project work with?
CP works with a number of adult education classes for migrant workers and political exile groups. Many of these groups run English classes, and CP offers materials and training to teachers on these programmes. Much of this is done through the Burma Volunteer Program. CP also supplies materials to eleven women’s internship programmes, run through the Women’s League of Burma.
Who works at the Curriculum Project?
Currently we have five staff from Burma and four foreigners. A number of teachers act as advisors on curricula and materials, and we hire local and expatriate consultants as needs and budget allow. We rely heavily on volunteers – people with expertise in specific subject areas – to assist in key subjects.
What subjects does the Curriculum Project work on?
We are developing curricula and materials in maths, English language, science, social studies, community development and teacher training. However, due to our limited number of staff, we are unable to meet demand in all areas.
What is the language of instruction used in these schools?
Most CP materials are developed in English. This is the policy of local education departments and also a reflection of Burma’s linguistic diversity; there is no common native language used by all Post-10 students. However, following many requests we have recently been working on Burmese translations of the our social studies material. Teachers are encouraged to teach the content in whatever language is most appropriate to the task and the students.