International study is key to Myanmar’s future, but for many people getting to University seems impossible. Education in the country falls well below international standards; students learn by memorising long passages from often out of date or inadequate text books, and are not taught critical thinking or analytical skills, a form of learning which we take for granted in the UK. Our Access to Learning programme gives talented and driven people from Myanmar crucial foundation skills they need to access higher education, from critical thinking skills to an internationally recognised English Language qualification. We work closely with local organisations and support a diverse group of people. Sky Age works particularly to support ex-political prisoners and their families.
The transition between leaving school at Grade 10 and university is a significant leap. In order to study abroad, students from Myanmar need more than just good grades – they need a recognised English language qualification. They also need a raft of other skills, including exposure to the diversity that exists in their country and critical thinking skills, which they do not learn in state education at home where rote learning is the norm. Students today are required to carry out all of their work on computers, and often assignments are logged and assessed online. For people living in remote, rural villages, access to computers is incredibly limited. Although Facebook is now widely used throughout the country, skills such as how to correctly use search engines, keep our personal data secure and compose professional emails, may not have been acquired by many students.
The Bridging Programme
Prospect Burma implements an annual 7-week residential camp in Yangon that enables a select group of students from remote, marginalised locations to increase their English language skills, gain an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) qualification, and gain exposure to a diverse set of religious cultures and ethnicities. Throughout the course of their study these students also gain an understanding of various topics through workshop speakers and facilitated sessions. The Access to Learning programme is designed to fill these gaps in students’ knowledge and prepare them for higher education abroad.